Identifying trees and plants!

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Summer is a great time to do some outdoor learning. We spent our morning trying to identify trees and plants in one of our neighborhood parks. We also worked on identifying birds and wildlife (although we only saw squirrels and chipmunks). Some of our favorite books for identifying wildlife in Washington DC include:

  • Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C., Howard Youth
  • Trees of North America, C. Frank Brockman
  • Tell Me: Trees, All about Trees for Kids, Gail Gibbons
  • Smithsonian Handbooks, Rocks and Minerals, Chris Pellant


  1. Categorize the plants you identify. Create a chart with columns for trees, shrubs, and grasses. Create another chart for animals, birds, and insects.
  2. Read about edible plants and create your own found salad (wash well!)
  3. Take drawing pencils and paper to the park and draw the plants and animals that you find.
  4. Take a magnifying glass and a ruler. Measure the leaves and plants that you find and take notes. Look closely at the plants you are studying.
  5. Collect rocks! Read about them and see if you can figure out what they are made of!

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