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Seeing the Forest Through the Trees (and Underneath, Too!)

In an earlier post, we learned how different rainforest trees and plants are used to make all kinds of helpful products that people depend on. But did you know that there are lots of plants that also play an important part in people's lives that might grow where you live?

This week, let's take a walk with Liam and learn more:

Like the rain forest, the temperate forest is rich with biodiversity. “Biodiversity” means there are lots of different types of living things that thrive there.  Many plants and animals that live where trees grow can be very helpful to people. Chocolate, rubber, and delicious fruits are only a few useful items that come from the rain forest.

The forest habitat, too, is an important resource. Edible plants and fruits, such as wild onions, apples, and berries, grow there. Sap harvested from maple trees can be turned into sweet maple syrup. Many medicines are made from ingredients that come from trees.

Rainforest Temperate forest Trees Plants - Science Blog for Kids
On a walk through the woods, you might think you’re just looking at trees. But when you take the time to look closer, it turns out that the forest is full of useful things that human beings have come to enjoy and rely on.

In this one quick snapshot of the forest floor, there are three useful plants: a blueberry bush that will produce nutritious berries; a maple tree sapling that will some day produce sap to be made into syrup; and a wintergreen plant, which is used as a flavoring in many foods.

Something to Think About:  Take a walk around where you live. What plants or trees can you find that people use in some way? Do some research online to find out more about other plants and trees in different parts of the world that people use.

Look further:  Mother Nature Network, "Ten Remarkably Useful Plants," Mongo Bay, "Medicinal Plants of the Rainforest"

Liam Mahoney Photographer
Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 4: Chapter 1, Lessons 1-3, Grades K-5

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