Listening to what knowledge children have about trees

1. To explore what children know about trees and identify where this knowledge comes from.
2. To create different modes for communicating knowledge about trees such as verbal and written language, drawing, storytelling.

WALT: We Are Learning To Explore what we know about trees

As a starting point, children can compare the two photos with reference to the word ‘nature’. Children may draw on existing knowledge from Geography where they learn to distinguish between human (manmade: buildings, bridges, roads) and physical (natural: seas, mountains and rivers) features. It is important to explain that nature is everywhere and that we live in and with nature even in manmade landscapes. 

This frames the following conversation in a way that avoids seeing nature as something external, detached from us, or far away. Rather, we live in nature, and this creates a sense of responsibility towards nature; something we can refer to as ‘responsible living’. 

Listening Exercise.

This lesson is called a ‘listening exercise’ and it positions children as interviewers and interviewees: knowledge seekers and knowledge givers. There are different ways to deliver this session in groups. Children can interview each other, take notes and report back. Additionally, children can draw and jot down responses on large flip chart papers around the tables and use these sheets as a form of show and tell reporting. To make the activity more engaging, a mix of interviewing, drawing, writing, reporting and storytelling is encouraged in each one of the proposed themes.

It is important to encourage the children to think of sources of knowledge that are outside the school. Learning from parents andfamily members, outdoor play with friends, a programme they watched, a game they played, a book they read, a story they heard, an outdoor experience they had. All of these are examples of the different sources of knowledge that the children bring to the discussion around these themes.


Another important dimension to this discussion is encouraging the children to think not only locally but also globally. Children can talk about places they visited, countries they heard about, trees they saw in other parts of the world, etc. By the end of this lesson, the children are expected to have developed different communicative tools to convey ideas about nature, natural environment, trees, and the future of trees. They are also expected to have practised interviewing techniques which include developing questions, generating response, and reporting back. 

Activities for children to do at home

Children prepare a list of three or four questions from the questions they discussed above. They then interview a family member at home and write a few lines about what they found out. 

Subject Links | Geography English Arts Science

Skills | Oracy, English, Group Working