The Tree of Lifeby: Skila King Brown, Donna M. Plummer, and Jeannie MacShara

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

This article describes how interdisciplinary, thematic lessons about plants, animals, and the environment were introduced with children’s literature. First-grade students created a display of the African baobab tree and its inhabitants, focusing on their interdependence.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Sat May 19, 2012 6:49 PM

This article is a wonderful example of how utilizing a trade book can expand student understanding of science concepts and how students can apply previous knowledge to deepening their understanding of man's relationship to his/her world. This article is particularly relevant given the Common Core standards and the expectation that students will be scientifically literate. The multidisciplinary approach addresses a multitude of standards and can be used to build your understanding of how to effectively use trade books in the classroom.

Patricia  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia (Pottstown, PA)

  • on Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:52 PM

This article showcases a great lesson that integrates art, science, and inquiry based learning in elementary school. Pre-planning is explained, co-operation with multiple teachers is delineated and the benefits of such work are clear. The children can certainly gain more information from the approach taken in the article than another text- based approach where the students complete worksheets individually and only learn the broad scope of information. I liked that the students continued learning how elements of the environment around the Baobab tree were dependent on one another after seeing the placement of their own artwork and captions with those of their classmates.

Whitney P
Whitney P

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