Grow a Forest of Knowledge Teacher Sheet

Grow a Forest of Knowledge Teacher Sheet


For the Assessment, students should do a hands-on activity where they create their own drawing of a redwood tree like the one on the book cover. They should try to draw the tree to scale, labeling the height and coloring the tree with crayon, pastels, or colored pencils. They should then add fact boxes next to the tree and fill them with information they learn from the book and/or video.

How Parents Help Marbled Murrelet Chicks Survive

(Choices you may provide/guide them to)

  • Adults are such good swimmers and strong fliers they can catch enough fish and bring them back to feed the babies for the first 30 days of the chicks' lives.
  • The male and female adults take turns sitting on the egg to keep it warm so the chick can grow in the egg.
  • They lay only one egg. If there were more, they couldn't take care of them all.

How Instinct Helps Marbled Murrelet Chicks Survive

(Choices you may provide/guide them to)

  • They stay very still and motionless for their first 30 days of life while in the redwoods so predators can't see them and kill them.
  • They find water in the spongy mosses and other plants growing on the tree.
  • They sense when it is time to fledge and pull off their chick down so flight feathers can grow in and they can fly to the sea.

Ways the Forest Habitat and the Marbled Murrelet Chicks Are Interdependent

(Choices you may provide/guide them to)

  • The redwood trees provide such broad, flat branches that a baby can survive on them without making a nest.
  • The redwoods provide leaves, needles, and plants as protective cover for the chick from predators.
  • The moss that grows on the tree soaks up water that the chick drinks.
  • Everything that eats creates waste products. We humans use toilets for our waste products. The Marbled Murrelets eject their waste right on the branch. It mixes with decayed leaves, twigs, and fish scales to make soil so plants and the tree can keep growing.
  • The chick's old feathers rot and help make soil that provides a place and nutrients for new tree and plant seeds to grow.

Natural History: Four Things about the Marbled Murrelet

(Choices you may provide/guide them to)

  • The Marbled Murrelet is an animal, a bird. As a chick, it lives high in the forest in a kind of plant known as a redwood tree. As an adult, it lives in the sea.
  • Marbled Murrelet chicks can live 320-350 feet above the ground.
  • The parents swim with their wings underwater and steer with their webbed feet to catch fish!
  • Marbled Murrelet chicks have protective coloration called cryptic coloration that helps them blend in with the forest.

Natural History: Four Things about the Redwood Forest Habitat

(Choices you may provide/guide them to)

  • A redwood tree fully grown can have a trunk that is 25 feet in diameter. (Activity: Measure the "diameter" of a third–fifth grader. If a third–fifth grader stretches his or her hands out side to side, that measures 3–4 feet. So 6–8 students holding hands in a circle approximates the size of a redwood trunk.)
  • The redwoods of North America are a vast, ancient rainforest of trees that once stretched from the middle of California to Alaska.
  • Logging of redwoods began in 1830 so the wood could be sold for timber. Cutting the tallest redwoods takes away habitat from the Marbled Murrelet.
  • The tallest, oldest trees are called "old-growth" forest. An old-growth forest is one that has never been cut down. In the North American, old-growth redwood forest, some trees are over 2,000 years old.

When finished, each child presents their "Fact Tree" to the class. Upon successful presentation, they then create a Forest of Knowledge by posting their trees around the room on the bulletin, chalk, or white boards, or out in the hall to display mastery of content for public review.

This teacher sheet is a part of the A Seabird in the Forest lesson.

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