National Arbor Day celebrates trees and encourages citizens to plant them. Officially held on the last Friday of April, states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times. The holiday’s roots are in the rolling plains of Nebraska, where pioneer J. Sterling Morton planted trees, shrubs and flowers.
You can read about Morton and his zeal for these canopies of life at the National Arbor Day Foundation’s Web site. The site provides suggestions on how to celebrate the holiday and offers trees for purchase, as well as inexpensive guides on how to plant and identify trees. Teachers can help fifth-graders enter a national poster contest or download free educational materials at the site’s Carly’s Kids Corner.
Celebrate the day with a garland of paper leaves, or make a magical leaf image by rubbing a real leaf with crayons or crafting a pinecone bird feeder. You’ll find these simple ideas at Enchanted Learning’s Arbor Day Web page. Find more educational activities at the ABC Teach thematic Web page. Learn about types of trees, the parts of a tree and how to identify some trees by their leaves at www.treelink.org.
Younger kids will enjoy playing with the whimsical “Treeture” creatures at www.treetures.com, where the colorful characters (with names like Mama Greenleaf, Sprig and Blossom) help kids become environmentally aware