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Age Range: 5-7
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • Science

The Difference Between Deciduous and Evergreen Trees

Understanding the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees

In this fun science activity for kids, learners will be shown the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees, in terms of their foliage and changes across the seasons. The difference will be reinforced by comparison with behaviours relating to the wearing of clothing.

Trees and their leaves are an important part of our natural environment. Can you use your science knowledge to better understand them and the environment around us?

Activity: The Difference Between Deciduous and Evergreen Trees

In this activity students will learn about the differences between deciduous and evergreen trees. This exercise could also include the creation of a ‘class tree’ where learners write their names on leaves and attach them to a paper representation of a tree on a noticeboard.

This is one of a set of free STEM resources developed to support the teaching of the primary national curriculum. They are designed to support the delivery of key topics within maths and science. This resource focuses on understanding the difference between different types of trees.

This activity could be used as a main lesson activity. It could also be used as one of several activities within a wider scheme of learning focusing on the use of science to understand the natural environment.

Understanding of seasonal variations can be reinforced by comparing the foliage to clothing, where the leaves are like the clothes worn by trees. Evergreen (softwood) trees keep their green clothing all year. Deciduous (hardwood) trees lose their coats in winter.

How long will this activity take?

This activity will take approximately 30 – 50 minutes to complete.

Tools/resources required

  • Projector
  • Noticeboard with ‘tree’ structure assembled from strips of brown sugar paper
  • Paper for learner leaves
  • Safety scissors (unless leaves are pre-cut)

What is the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees?

Deciduous trees lose their leaves in autumn. Evergreen trees, on the other hand, keep their needles (or pines) all year. Deciduous and evergreen are the terms used in the national curriculum, but some learners may find hardwood and softwood easier.

Hardwoods come from deciduous trees and softwoods come from evergreen/coniferous trees. These terms are just types of wood and not the properties of the wood – hardwoods are not necessarily hard (balsa is soft enough that it can be marked using a thumbnail) and softwoods are not necessarily soft (parana pine is used to make wooden stairs).

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity students will be able to state the differences between a deciduous and an evergreen tree and they will be able to describe how a deciduous tree changes with the seasons.

Download the free The Difference Between Deciduous and Evergreen Trees activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.

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