A project for Tu Bishvat / Arbor Day / Earth Day in English.

Tu B’Shvat is the New Year for trees. In Israel, Jews plant trees on Tu B’Shvat. Traditions include the eating of nuts and fruits, donating funds to plant trees in Israel, focusing on environmental issues, and holding a Tu Bishvat seder. Tu Bishvat literally means 15 of the Hebrew month of Shevat. Tu B’Shvat began as a tax day for calculating which fruit would be included in the tithe brought to the Temple. Tu Bishvat has taken on the character of a Jewish Earth Day or Arbor Day.

A holiday for trees inspires thought about the human impact on the environment. In this project, students receive a graphic of a tree and are told: “Here is a tree. Make it your own!” Each student chooses a topic for research connected in some way to the umbrella topic of TREES. Each stage of the project is assessed and the final product consists of both a written report and a presentation.


1.    Choose a topic

2.    Write a research question about your topic.

3.    Do research about your topic.

4.    Summarize your material in YOUR OWN WORDS.

5.    Write a letter stating your opinion about your topic.

6.    Present your report orally to your group.

7.    Present your written report and creative presentation


1. Choose a topic

Here are some ideas: family tree, ecology, people resemble trees, families resemble trees, trees in literature (movies, songs, novels, stories, poetry), types of forests, famous forests, famous trees, deforestation, trees in the bible

2. Write a research question.

A research question examines the connection, or effect of one thing/ event/ person on another. It must be interesting, simple, not too broad, and clear

3. Research

Look for information in books, internet, newspapers, or interviews.

4. Summarizing




·         The first sentence of the first paragraph of your summary should state the author’s name, the title of the article and the author’s purpose in writing.

·         Use the present tense when writing about someone else’s work.

·         Write one sentence only for every idea that the author has written.


·         First find the:


1.      main point – What is the most important thing that the author wants the reader to know about the topic?

2.      then the supporting point(s) – What two or three important facts does the author use to convince the reader about the main idea? If the author gives contrasting ideas (advantages and disadvantages of something, or comparing points of view), make sure you write down important facts for both points of view.

3.      and then finally the conclusion

·         Use connectors (eg. because, although, in addition, moreover) to help join the ideas together.

·         Check your spelling and grammar.


5.   Write a letter stating your opinion about something connected to your topic

Click here to see how your letter will be graded

6.   Present your report in your group

Click here to download group report form


Fill in the information about each of the people in your group

  • What was his/her tree topic? ……………………………………………………..
  • What was his/her research question?…………………………………
  • What is this topic important to him/her?………………………………
  • Write 2 interesting details about his/her topic.


7. Presentation.


You must present your project in two ways:

a)     as a written report AND

b)     in a creative way.


    1. Your written report must contain these:


SECTION points
i.        Cover page 3
ii.        Table of contents 2
iii.        Introduction – your research question,
why did you choose the topic and what does it
mean to you
iv.        Your TREE PAGE – download it here.
v.        Body of the project – the summary of the
information you found about your topic.
vi.        Letter stating  opinion. See Writing Scale
vii.        Oral Group Report. SeeReport Form
viii.        Conclusion – What did you learn from
your topic and why is it important?
ix.        Bibliography (books, web sites,
interviews, etc.)
x.          At least one illustration 5



    1. Creative presentation ideas: (100 points)

                                                               i.      art work

                                                             ii.      music

                                                            iii.     powerpoint

                                                          iv.      internet

                                                            v.      poster

                                                          vi.      poetry, story, comic strip

                                                         vii.      play


About orabaumgarten

Workshop Facilitator, ICT Tools for EFL/ESL Teachers
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