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

Health Benefits of Trees: Temperature and Ultraviolet Effects

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the effect of trees on temperature and exposure to ultraviolet rays
  • Discuss the health benefits of trees related to temperature and ultraviolet exposure

Time: 45 minutes



Conduct a discussion about the dangers of high heat and excessive exposure to the sun (heatstroke, sunburn, dehydration) and the importance of staying cool during hot weather and protected from the sun year round.

Tell students that trees help protect them from the harmful effects of sun and hot weather.

Outside, students work in pairs to conduct the following investigations:

1.  Measure the time it takes for an ice cube to melt in the shade of a tree versus the time it takes for one to melt in the sun.

2.  Use thermometers to measure the temperature in the shade of a tree versus the temperature in an unshaded area.

3.  Use ultraviolet beads to evaluate exposure to ultraviolet rays in the shade of a tree versus exposure in the sun.

Back in the classroom, discuss and record findings in journals and on the class tree chart.

Going deeper:

  • Determine the percentage of your study area that is shaded by trees. Use Google Earth to obtain an image of your study area. Create a grid with 100 squares (use a blank 100 chart) on clear acetate. Lay the grid on top of the image of your study area and count the boxes that include tree cover.