Educator Resources

Lesson Plans

Kids and adults learn so much through experiences and hands-on activities. Virginia Department of Forestry provides a number of forestry and natural resources lesson plans for educators.

Read more about activities and lesson plans available.

Find some fun and educational activities for kids and families.

Field Trips

If you’re interested in natural resource field trips or group field tours, contact your local VDOF forester.

If you’re in the southwest part of the state, explore our Matthews State Forest Education Center.

Professional Development

A variety of professional development opportunities are available for educators.

Read more about professional development for educators.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree is a national program offering many professional development opportunities and educator resources in forestry and natural resources.

Read more about Project Learning Tree.

Self-Directed Learning

Virginia Department of Forestry offers many informational publications and educational resources on a variety of subjects for self-learning. Browse our Resource Library below.

View or get your own VDOF  Tree Identification book.


Additional Resources

ImageTitleIDDescriptionContent Typedocument-category_hfilterMedia_hfilter
A Tree for Me
A Tree for Me

Get to know details about a single tree.

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Camp Woods & Wildlife Nomination Form
Camp Woods & Wildlife Nomination Form13.05Viewpublic-informationform
Camp Woods & Wildlife Nomination Form
Camp Woods & Wildlife Nomination Form13.05

PDF format

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Camp Woods and Wildlife Annual Report 2019
Camp Woods and Wildlife Annual Report 2019

Report is published each year following camp and provides the highlights of camp, staff, programs, sponsors, budget summary and announcement of dates for the following year’s camp.

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Camp Woods and Wildlife Postcard Advertising Camp
Camp Woods and Wildlife Postcard Advertising Camp

Camp Woods and Wildlife is typically held each year, normally in June. Printed copies available.

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Common Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of Virginia
Common Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of VirginiaP00027

Identification book is a favorite of teachers, Scout leaders and outdoor enthusiasts. Book features descriptions, line drawings and an identification key to the most common native Virginia shrubs and woody vines. It also contains hints for effective plant identification, invasive species threats, and more. Printed copies available for sale.

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Common Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of Virginia (2-page-spread)
Common Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of Virginia (2-page-spread)P00027

Identification book is a favorite of teachers, Scout leaders and outdoor enthusiasts. Book features descriptions, line drawings and an identification key to the most common native Virginia shrubs and woody vines. It also contains hints for effective plant identification, invasive species threats, and more. Printed copies available for sale.

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Could I Live Here?
Could I Live Here?

Explore wildlife habitat requirements on the forest.

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Enjoy Nature Near You in Fall
Enjoy Nature Near You in FallF00003

Family fun activity sheet provides activities to get young people outdoors in nature, including leaf art, find it, family tree, treasure box, and staying safe when out in nature during fall. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Enjoy Nature Near You in Spring
Enjoy Nature Near You in SpringF00001

Family fun activity sheet provides activities to get young people outdoors in nature, including paint by nature, where does water go, family tree, bird nest building, and staying safe when out in nature during spring. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Enjoy Nature Near You in Summer
Enjoy Nature Near You in SummerF00002

Family fun activity sheet provides activities to get young people outdoors in nature, including color walk, butterfly feeder, family tree, quiet time, and staying safe when out in nature during summer. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Enjoy Nature Near You in Winter
Enjoy Nature Near You in WinterF00004

Family fun activity sheet provides activities to get young people outdoors in nature, including bird cookies, feeder watching, family tree, bark rubbings, and staying safe when out in nature during winter. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Forestry in Virginia
Forest Facts: Forestry in VirginiaF00010

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrated overview of forestry in Virginia, what is forestry, how does forestry help Virginia, what are working forests and why do we need them, what does a forester do, why do we cut down trees, will we run out of trees, and what can I do to help save our forests. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Forestry in Virginia - Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: Forestry in Virginia – Crossword PuzzleF00010A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts Forestry in Virignia publication.

