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Arbor Day in the classroom

Celebrate Arbor Day in your classroom! It’s easy as 1, 2, tree! Arbor Day is a holiday that promotes planting and protecting trees. Illinois celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday in April. But really, every day is a great day to celebrate trees!

Communities often celebrate Arbor Day by planting trees with school children. Listed below are activities and lesson plans developed by the Arboretum expert educators to help you celebrate the holiday and teach your students about the importance of trees and conservation. These activities can be great enhancements to your curriculum. 


Arbor Day Outreach Programming

*REGISTER NOW for Arbor Day Outreach

*(Coming Spring 2018) order a Tree Tag Kit. 


Community Outreach Opportunities:

Community and Tree Planting Event

  • Audience size: open to public

Length of Presentation: 30-60 minutes
Community Trees staff and volunteers will assist your group with planting a tree to celebrate Arbor Day or other event. Representatives can provide education on proper planting techniques and tree care while planting a tree that your group provides. Site preparation must be completed by event organizers prior to event (please remember to call J.U.L.I.E. at least a week prior to event). Our outreach booth includes information on the urban forest, such as "right tree - right place - right care", invasive pest educational materials and general Arboretum visitor information. Additional event resources available. Additional "celebration" ideas and resources are available at The Morton Arboretum Learn more


Tree Tagging Kits

*(coming Spring 2018) order a Tree Tag Kit.

PDF iconTree Tag Kit Flyer 2017.pdf

Promote understanding and value of trees by highlighting the environmental benefits of individual trees. With our Tree Tag Kits, a class or group can calculate the dollar value of the benefits of a particular tree, bringing awareness of how useful trees are in addition to their beauty.

Depending on the grade level and number of students, this hands-on activity will take approximately 2 to 3 hours and is best done over two days.  Internet access is required. Parts of this activity are best done indoors while other parts require students to be outdoors.

Each kit contains:

  • 11x17 inch weather-resistant tags (made from recycled materials)
  • Lesson plans
  • Arbor Day celebration ideas


Classroom Activities for Arbor Day:

Tree Census Lesson Plans (Middle School Grades 6th-8th)

These lesson plans are based on the science of the Chicago-area Regional Tree Census.

PDF iconTree Census Activities for Middle School

FileTree Census Activities-Student Data Sheets
(Student data sheets are included in the PDF lesson plan, but have also been seperately included as a word document (.doc), so that you can customize them for your individual school site and classroom needs). 

PDF iconTree Identification Resources for Students and Teachers

Plant Trees

  How to Plant A Seedling

PDF iconTree Planting and Mulching.pdf

Grades pre-K through 2


Grades 3 through 5


Grades 6 through 8


Grades 9 through 12


More Resources

Arbor Day Foundation's website provides lots of resources to celebrate Arbor Day including: