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  • Redwoods Map
    Outline the extent of the redwood forests on a map.  Compare and contrast the habitat of a California redwood forest with that of a local forest.
  • Investigate Large Trees
    Find the largest tree you can.  Measure the height, diameter, and circumference of the tree.  Have the children stand in a circle around the tree.  Then, using a tape measure, have the children expand their circle until the diameter of their circle is 29 feet, the diameter of the widest redwood.  Continue the project by creating a scale drawing comparing the height of the tree with the tallest redwood.
  • Life Cycle of a Tree
    Obtain the cross-section of a large tree.  Identify the different parts of the trunk (phloem, cambium, sapwood and hardwood) and explain their functions.  Examine the specimen with a magnifying glass and count the rings to learn its age.  Construct a timeline of the events that happened during a tree’s life.  Conclude your discussion of a tree’s life cycle by examining a rotting log and describing its role in the forest ecosystem.
  • Tree Hunt
    Go tree “hunting” and challenge children to find trees with different qualities.  For example, find a tree that’s taller than a house, one smaller than a person, one with smooth bark, one with needles, one with leaves, one with something growing on it, etc.  Select another tree and describe what you observe in prose, poetry or music.
  • Tree Mural
    Work with your group on drawing skills (perspective, scale, sfumato) using trees as a subject.  Make a group mural that shows a typical forest scene from your area.
  • Tree Research
    Have students research a species of tree and make a page like the page of back matter in Redwoods.  “Publish” the children’s pages in one book.
  • Circular Stories
    Discuss what makes redwoods a “circular” story.  Ask children to predict what might happen to the little girl who appears at the end of the book.  Challenge the children to find where else the little girl appears in the book.  Read and discuss other circular tales.
  • Fact vs. Fiction
    In Redwoods, fact and fiction are combined to make a single narrative.  Ask students to identify the aspects of the book that are fiction and the aspects that are non-fiction.  Read and discuss other stories that mix fact with fiction.


Web Resources

  • National Park Service
  • Save the Redwoods League
  • Humboldt State University
  • National Geographic