The Tree Scramble Game
Taynish National Nature Reserve, local schools pack (SNH)
- To help the class to identify and remember different tree species using a fun game
20 minutes or longer
You will need
- Tree identification guides (see downloads and additional information below)
- Tree leaves from about 10 different trees
- A small prize for the winning team
Did you know?
The Glen Affric pine wood is one of the largest remnants of ancient pine wood in Scotland. It is home to pine martens and red squirrels amongst many other animals and has, of course, many old and great Scots Pine trees. There are many other native trees in these woodlands such as birch, hazel, rowan, ash, aspen, alder, juniper and holly. See 'Where to go' for more information.
Before the Activity
Decide on a search area. Send the class out in groups of 3-4 to search for 7-10 different tree species and to bring back just one leaf from each. They also need to tell you what the species is, by looking at the tree guides. Gather the groups back together and tell them you are going to play a game where they need to remember which leaf belongs to which tree. Recap on which leaf is which and give a story or a bit of information to go with each leaf. Aspens 'tremble' because they are on long stalks; rowan is also called mountain ash, it has very similar leaves to the ash tree; hazel leaves are round like a hazel nut; alder leaves are round but look as if something has nibbled off the tips etc.
Form the class into two groups, lined up facing each other. Put one of each type of leaf in a row between the two groups. Gave each pair of opposite children the same number, counting off down the two rows of children.
Stand between the two groups and call out first a number and then the name of a tree. For example ''the number is SIX, the tree is HAZEL'' Both number ‘sixes’ then run to pick up the hazel leaf. The first one to correctly choose the hazel leaf earns 2 points, picking out a wrong leaf loses the team 1 point. The first team to 10 (or other suitable number) wins the prize!
Suggested Follow up
Try some of the leaf activities suggested in the activity Leaf Games in this section.
- Tree spotter sheet
- Information and an illustrations of native trees in Scotland
- Information and illustrations of native trees Trees for Life
- A Tree Name Trail from Forestry Commission.
- The Field Studies Council makes a laminated fold-out tree guide of common tree species.