Whose Bud Are You?

In early spring older students visit their urban orchard and examine bare tree branches. Discovering buds, important signs of life, they study branches and share information with their e-pals and Growing Buddies, who eventually care for the orchard.

For more about Special #4, Virtual Urban Gardens, email Bill Ganter, author & AT&T Teacher Disseminator.
Learning Standards
  • Students understand humankind's interactions with nature, the benefits and consequences of these actions, and the impact of science.
  • Students share their work with peers and the community through on-line data collection.
  • Students connect science and technology to a variety of career opportunities.
  • Classroom Activities
    • In learning to be twig detectives, students:
    • Perform outdoor and indoor activities as outlined in Whose Bud Are You?
    • Engage in How Many Buds? a math activity that measures and estimates buds on a tree.
    • Invite members from Urban Gardeners to demonstrate Bud Identification.
    • Study Illustrations and create a Glossary of bud nomenclature.
    • E-mail their observation, measurement, and sketching activities to other classes.
    • Discuss and record in computer journals how findings may predict the health and production of trees.
    Community Activities
    As they continue to mentor their Growing Buddies, students make predictions about bud and branch growth in spring and summer.
    Invited guests discuss and describe careers relating to trees and orchards, i.e., farmers, foresters, and urban arborists.
    The Tree Identification Book by George Symonds, 1974: William Morrow & Co.; Winter Tree Finder by Mary and Tom Watts, 1970: Nature Study Guild; El Arbol/Trees by David Burnie, 1995: Santillana Pub. Co.; Materials for Whose Bud Are You? and How Many Buds?
    Using Microsoft Word and floppy disks for their computer journals, students learn to use the digital camera and scanner and post photos and graphics on the Internet with Adobe Photoshop software for their e-pal buddies. They also use the Internet to research tree identification tips.
    Teacher and students evaluate the activities based on preparation, clarity, and sequence of sharing information and giving directions. Computer Journals, e-mail, and glossaries are checked for accuracy and comprehension of bud and twig identification and observations.
    Web Sites
    Students research trees at: