Activity 5.1
Once a tree trail

This game is designed to introduce the idea that wood is an incredibly versatile raw material, with many useful properties, as good as/ beyond many other common materials we use, and that the learners may be more familiar with e.g. plastic, pottery, metal.

In the past there was no choice, wood was the most important raw material in historic times for most household items, ships, houses and more – this explains the deforestation of Great Britain long ago. Great

Britain is still the country with least forest cover in Europe (about 12% compared a European average of around 45%). Today, we have a choice and we can make a difference – we can choose items made from wood rather than plastic. With our concerns about climate change it may be that more people will look to wood more, and value it once again as a sustainable, renewable, raw material.

Depending on the items used for this activity, you may be able to make links with woodcraft skills used for generations, and still surviving – some undergoing a revival e.g. basket weaving, hurdle and besom production etc.

Learners will have/be able to:

  • Name a variety of different products made from wood in pre/historic times, today made from other materials
  • Name a variety of different products that we use in our everyday lives that are made from wood, or other parts of trees.
  • Explain the importance of using wood from well–managed sources, and the name of a quality mark denoting this.
  • Suggest some object/s they might consider buying made from local wood, rather than other materials, in the future.
  • Taken part as an individual, in pairs and in groups and expressed their own ideas and feelings


  • Outdoor space
    A woodland with well–defined boundaries for a search exercise, or a pathway
  • Mats with card labels for sorting
    2 – labels once a tree and never a tree
  • Tree related items or items not made from trees
    3 x number of groups – see below
  • Tree products (2 items per group)
    Coffee, balloon, Bounty bar, hockey stick, model wooden furniture, tea–tree soap, aspirin carton, coir mat, paper bag, clothes peg, maple syrup, modal clothing, apple, charcoal, cork, chewing gum, wooden box, book, wooden bowl/plate
  • Item with FSC Quality Kite
    Forestry Commission Tree Trumps cards

    try RHET/FCS to borrow

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