In this activity, kids will learn about tree growth and how tree rings can be a metaphor for their own growth. The tree rings will serve as a reminder that their life is a work in progress, and they are growing all the time.
Children will leave this activity feeling greater acceptance for what has made them who they are. They will understand that the events, setbacks, and opportunities have contributed to their growth, as well as a greater appreciation for trees.
- Pencil or pen
- Example Tree Ring (Letter Size) click to download
- Tree Fact Sheet (Letter Size) click to download
- Tree Ring Worksheets (Letter Size) click to download
- Example Tree Ring (A4 Size) click to download
- Tree Fact Sheet (A4 Size) click to download
- Tree Ring Worksheets (A4 Size) click to download
- Activity Instruction Sheet (optional) click to download
- Read the fact sheet about tree growth.
- Thinking about your own growth, choose a tree ring picture that best represents the early stages of your life.
- Continue imagining that your life could be represented by these tree rings. Start drawing more rings, and label each ring with the event that each ring represents. Don’t forget to include thinner rings, thicker rings, and any emotional or physical scars in your tree ring.
- Share your tree ring with a partner. Be sure to share the events in your tree ring that most impacted your life.
- Thinking back to the tree ring fact sheet, trees clearly rely heavily on their environment (rain, fires, wind, etc) for their growth. How can you help create an environment that is healthy for trees to thrive in nature?
- Looking at the tree rings you created for your life, do you notice any patterns? For example, what follows a “thin ring” or “stressful” time in your life? What preceded a “thick ring” or “thriving” time in your life?
- How could you create an environment in your life for thriving?
Kristin Aoki and Loreta Avdiu