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Forest Facts: How A Tree Grows
Forest Facts: How A Tree GrowsF00005

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrated explanation of how a tree grows, including starting from a seed; how trees grow up, down and out; and tree rings. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: How A Tree Grows - Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: How A Tree Grows – Crossword PuzzleF00005A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts How a Tree Grows publication.

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Forest Facts: Identifying Trees
Forest Facts: Identifying TreesF00008

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrated explanation of the key methods for identifying tree species, what defines a tree, identifying features, leaf characteristics, bark characteristics, and other tips for identifying trees. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Identifying Trees - Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: Identifying Trees – Crossword PuzzleF00008A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts Identifying Trees publication.

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Forest Facts: Trees and Wildlife
Forest Facts: Trees and WildlifeF00012

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrated explanation of the importance of trees to wildlife, how trees provide home sweet habitat, how to improve wildlife habitat at home, and how the wildlife changes as the forest changes through forest succession. Target audience: Youth – elementary age Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Trees and Wildlife - Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: Trees and Wildlife – Crossword PuzzleF00012A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts Trees and Wildlife publication.

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Forest Facts: Trees Protect Water
Forest Facts: Trees Protect WaterF00007

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrated explanation of how trees help to protect our water, understand a tree’s relationship to the land and water, understanding watersheds, the Chesapeake Bay watershed, how trees protect watersheds, the riparian zone, and how you can help by planting trees. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Trees Protect Water - Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: Trees Protect Water – Crossword PuzzleF00007A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts Trees Protect Water publication.

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Forest Facts: Virginia in the Fall
Forest Facts: Virginia in the FallF00009

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrated explanation of the science of leaves changing colors, the role of pigments, effects of the calendar and weather, why these changes occur, and fall leaf identification information. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Virginia in the Fall - Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: Virginia in the Fall – Crossword PuzzleF00009A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts Virginia in the Fall publication.

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Forest Facts: Virginia's Alien Invaders
Forest Facts: Virginia’s Alien InvadersF00011

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrator explanation of non-native insects and plants, including how a definition of native or non-native, upsetting the balance, how they spread, how we can stop them, and Virginia’s least wanted species. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Virginia's Alien Invaders Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: Virginia’s Alien Invaders Crossword PuzzleF00011A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts Virginia’s Alien Invaders publication.

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Forest Facts: Why We Need Trees
Forest Facts: Why We Need TreesF00006

Forest facts information sheet provides an illustrated explanation of just why we need trees, trees are beautiful, provide wildlife habitat, clean the water, give us products, produce oxygen, clear the air, save energy and money, and the loss of trees that is occurring. Target audience: Youth – elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Forest Facts: Why We Need Trees - Crossword Puzzle
Forest Facts: Why We Need Trees – Crossword PuzzleF00006A

Crossword puzzle tests knowledge learned from the Forest facts Why We Need Trees publication.

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Forest Sense
Forest Sense

Use the senses to discover and describe the forest.

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Forest Succession
Forest Succession

Understand the process of plant succession in forests.

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Forest Types Background
Forest Types Background

Descriptions and background information on forest types.

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Forest Types Glossary
Forest Types Glossary

Supplemental glossary for forest types lessons

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Forest Types Map
Forest Types Map

Virginia map showing coverage of forest types

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Forest Types Photos
Forest Types Photos

Photos of Virginia’s major forest types

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Forest Types Series Overview
Forest Types Series Overview

See a list of lessons in the forest types series.

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Going, Going, Gone
Going, Going, Gone

Research forest types that are now uncommon in Virginia.

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Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2015
Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2015

Report is published each year following camp and provides the highlights of camp, staff, programs, sponsors, budget summary and announcement of dates for the following year’s camp.

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Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2016
Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2016

Report is published each year following camp and provides the highlights of camp, staff, programs, sponsors, budget summary and announcement of dates for the following year’s camp.

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Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2017
Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2017

Report is published each year following camp and provides the highlights of camp, staff, programs, sponsors, budget summary and announcement of dates for the following year’s camp.

