Be a Bark Detective | CMSMatHome

Learn how to be a bark detective from the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota

Today, let’s take a walk in our neighborhood as we become bark detectives. Some trees will have thin bark that peels, while others have thick, cracked bark. Some will be smooth. There might be hole or a foreign object embedded into a tree, with bark growing around it. Has any tree been pecked away by a woodpecker?

Take some paper, chalk, or crayons on your walk. Press the paper against the bark and firmly rub over it with your crayon or chalk. Take your nature art home and create a collage!

Further Your Exploration

  • Look at your bark rubbings. Can you identify the trees?
  • Create your own collage: Cut your tree rubbings into different tree shapes, glue them onto paper, and add leaves or canopies that you’ll draw on, or cut from colored paper.
  • Pick two or three trees to take your rubbings from and check on them weekly. Add information about these trees to a nature journal. When did these trees form buds? When did the leaves emerge? What color are the leaves and bark? Press and dry some leaves, and watch your trees as they change with the seasons.

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