What Can a Tree Do For You?

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Students consider the wide range of ways that trees and forests benefit the Earth. Then they focus on how trees help to combat climate change. They take measurements of a local tree to calculate the amount of carbon stored by their tree, and then analyze data to calculate the amount of carbon stored over time. Students learn about the factors that influence how much carbon can be stored by forests and evaluate reforestation as a climate solution.

Learning Goal

  • Students learn about the importance of trees and forests for carbon sequestration as a climate solution

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify the different ways that trees benefit communities, the environment, and the climate
  • Students will be able to calculate how much carbon is stored in a tree
  • Students will be able to extrapolate the amount of carbon storage needed to have a significant impact on climate warming


  • Tree Facts PDF
  • Tree Data PDF
  • Student Activity Sheet PDF
  • Whiteboard or chart paper
  • Fabric measuring tape, or string and ruler/measuring tape
  • Meter stick or string that is 1.35m long
  • GLOBE Observer App


  • Print and cut apart the tree facts into strips. Consider laminating to preserve them for repeated use.
  • Identify trees on or near your school campus that students can use for measuring height and circumference. If possible, choose a few trees of varying size to provide variability in the data students will collect.


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