Vieweducation public-informationpublication
Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2018
Holiday Lake Forestry Camp Annual Report 2018

Report is published each year following camp and provides the highlights of camp, staff, programs, sponsors, budget summary and announcement of dates for the following year’s camp.

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ID That Tree - Central Virginia
ID That Tree – Central Virginia

Identify trees of central Virginia.

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ID That Tree - Conway-Robinson & Whitney State Forests
ID That Tree – Conway-Robinson & Whitney State Forests

Identify trees of northern Virginia.

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ID That Tree - Matthews State Forest
ID That Tree – Matthews State Forest

Identify trees of western Virginia.

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ID That Tree - Zoar State Forest
ID That Tree – Zoar State Forest

Identify trees of eastern Virginia.

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Let's Learn About Trees Coloring Book
Let’s Learn About Trees Coloring BookP00215

Coloring book teaches children about the value of trees while through the fun activity of coloring. Target audience: Youth – preschool and young elementary age. Printed copies available.

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Measuring Up
Measuring Up

Use several methods to measure tree height and diameter.

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Pests Gone Wild
Pests Gone Wild

Learn about invasive species that impact forests and explore solutions.

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Plots and Plans
Plots and Plans

Collect data about features of a forest plot.

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Soils and Forests
Soils and Forests

Explore the role of soils in determining forest type.

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Success(ion) Stories
Success(ion) Stories

Learn about plant succession in a typical Virginia forest.

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The Future Forest
The Future Forest

Observe regeneration to predict the future makeup of a forest.

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The Hidden Forest
The Hidden Forest

Learn about the value of urban forests.

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Threats to Forests
Threats to Forests

Understand threats to Virginia’s forests.

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Tree Photo Cards
Tree Photo Cards

Photos of trees from the identification keys in this lesson series.

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Tree Trunk - Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest
Tree Trunk – Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest

Forest information for Appomattox-Buckingham Tree Trunk

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Tree Trunk - Conway-Robinson State Forest
Tree Trunk – Conway-Robinson State Forest

Forest information for Conway-Robinson Tree Trunk

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Tree Trunk - Cumberland State Forest
Tree Trunk – Cumberland State Forest

Forest Information for Cumberland Tree Trunk

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Tree Trunk - Matthews State Forest
Tree Trunk – Matthews State Forest

Forest information for Matthews Tree Trunk

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Tree Trunk - Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest
Tree Trunk – Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest

Forest Information for Prince Edward-Gallion Tree Trunk

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Tree Trunk - Whitney State Forest
Tree Trunk – Whitney State Forest

Forest Information for Whitney Tree Trunk

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Tree Trunk - Zoar State Forest
Tree Trunk – Zoar State Forest

Forest Information for Zoar Tree Trunk

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Tree Trunk Activity Overview
Tree Trunk Activity Overview

List and brief descriptions of lesson plans in the State Forest Tree Trunks series

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Virginia Forest Cover Types - Poster
Virginia Forest Cover Types – Poster

Poster maps the various forest types in Virginia and is 24 in. x 36 in. Printed copies available.

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What Grows Where
What Grows Where

Determine why forest types vary from place to place.

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What Would You Do?
What Would You Do?

Make decisions about forest management.

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Wildlife in the Forest
Wildlife in the Forest

Explore wildlife habitat requirements.

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Wood Magic - A wood science curriculum for 14 to 18 year olds.
Wood Magic – A wood science curriculum for 14 to 18 year olds.

Wood science activities provided by Virginia Cooperative Extension for 14-18 year olds.

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Wood Magic - A wood science curriculum for 9 to 11 year olds.
Wood Magic – A wood science curriculum for 9 to 11 year olds.

Wood science activities provided by Virginia Cooperative Extension for 9-11 year olds.

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Contact Us

If you’re interested in a local group educational program, contact your local VDOF forester.

For more information or questions, e-mail us or use our contact form.