Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Natue Study Lessons 185(Pines) & 186(Spruce): Conifers

We went on a nature walk around our neighborhood looking for Evergreens (or as James calls them, "Always-greens".) Since all the deciduous trees have lost their leaves, it is not hard to tell which trees fall into this category. We talked about how these trees have cones and are therefore called "conifers." We were surprised at the wide variety we found so close to the sidewalk we could clip off some samples.

After we brought our samples home, we divided them into different piles according to their similarities and differences. Then I asked them questions...

Does the tree bear cones that are sometimes berry-like and have leaves that hug the twig and are scale-like or awl-shaped?These are cedars.

Does the tree bear cones and have leaves that are needle-like?
Are needles arranged in clusters of 2-5? These are pine trees.

Are the needles arranged singly?Are the needles fairly easy to roll between your fingers and are 4-sided or diamond-shaped in cross section?These are spruce trees.

Do the needles have 2 white or silvery stripes on their underside?

This is a fir tree.


We tried to identify the specific types, but I do not have a good conifer tree identification book and information on the Internet seemed to be conflicting so we put this aside for today. We then picked our favorites to draw on journal pages.

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