In class the students have been learning about the parts of the tree, about the life cycle of the tree, and about acorns and bark thus far.
Vocabulary words for this unit include:
- Cork –the outer bark that protects the tree
- Phloem –the inner bark that carries food from the leaves to the other parts of the tree
- Cambium –the layer that forms new wood
- Xylem –the wood of the tree which carries water from the roots to the leaves and helps support the tree
Facts we learned about Acorns:
- Acorns, also known as oak nuts, are the nuts of the oaks and their close relatives
- Acorns take between 6 and 24 months to mature
- Not only do squirrels eat acorns so do jays, pigeons, some ducks, pigs, bear, and deer. In the fall up to 25% of a deer’s diet may be acorns.
- Acorns contain tannins which make them bitter but they have been eaten by people in cultures around the world and also during times of famine. The white oak acorn is much nuttier than other acorns in flavor, having less tannins
- Acorns have been used as a coffee substitute when coffee is unavailable for periods of time
Facts we learned about tree bark:
- Bark thickness can be very thin or up to 2 feet thick depending on the tree species
- Bark has been used to make baskets, canoes, and clothing around the world
- All bark contains some cork, High-grade cork is produced by stripping cork oak trees that are at least 50 years old, and the trees do not have to be cut down. They can bear cork for 200 years
- Bark is used in medicine, most famously willow bark
- Cinnamon is bark. For cinnamon sticks bark is peeled from young twigs, tightly rolled and then dried. Powdered cinnamon is powdered bark.
Next week we will have DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) day on Monday. The fifth graders will be reading to our students and will bring their lunchboxes and eat with our full day students. More information about DEAR Day can be found in the letter enclosed in this week’s folder from our Media Specialist Ms. Jennifer. At this age our emphasis in class is on how greatly books are loved, how much information books can teach us, how pretty the illustrations in books are, and how many different words books contain. A love and interest in reading begins with young children being read to and having books as a consistent part of their environments, both home and school. Children seeing teachers and parents read books independently (not just to the child) fosters the knowledge that books are for everyone and are important to all ages of people. Although many amazing things can be done with computers and other “screen” devices, holding a picture book with your child and witnessing what they discover in the words and illustrations is a feeling that is hard to replicate.
Next Friday is our class’ Thanksgiving Feast. We still need another family to bring in cut vegetables and a family to bring in two cans of jellied cranberry sauce. If you can provide either of these things please sign up outside the classroom door or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*acorn and bark facts were sourced from class books and from Wikipedia