Tree Chain Game
GRADE LEVEL: Grades 2-5
OBJECTIVE: Students will be able be able to identify factors that are necessary for seed germination and plant growth.
TIME FRAME: About 15-20 minutes (longer with additional rounds of play).
MATERIAL NEEDS: Need an open area with space for game play.
· "Tree Needs Chart" showing in what order "Tree Needs" must be collected.
A seed can be described as a baby plant in a box with its lunch. A seed coat houses and protects the seed. There is enough food stored within the seed to feed and sustain the young plant as it begins to grow and until it develops leaves and can start to produce its own food through the process of photosynthesis. Sometimes seeds need a period of dormancy over the winter before they will germinate.
Water is an essential ingredient for life. Often water is required to soften the seed coat so the tiny plant inside can germinate. Water is a vital part of a tree's basic structure and is one of the main components of photosynthesis. It also transports nutrients from the soil to the tree roots.
Soil sustains and supports the tree. The soil holds the water and contains essential nutrients the tree needs to grow. Tree roots spread out in the soil, sucking up water and pulling in the nutrients. There are many different soil types, each capable of supporting different kinds of trees.
Trees, like all green plants, get their energy from the sun. It is the catalyst for the process of photosynthesis. Each of the tree's leaves is like a tiny factory - taking in sunlight and air (carbon dioxide) and mixing them with water and food from the tree's roots. When this happens, the leaves make a sugar-like food that feeds the tree.
Trees need space to grow. Without enough space, trees may have to compete with other plants for light, soil nutrients, and water.
Tell students that they are going to play a game where they have to collect all the things a tree seed needs to grow. Starting with a seed, they must collect water, soil, sun, air and space. Students must collect all these "tree needs" AND THEY MUST COLLECT THEM IN ORDER. (For example - a seed must first get water, then soil, then sun, then air, then space...in that order.)
Put up the "Tree Needs Chart" to help students remember in what order they need to collect the "tree needs".
Tell students that they will each be handed a card. Each student should look at his/her own card, but not let anyone else see what "tree need" is on that card. Hold cards face down and pass out one card to each student, distributing an equal number of the different "tree needs." (If the group size does not divide evenly by six, select additional "tree needs" cards to hand out, starting with requirements from the top of the "Tree Needs Chart.")
Students hold cards face down so no one can see what is on the card. Have the
students make two lines facing each other across the room or across a field. Ask
the students holding the seed cards to come stand in the middle between the two
lines then give instructions to all the students.
Winner is the team of six that completes the tree chain first.
"Tree Needs" Chart