Thursday, October 6th marks National Tree Day. Now in its fifteenth year, schools are being encouraged to place a particular focus on the study of trees on National Tree Day. To celebrate the United Nations designation of 2011 as ‘The International Year of Forests’, the theme for this year’s Tree Day is “Ár gcara an crann á cheiliúradh” or “Celebrating our friend the tree“. With this theme, pupils are being encouraged to recognise the importance of trees and forests and the wide usage of forest products in our everyday lives.
The Tree Day website has sections on the everyday things that are made from trees, tips for helping the environment, how to grow a tree in a milk carton and woodland walks throughout the country. There is also a special focus this year on the Cherry Tree with lots of information available about this tree. However, the great thing about this website is the great classroom resources that are available to download freely. The resources are available in English and Gaeilge, and they are arranged according to class level in the primary school with a set of resources and worksheets available for infant classes, Rang I & II, Rang III & IV, Rang V & VI. In addition to these, there is a nice booklet to download with additional information about why trees are planted, trees in literature and trees in folklore. An overall Teacher’s Manual is also available to download.
There is certainly a great deal of classroom resources available to help teachers celebrate National Tree Day with their pupils on Thursday October 6th. The website can be found at www.treeday.ie