Cool Trees

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This warm weather activity introduces learners to the impact trees have on blocking the sun's heat and reducing temperature on the Earth's surface. Learners set containers with water in a sunny place and a shady place, then check and record comparative water temperatures at intervals of 1 hour, 2 hours, and more than 4 hours. Learners also observe and note differences in the degree of water evaporation from the containers. This activity can be used in lessons on solar power or the water cycle.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Two containers, both the same size and shape
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • thermometer


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 2007