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For Teachers: The Giant Sequoia Virtual Field Trip Lesson Plan

1. Title: Exploring the Giant Sequoia Virtual Field Trip site

2. Content Area: Life Sciences, Botany, Ecology

3. Grade Level: Second and Third

4. Education standards or framework addressed:


5. Objectives: Students will gain general and specific information about giant sequoias by touring the Virtual Field Trip site.

6. Materials:

7. Procedure:

Session 1: Introduction to the Unit

Gather students to the rug or other central area. Explain to them that the class is starting a new science unit about nature. Ask if anyone has ever seen or heard of giant sequoia trees. After several children have had a chance to share, explain that giant sequoias are very special because they only live in a certain area of California, and that there are not very many left. Show students on the California map the regions where giant sequoias live.

Show the book, Giant Sequoia Trees, by Ginger Wadsworth. Say that the photo on the front shows a giant sequoia. Begin reading. (An alternative to this portion of the lesson would be to have children read the book independently if multiple copies are available.)

After reading, tell students that they will gain more knowledge about giant sequoias through a web site on the Internet.

Session 2: Exploring the Web Site

Organize the students into compatible partners, keeping in mind there is quite a lot of reading involved in this activity. Explain to students that they will begin to explore a web site dedicated to giant sequoias, or 'Big Trees,' as they are sometimes called. Show the home page on the overhead projector and review it with the children, pointing out that they will have to click on the photo to enter the site. Then show the 'Introduction' page, pointing out the 'Table of Contents' to the right and the links to the other pages at the bottom. Tell the children that they will be responsible to read the 'Introduction,' 'Parts of a Giant Sequoia,' 'Life Cycle,' 'Fire Resistance,' and 'Other Plants' pages with their partners over one or two sessions.

Provide the students with a hard copy of the quiz before beginning the tour. Students may follow along and mark the answers on their sheets as they read.

Instruct the students to go to the computers and begin the Giant Sequoia Virtual Field Trip. If there are not enough computers for the whole class to work at the same time, provide an alternate activity.

8. Assessment: After completing the Giant Sequoia Virtual Field Trip, students will take the online quiz (link provided on the giant sequoia site.) It may be helpful if students are provided with a hard copy of the quiz to review before completing the quiz online. Students will complete the quiz with at least an 88% accuracy (1 question missed).