Lesson Plan

Pathways to Discovery – Getting to Know a Tree

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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade
Biology: Plants, Botany
10 minutes
National/State Standards:
Alaska State Standards
Science: A12, 14, 15; B1, 2, 3; D1, 2;
observation, cooperation, sensory awareness, problem solving


Use America's largest national park as a pathway to discovery!

This lesson helps to familiarize students with the structure, function and importance of trees, and to develop identification skills.


Students will examine trees closely; they will “build” a tree to learn parts and functions. They will use a key to identify trees, play an active game to learn about growth.


This Unit is designed to be a follow-up to the fifth grade Silver Burdett Ginn Science Discovery Works textbook, Unit A, “Plants”. It can be used at any grade level or at any time.



Tell the students that as they begin to walk into the forest they should keep these characteristics in mind and begin to notice how the trees are different.

Additional Resources

This lesson is part of our "Pathways to Discovery" unit. The individual lessons can be done individually or as a larger unit of learning. They encourage the development of a student’s awareness and appreciation of the natural world and people’s relationship and role as a part of that natural world.

The lessons are a series of shorter activities that have been blended together under a specific theme with the intent that the activities will be coordinated with units in the existing school curriculum and texts. The materials are organized by grade level, but can actually be adapted for use at any grade level.

Last updated: April 14, 2015