Layers of the Forest

Lesson Overview

In this outdoor lesson, students observe the ecology of the forest; first, by learning about the layers of the forest (forest floor, herbaceous layer, shrub layer, understory, and canopy), then by participating in a “sit spot” and drawing activity. This activity is best done in a park with a forest or forest-like habitat, which may require planning in advance to identify the ideal location. Many city, county, and state parks, as well as areas like schoolyards, cemeteries, or perimeters of golf courses may have adequate forested areas to study.

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  • Activity Sheet
  • Clipboard
  • Pencil

  • Coloring supplies
  • Surface to sit on outdoors (pad, jacket)
  • Digital sharing platform such as Google Classroom, SeeSaw, etc.

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