Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

The Dendro Intro

Instructional Level: Middle School - Earth Science

Lesson Plan Standards: 

NGSS: MS-LS1-5, MS-LS2-1
CCSS: 6.SF.B.4, WHST.6-8.9
MD E-Lit: 1A, 3A, 3B

Lesson Plan: 

Dendroclimatology

Driving Question(s):

How can the subject of dendroclimatology be used to reveal historical changes in a climate?

Engagement

Dendrochronology is the study of tree rings and dating trees and/or other samples of wood. Students will be introduced to dendrochronology and the types of wood produced by trees by using an interactive National Park Service website.

Photo credit:  Cherry tree cross section.  Shelby Sawyers, 

Northwest Middle School, Carroll County Public Schools.

Objectives: 

Students will:

  1. Use an interactive National Park Service website to learn about types of wood and dendrochronology.

Lesson Materials: 

Computers or computer workstations.

Procedures: 

  1. Use the NPS WebRangers page to learn about the science of dendrochronology, http://www.nps.gov/webrangers/activities/dendrochronology/.  Specifically, have students focus on:

a.  Learning about how tree rings are formed.

b.  The different types of wood produced by a tree.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): 

MS-LS1-5

Standards: MS. Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms

Performance Expectations: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

Dimension

Name and NGSS code/citation

Specific Connections to Classroom Activity

Science & Engineering Practices

Planning and carrying out investigations

Obtaining, Evaluating and communicating information

Accessing web site to obtain information on tree ring formation

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns, Cause & Effect, Stability and Change

Scale, Proportion and Quantity

Accessing web site to obtain information on tree ring formation

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms

MS-LS1.B Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant

Accessing web site to obtain information on tree ring formation and the age of a tree

Common Core State Standards (CCSS): 

WHST.6-8.9

Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

6.SF.B.4

Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.

Environmental Literacy Goals (E-Lit): 

1A

Environmental Issue Investigation

3A

Analyze and explain the movement of matter and energy through interactions of earth systems.

3B

Analyze and explain the influence of this movement on...the distribution of life.