Planting a Tree

Print Lesson


Students understand the basics of what a tree needs to grow by planting a tree together in the school yard.

Big Idea

Trees need three basic things to grow and live.


5 minutes

I ask students to sit on the meeting place rug to talk about planting a tree.

While students are sitting on the rug, I ask them to turn to their shoulder partner and talk about what a tree needs to survive.

Likely, I will hear students talking about water and sunlight.  Often a student will respond with "dirt" or "soil". I ask students why a plant or tree needs these things to survive.  This starts conversation that I then can ask students to have with each other.

I give students about 2 minutes to finish their thoughts and then I ask students to turn back to their shoulder partner and talk about where they might plant a tree if we were to plant one at school.

Almost always, the students will say, "on the playground" since that is the largest outdoor area they are familiar with.

Field Trip/Activity

15 minutes

I explain to students that we are going to plant a tree on our school campus today.  The students are usually very excited about that.

I tell students that "before we can plant a tree, we need to find a good spot to do it.  We need to look for a place on our campus that has plenty of sunlight and will get plenty of water.  The place we should plant our tree should be out of the way of things but also can't be too close to other trees or buildings."

I tell the students that we need to go on a short trip around the school to investigate a spot for our tree.

As a group, we walk around outside discussing the above mentioned things.  When we decide together that we have found a great spot for our tree, we begin to plant the tree.

I tell students that the tree we are planting was donated to us by a parent and that we need to make sure that we take very good care of it.  There is a card in the soil of the tree that gives us the details on how to plant the tree. (ie. depth, light, exposure, etc.)

I have with me a wagon with all of the supplies that we may need.  There is a shovel, extra soil, a tape measure and a watering can.


10 minutes

As we wrap up getting the tree planted, I ask students if they know what kind of tree we just planted.  Students will say an evergreen and then I ask "how do you know that? Turn to a partner and tell them how you can identify that this is an evergreen tree?"

We planted an evergreen because of the climate we live in.  This is the type of tree that is most common in our city.