Calendar of activities

These activities can take place over a short or extended period of time. The full project, shown in the chart below, can be carried out over a nine-month period, dividing them into three seasons.

September–October (Fall) November–March (Winter) April–May (Spring)
  • Field trips to forest
  • Local walks
  • Observe leaves
    (chromatography, composting)
  • Seedlings
  • Seeds
  • Collect pond organisms
  • Inventory samples
  • Study individual organisms
  • View videos of macro-invertebrates
  • View videos and observe protozoa
  • Experiment with daphnia
  • Observe bud changes
  • Local walks
  • Grow plants from seeds
  • Observe flowers
  • Observe leaves and substructures
  • Field trips to forest
Long-Term Observations
  • Adopt a tree
  • Tree seedlings
  • Observe macro-invertebrates
Scientific Process Skills
  • Observation
  • Experimentation
  • Recording data
  • Communication
  • Form and function
  • Cells
  • Energy flow
  • Photosynthesis
  • Transpiration

During the fall (September–October), youth take part in field trips and indoor activities focusing on trees. They can start various kinds of investigations that will carry through the whole project. These might include observing changes in outdoors trees and growing tree seedlings indoors.

During the winter (November–March), the focus is on investigating pond organism but can also include some long-term observations of experiments that were set up in the fall related to trees. During the pond activities, youth set up containers with different organisms. They can study the changes in these organisms over several months.

During the spring (April–May), youth return to the outdoors to observe the changing trees. They can also continue working with pond organisms they have collected over the winter.

When the activities are carried out in an intentional manner with attention to scientific thinking, different scientific process skills can be introduced and fostered throughout the whole project.

Some “big ideas” concepts, such as form and function, can be introduced during the fall tree explorations and returned to during the exploration of pond organisms as well as during the spring tree explorations. More specific science concepts such as cells and photosynthesis can be introduced when certain activities relevant to these concepts take place.