Winter trees was the theme of our last science class. We started off by chatting about what happens to trees during each of the four seasons. The students got to color a sheet divided into four quadrants (each one having a bare tree representing each of the season) while I read “Winter Trees” by Carole Gerber to them. We talked about how even though the colors are gone and the leaves are nowhere to be seen we could still identify certain trees. 

We learned that just like some animals hibernate, the trees go dormant. We studied life cycle of the trees and talked about how it all starts with seeds. We then focused our attention on pine cones. 

We conducted a series of experiments using pine cones, water at different temperatures, and a blow dryer. Our young scientists came up with a few hypotheses that we put up to the test. We wanted to know the effects of changing temperatures and water on pine cones. We concluded the pine cones open up in dry and warm conditions and close in wet and cold settings. We figured out all of this happens to provide optimal conditions for the seeds!

We finished our session with a craft, turning pine cones into tiny “Christmas trees”/ holiday ornaments.

I had so much fun teaching this bright and curious group of young explorers. Thank you so much to Stephanie and Stephanie’s husband for all the help! There is no way I could have done it solo.

Science/Math: Winter Trees & Pinecones