Adopting a Tree

Part of the "Adopt a Plant" Collection


Students will choose a tree and observe its life cycle over multiple seasons.

Estimated Time

Several Months

Setting Required



  • S2L1b. Students will relate seasonal changes to observations of how a tree changes throughout a school year.


  1. Instruct students to explore the outdoor area to choose a tree to follow throughout the year. Remember to specify the boundaries for their exploration. Trees can be labeled with the student’s name and/ or information that the student collects about the tree.
  2. Throughout the year, take students to visit trees once each month to make observations, collect specimens, take measurements, document changes (drawing or writing), record reflections, and make a hypothesis of the changes for the upcoming visit. Photos can be taken of the student with their tree on each visit. As a class, record the temperature, rainfall, and/ or length of day to make inferences on how the changes in the seasons affect the trees.
  3. At the conclusion of the project, students should be able to complete a storyboard of their tree throughout the seasons.