Seeking the Wolf Tree, written by Natalie Cleavitt and illustrated by Marjorie Leggitt, is a story for upper elementary students about an adventure two students take through the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. It communicates core ideas related to the nature of science as well as energy flow and cycling of matter in ecosystems, and can serve as an intriguing introduction to a unit on ecology, or read at the beginning of the year and used as a platform for ecological concepts from which to refer back to throughout the school year. Seeking the Wolf Tree is part of the LTER Schoolyard Series of books.
About the Book:
Old-time New England foresters coined the term “wolf tree” for trees they saw as having the ability to “eat” the sun and nutrients and prevent the growth of other trees. Today, however, we understand how wolf trees benefit wildlife. Join Aurora and Orion as they search for a wolf tree in the in the 3,160 hectare Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, looking for such clues as a large trunk, low branches, wildlife activity, and nearby smaller trees.
About the Author and Illustrator:
Natalie Cleavitt is a research associate at Cornell University and vegetation survey coordinator at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. In addition to illustrating many books, Marjorie Leggitt currently teaches botanical illustration at the Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Supplemental Teaching Materials:
- Teaching Packet
- Gallery of student drawn Wolf Trees
- Wolf Tree Illustration Exercise with Checklist
- Water In, Water Out activity with rainfall and stream water data
- Hunt and Peck bird lessons
- Alignment with standards: CCSS and NGSS
Project Learning Tree activities that support and enrich learning around Seeking the Wolf Tree:
- Excellent activities can be found at PLT.org. PLT recommends that you attend a professional development workshop in your area to receive access to the complete curricula in the Pre K-8 Environmental Educational Activity Guide
- See also Focus on NH Forests, a guide that is specific to the state of NH. You can access the family activity lessons for free at: https://www.plt.org/activities-for-families
Learn more about wolf trees!