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The Nature Conservancy, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC)


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Health

Resource Types

  • Videos, 4 minutes , 45 seconds
  • Videos, 1 minute, 16 seconds
  • Videos, 43 seconds
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Videos, 49 seconds
  • Videos, 56 seconds
  • Videos, 1 minute, 2 seconds
  • Videos, 1 minute, 1 second

Regional Focus

North America



Urban Trees

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  • This resource is comprised of of five 45-minute lessons where students will learn about the benefits of trees, predict and analyze the temperature difference of soil in the shade and direct sun, draw a map of all trees on their school grounds, and identify trees using a dichotomous key, tree identification guide, or app. 
  •  Students will also learn about potential threats to tree species in their area and develop and engage in an action plan to promote tree conservation and stewardship in their local community. 

Teaching Tips


  • This is an excellent unit, incorporating tree conservation practices, hands-on science experiments, and direct actions to improve tree cover in urban areas.

Additional Prerequisites

  • A review of photosynthesis and the importance of soil and trees as habitats would be a welcome opener to start this unit. 


  • There are many optional activities, videos, and readings included in the lesson plans, so the teacher may need to decide which ones they want to include in their unit plan.
  • Social studies classes can connect this resource to lessons about social justice, environmental justice, or the health affects of climate change in urban areas.
  • Science classes can use any of these lessons to connect to lessons about photosynthesis, evapotranspiration, plants, or biodiversity.
Scientist Notes
The resource will provide students the knowledge to logically develop a tree conservation plan. This resource is recommended for teaching
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