Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Forestry with Winn Elementary (23 & 24 May 2018)

Last week I spent two days (Wednesday 23 May & Thursday 24 May 2018) working with students from Winn Elementary at Audubon Woods Preserve.  On Wednesday the Third and Forth Grade classrooms each spent half a day at the preserve.  On Thursday the Fifth Grade class spent the entire day (minus a break for lunch back at the school) in the woods.

The students were doing a variety of activities related to forestry and forest ecology.  Activities included measurement of tree diameter, using a compass and measuring tape to map trees in 1/10th acre plots, estimating the number of leaves on the forest floor, estimating the weight of all the leaves, measuring canopy cover, identifying and sketching leaves; and sketching the layers in the forest.

This might seem like a lot of work, but this is not the first time these students have visited Audubon Woods.  Third Grade students visited once last fall, and the other two grades have visited at least once a year since they were in Third Grade.  By now the Fifth Graders are quite familiar with the preserve and the activities they are being asked to accomplish.  The lower grades have less time available on site and less experience so they correspondingly do less work.

Here are a few images of the students hard at work as well as some nature photos from the two days.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

The compass is an important forestry tool

Mapping the location and size of trees

Northern Maidenhair Fern

Audubon Woods preserve is a mature second growth forest with many large trees.

Counting leaves in one square foot

Wood Frog

Spring Peeper

Students measured the amount of open sky visible in the woods.

Weighing one hundred leaves to estimate the weight of all the leaves in the forest

Counting leaves

Using leaf pigments to color leaf drawings


Teamwork is needed for some of the tasks

Thursday 24 May 2018

Measuring distance from a plot center


Wood Anemone

Two old tires were removed from the woods during the day

Measuring diameter with a Biltmore stick

One student acting as a recorder makes the work go faster

Copying the recorder's data


Morel mushroom - the students and teacher found ten of these in the woods on Thursday

Canada Mayflower


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