Arboretum visit helps students connect with natural science

Tulpehocken Area School District  |  Posted on

Fourth-grade students at Penn-Bernville Elementary visited the Rentschler Arboretum in Penn Township as part of a text-dependent analysis (TDA) series. During the school year, students read about a specific topic and then respond to a question that pushes them to synthesize their thinking and answers based on evidence found in the text. Students demonstrate their ability to interpret the meaning behind the evidence and demonstrate this knowledge in a written response.

The Rentschler Arboretum is a beautiful 34-acre tract of land on a high vista in the foothills of the Blue Mountains near Bernville. It is owned and maintained by the Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club. The property includes gardens, wildflower meadows, a walking trail, farm fields, a nature sanctuary, and two pavilions.

As part of this TDA series, students used various texts and nonfiction text features to learn how to identify differences in the life cycle of trees and describe different resources that trees need to live. They read about different characteristics and adaptations of some trees, which help those populations survive and reproduce in greater numbers.

After students read about specific trees, they visited the arboretum and learned about 18 different tree species while collecting leaves for identification. Students brought their leaves back to school and classified them according to the physical characteristics that they share by identifying observable patterns.

In March, the students will travel to the Reading Public Museum to extend their learning on each topic in the TDA series. The topics include Native Americans, space, animal habitats, ancient Egypt, the Age of Mammals and the Ice Age. To read more positive news from Tulpehocken SD, read the district’s newsletter, the Tulpehocken Times.