Learn to plant and maintain strong, healthy trees that will thrive for generations.

Special Features & Tips

Seed to Seedling goes beyond the basics to provide your students with hands-on science and stewardship activities. Here are some of the special features of the curriculum, and a few tips designed to make management easy.

Planting and Tending an Oak Seedling

If your class is fostering seedlings for the Sacramento Tree Foundation, everything you need to know can be found in Branch 3. If you are collecting acorns and planting them on your own, additional information is included in Appendix 2.

Tree Steward Fieldwork

Throughout Seed to Seedling, students will be in the field observing, identifying and collecting data about trees. Before starting, identify suitable locations for the study of trees (referred to as “the study area” in the activities). Optimally, you’ll have all the trees you need in your immediate school community. Otherwise, you will need to locate an oak tree; most parks in the region have at least one. See the resource branch for field trip destination ideas. You will also need a study area, preferably on or near school grounds, for students to assess their urban forest.

  • Management Tip:
    Students will need to have clipboards, writing and drawing materials available while working in the field. Organize a box of these materials and keep it by the door.
  • Management Tip:
    Before leaving the classroom for the study area, discuss the objectives of the fieldwork and appropriate and expected behaviors. In the field, the class should be respectful of the area and the creatures who inhabit it by being quiet and leaving no trace of their visit.

The Tree Deck

Seed to Seedling includes blackline masters for a set of tree identification cards. Tree decks (.pdf) can be used in the field to help identify local trees, and can also be used in the classroom to play games like concentration and go fish. Use card stock to run off one set for each student, and make at least four additional sets for the classroom. Make a set to use on the overhead projector, as well.

  • Management tip:
    There are many good field guides available to help you and your students identify trees. See what is available from your school and local public libraries and bookmark these two sites on your classroom computers:

Sacramento Tree Foundation: sactree.com/trees

Arbor Day Foundation: arborday.org/trees/whattree

The Journal

Students maintain and add to a journal throughout the course of this curriculum. The journal will help them review and evaluate their own understanding of the concepts developed by the activities and will also serve as an assessment of student learning.

  • Management Tip:
    Plan a journal management system that will work for you and your students before starting the activities. It is best for students to collect all of their field notes, activity and data sheets, sketches, reflections and any related artwork, artifacts and photos in a folder during the course of each branch and bind it at the end. Alternately, prepare simple journals for students to write, sketch and tape in their work as they move through the project.