Tree Growth Investigation

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This activity (located on page 3 of the PDF under GPS: Temperate Rain Forest Activity) is a full inquiry investigation into tree growth rates. Groups of learners will count tree rings to determine each tree’s age. A thorough sample of other measurements will then be taken to calculate the trees’ fastest, slowest, and overall average growth rate. Presenting the results in a table allows learners to compare data for different types of trees. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Temperate Rainforest.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • a minimum of 5 tree rounds
  • a cloth measuring tape (metric if possible)
  • a metric ruler, with millimeter divisions
  • notebooks and pencils
  • string and meterstick (optional)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Biosphere
    • Earth's History
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Ecology
      • Populations
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Circles
      • Rate
    • Number and Operations
      • Decimals
      • Fractions
      • Operations
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV


  • All rights reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., 2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429