To help children learn to recognize different species of trees by studying the bark, to help children understand the protective function of bark, and to teach children to make a decorative nature craft item.
Some Facts to Know:
The bark on a tree performs several very necessary functions, the greatest of which is that of protection. The bark on the giant sequoia may be several feet thick, offering the tree protection from fire and physical injury. It is so thick that many birds can nest in holes in the bark without every contacting the inner living tissues of the tree. Close examination of the bark will yield an immense number of insects and insect eggs. Some forest trees are riddled with holes in the bark made by various birds to get these insects.
Comparison of the arks of many trees reveals differences in texture, color and pattern. The patterns on the bark are unique to the species of tree on which they are found and act as gutters for water running off the tree. The uniqueness of the patterns can be used to identify the trees. Bark rubbings are a means of recording the bark patterns of various trees.
Plan a nature walk through a wooded area that has a good variety of trees. Look through a reference book on trees to become familiar with some common species.
Materials and Equipment Needed:
Crayons, paper, masking tape.
While you are on a nature walk, discuss the functions of tree bark. Mark bark rubbings by first placing the paper against the tree and taping in place. Rub the crayon back and forth on the paper. The ridges on the bark will show up darker than the depressed areas, thus leaving the pattern of the bark on the paper. The bark rubbings should be labeled with date, location and species.
Children's Home Activity:
1. Mount bark rubbings in a scrapbook.
2. Frame rubbings and hang on the wall.
3. Using rubbings as gift wrap.
4. Make bark rubbings of trees around your home. Identify these trees.
Places to Go:
1. Nearby arboretum or nursery.
2. Local museum to find nature crafts.
3. Wooded area or public park to collect more bark rubbings.
4. Library to learn about trees.
People to See:
1. Local forester or park ranger.
3. Tree surgeon
4. Science teacher