Tree Tally

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In this outdoor activity and fun race, learners first find the most common type of tree in a forest site. Learners use a "transect," a kind of sampling technique, to estimate the number of different kinds of trees, and a histogram, or simple graph, to record how frequently different tree species occur in the forest. Learners also select one species of tree, and run a forest leap frog race between trees of that species. (Older learners can just run between trees without leapfrogging.)

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 30-meter lengths of twine wound on cardboard
  • paper or plastic bags for holding leaf samples
  • 4-meter lengths of twine wound on cardboard
  • flagging (cloth or plastic strips)
  • meter tape or meter stick
  • 2 data boards
  • making tape
  • marking pen
  • guide book to local trees (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Classification
    • Ecology
      • Populations
      • Biodiversity
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Games
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • 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, 1982