Did you know that trees bloom? The tree that is in bloom right NOW in Charlotte is the Red Maple. It’s the tree that, from a distance, looks like a red haze. A maple tree is a perfect writing lesson waiting to happen. Locate a maple tree on your school property. Take you class outside and observe it closely. Look at and feel the bark. Sketch the shape of the tree. (All trees have a distinctive shape.) Use a hand lens to observe the flowers.  Brainstorm a list of words to describe the tree and the flowers.maple-bloom

If you and your class continue to observe your maple tree, you will soon be rewarded with leaves sprouting and ‘helicopters,’ which are actually the seeds! Keep observing it over time. Who knows what you and your students can add to your Tree Journaling!

Hint: Use an iPad or your cell phone to take pictures of your tree. Make the photos and observations into an amazing writing bulletin board to showcase your students’ work!  Remember: Scientific work is public!

Do you want a place for your students to contribute their observations to a scientific community? Check our Project BudBurst, a citizen science project.  Project BudBurst is on a mission – to get you outside taking a moment to observe how plants in your community change with the seasons. When you share yourobservations with us, they become part of an ecological record. Spending time outside with plants is calming, educational, and just plain fun.

Go to: http://budburst.org/

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