A new teaching resource aiming to inspire children about the vital importance of trees in forests locally as well as globally has been launched by International Tree Foundation (ITF).
The Tree Power Teachers’ Resource Pack is a free downloadable activity pack which gives primary schools the tools to engage the next generation in protecting and caring for the natural world.
It brings together the two educational strands of global and outdoor learning, to enable children to become both informed ‘Tree Explorers’ and active ‘Tree Guardians’.
There is growing recognition of the importance of both global and outdoor learning for children’s development. Research shows that children benefit in a range of ways from outdoor learning, such as persevering for longer with tasks, attempting a greater number of new tasks and showing more enthusiasm. At the same time, children spend much less time playing in natural places than they did in previous generations. Global learning has been shown to improve attainment and skills.
ITF has been running Tree Power with schools across England since 2012. The course has received enthusiastic feedback from teachers and children, which has helped shape the new Resource Pack.
Tree Power provides powerful learning experiences for children. Eight activity sheets linked to the Key Stage 2 national curriculum help teachers to structure interactive lessons on relevant topics of global concern.
Subjects include ‘Why are trees disappearing?’ which explores the main causes of deforestation, ‘Palm Oil Detectives’, which gets children to investigate palm oil in household products, and ‘Tree Champions’ which looks at some of the most inspirational people who have spearheaded the conservation and planting of trees in different parts of the world.
Andy Egan, Chief Executive at International Tree Foundation, says
“Learning about trees and forest resources is a unique chance for children (and their teachers and parents) to grasp how natural resources support life on Earth. There is no learning more valuable than this.
It’s National Planting Tree Week and we are launching Tree Power to draw the attention to the need to grow the next generation of tree planters and guardians. We have decided to publish the Tree Power Teachers’ Resource Pack on our website for free to make it available to as many people as possible.
Reconnecting children with nature and giving them creative opportunities to learn about the causes and effects of deforestation is absolutely essential in our times. Every morning when we wake up there are 27 million fewer trees than the day before”.
Helen Humphries, Higher Level Teaching Assistant at Bovington Primary School, says
“I’ve just started using Tree Power with 10 pupils, and so far it’s been a great success! We’re in the process of creating a forest and wildlife area, so the Tree Power lesson plans are a great fit.
Tree Power has really inspired the children, and I’m hoping to roll out the programme to all of year 6 from January. ”