Curriculum Resources

Looking for educational material to support your tree research? Through the Smithsonian Treebanding Project’s collaboration with Project Learning Tree you can find some helpful curriculum connections to Smithsonian science.

  1. PK-8th Grade Lessons
    • Tree Factory: By acting out the parts of a tree, students will learn about the structure of a tree.
    • How Big is Your Tree? Trees come in various shapes and sizes. In this activity, students will measure trees in different ways and become familiar with the tree’s scale and structure. They will also learn measuring techniques and the importance of using standard units of measure.
  2. Secondary Lessons
    • Monitoring Forest Health: Students will conduct a forest health checkup of a local forest area, take forestry measurements, and evaluate the ecological services provided by trees and forests.
    • Climate Change and Forests: Students will use a carbon footprint calculator to analyze their personal impact on carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere, calculate the amount of carbon stored in a single tree, and explore how carbon sequestration effect CO2 levels.
    • Mapping World’s Forests: Identifying, documenting, classifying, and accurately mapping the diversity of forests found around the world is an active, ongoing process. In this activity, students will examine this system to see how temperature and moisture determine the type of forest in a given locale.
    • Researching Forests around the World: In this activity, students will explore their connections to the world's forests by researching a forest in another country or region, and by creating a unique profile of that forest.
  3. Green Schools! School Site Investigation: Provides a blueprint for educators, students, environmental and health advocates, school board members, parents and interested community members to teach, learn, and engage together in creating a more green and healthy learning environment at their school. It combines environmental education, service learning, and leadership opportunities for students to help turn their school into a model green school.


Mapping Resources

Click here for an easy way to find your tree or school’s exact latitude and longitude.


Periodical Resources

Baltimore Sun article: Can trees keep up with increasing CO2?

Washington Post Article: Learn more about Dr. Geoffrey Parker and the research that inspired The Smithsonian Global Tree Banding Project.

New York Times article: SERC scientists find a local connection between increased CO2 and tree growth.

Article from the proceedings of the National Academy of Science: View pdf document  


Bibliographical Resources

  • Clark, N.A., Wynne, R.H., and Schmoldt, D.L., 2000, A review of past research on dendrometers: Forest Science, v. 46, p. 570-576.
  • Keeland, B.D., and Sharitz, R.R., 1993, Accuracy of tree growth measurements using dendrometer bands: Canadian Journal of Forest Research, v. 23, p. 2454-2457
  • Keeland BD and Young PJ. 2010. Construction and installation of dendrometer bands for periodic tree-growth measurements. USGS.
  • Orwig DA, Abrams MD. 1997. Variation in radial growth responses to drought among species, site, and canopy strata. Trees 11:474–4