Let's Explore Woods
With help from Wanda and her friends, students learn that the woods are home to many kinds of plants and animals. They recognize that woods provide jobs and products and they identify recreational activities associated with woods. Lastly, students learn that all people can help and care for wildlife, and that people can take responsibility and make a difference in caring for the woods.
Explore the trees, plants and animals that live in the woods.
- Students will differentiate between the terms "woods" and "forest." In the woods many trees grow closely together. Some woods are very large with a lot of trees; they are called forests.
- Students will understand that there are different types of woods, and describe the trees that they contain.
- Woods with many varieties of trees: These woods have trees that may include maple (large 5-pointed leaves), Oak (has acorns), and aspen (triangular, heart-shapes, or round leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall). These trees all have leaves that change color in the autumn and fall off by the winter.
- Woods with mostly one tree type: For example, some woods only contain pine trees. Pine trees have needle-like leaves that they keep throughout the year. In addition, pine trees make their seeds inside pinecones.
- Students will know that woods are found in many different places: mountains, valley, hill, and coastlines.
- Students will realize that woods are home to plants other than trees. Mosses are found in the woods; they may look like a fuzzy green carpet covering the rocks and the ground, or they may look like thick green spider webs hanging from trees. The floor of a wooded area can be dark, so vines climb up the trees to get more sunlight. In addition, many types of grasses and berries are found in the woods.
- Students will identify and describe some of the animals found in woodland habitats.
- Bear: Bears eat fish that they catch in rivers and streams, and they sleep in trees or dens. Baby bears are called cubs.
- Deer: They eat the grasses that grow in the woodland habitat. A baby deer is called a fawn; it is identifiable by the white spots on its back, which help hide from predators by blending in with the environment. A male deer is called a buck; it is identifiable by antlers on the top of its head. A female deer is called a doe; it does not have antlers.
- Fox: Foxes are shy, dog-like animals. They eat mice, squirrels, and other small creatures. Foxes live in dens, which may be underground, in a cave, among a group of rocks, or in a hollow tree or log. Baby foxes are called pups or cubs, female foxes are called vixens, and male foxes are called dogs.
- Birds: Many types of birds live in the woods including blue jays, woodpeckers, and owls. Blue jays eat nuts and seeds. Woodpeckers use their beaks to drill holes in trees in order to dig for insects. Owls hunt during the night for small animals like mice.
- Squirrels: They nest in trees and eat acorns and seeds from pinecones.
- Students will know that woods are excellent places for recreation. Many people go camping and hiking in the woods. People also like to observe the animals and plants that live there.
- Students will realize that woods support many types of jobs.
- Park rangers: Park rangers inform the public about the woods and make sure that the woods are a safe place for them to visit. Park rangers lead hikes and teach visitors about the plants and animals that live in the woods. In addition, park rangers teach people how to enjoy the woods without damaging them. For example, they show people how to prevent fires.
- Foresters: They are special scientists that find ways to fix/prevent problems in the woods. For example, they decide when to remove trees that are ready to fall over, too large, or sick. In addition, foresters plan ways to keep the woods safe from fires.
- Lumberjacks: Trees are an excellent resource. The wood that they provide is used to produce paper, homes, and furniture. Lumberjacks work to cut down trees that will be used to make those products.
- Nursery workers: They grow new trees to replace those that were cut down, so that people will always have trees to use and enjoy.
- Students will describe how the four seasons affect the woods.
- Winter: The woods are cold during the winter; sometimes it even snows. Many plants stop growing, and it becomes difficult to find food. Some animals cope with the winter by changing color to match their snow-covered surroundings; this helps prey to hide from their predators. Other animals deal with harsh winters by hibernating until the season changes and food is more available. Many people enjoy winter in the woods because of the beautiful sights, and they can go snowshoeing or cross country skiing.
- Spring: The trees and other plants start growing again, and the trees that lost their leaves for the winter put out new ones. Hibernating animals wake up and begin to look for food. The snow melts making the ground wet and filling the rivers and streams with water.
- Summer: During the summer, the woods become drier, which means that fires are a major concern; park rangers and foresters are busy preventing them. Animals spend a lot of their time gathering the food that is plentiful. Also, the woods are very busy with people that are hiking and camping.
- Fall: During the autumn months, the leaves on many of the trees change color and fall off. In addition, animals collect large amounts of food that will be used during the winter.
- Career Art Journal: Ask the students to choose one of the jobs shown in the video. Have them use construction paper and paints/crayons to illustrate the work life of a person performing the job they chose.
- Four Seasons Art Project: Provide each student with a large piece of white paper (larger than 81/2 x 11), pieces of colored construction paper, and a glue stick. Ask them to fold the white piece of paper into four boxes of equal size; each box will represent a season. Then, have the students use the construction paper to produce images in each box that represent how the weather of a particular season affects the woods.
- Explore the woods: Have the students observe and identify the different plants and animals. Ask them how this wooded area is similar/different to the ones shown in the video. Then ask them how the plants and animals might be responding to the particular season.
- What are the Woods?
- Plants in the Woods
- Animals in the Woods
- Fun in the Woods
- Jobs in the Woods
- Seasons in the Woods