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

Oak Explorations

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify an oak tree by its leaves and acorns.
  • Recognize the acorn as the seed of an oak.

Time: 45 minutes


For each student:

For the class:

  • Regional field guides and other reference materials


Set objectives and expectations before leaving the classroom. Today, students will be using their tree decks and field guides to try to identify oak trees in the study area. They will also be collecting several acorns and oak leaves for Activity 7.

California has 20 different native oak species and at least 20 known hybrids. Do not allow students to become discouraged if identification is a challenge.

When you return to the classroom, discuss your findings. Encourage students to write about what they have learned in their journals and add to the class chart as necessary. Collect the leaves and acorns for further study in Activity 7.

Going deeper:

  • Have students develop a geocaching activity. Ask them to identify a tree in the study area and, using a GPS device, to develop a series of coordinate clues to successfully lead others to the target tree.