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Can Trees Tell a Story?

Author Information

* Name: Joni Corbin

* Position: PhD student, The University of Alabama, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

* Contact: jcorbin [at]

* Year contributed: 2021


  • Grade Level: K-1
  • Alabama Course of Study:

* Mathematics K-CC1 Count to 100 by ones and tens * Mathematics K-CC3 Write numbers from 0 – 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0 – 20 * Mathematics K-CC6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies. (Include groups with up to ten objects.)

* Science K-3 Distinguish between living and nonliving things and verify what living things need to survive (e.g., animals need food, water and air; plants needing nutrients, water, sunlight and air). * Science K-9 Observe, record and share finding of local weather patterns over a period of time (e.g., increase in daily temperature from morning to afternoon, typical rain and storm patterns from season to season).


Tree rings can tell a story to scientists, simply by looking at the size and number of rings. This field, known as dendrochronology, is widely used to examine climate patterns from the past, and used to inform policy decisions today. In this lesson, students will be introduced to the idea of trees as living objects that grow, and how the growth of the tree is influenced by the amount of water it receives each year/growing season. By counting and comparing tree rings, mathematics and science principles are integrated into this lesson plan. This lesson plan was created through the SCIREN program at the University of Alabama, and forms the foundation for future lesson plans in dendrochronology at higher grade levels.


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alabama/can_trees_tell_a_story.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/22 14:50 by alabama