Jump to Navigation

Kansas Kaleidoscope - April/May 2008

Real People. Real Stories. For kids!

Kansas Kaleidoscope, April/May 2008 Tree-mendous Trees!

Have you ever thought about how important trees are to our world? If we didn't have trees, where would birds build their nests? What would we burn in our fireplaces?

For Parents and Teachers:

With this issue we hope students will learn that trees have always been a very important natural resource for our state. This issue highlights the fourth grade geography standard: Benchmark 5, Indicator 1, students examine natural resource challenges and ways people have developed solutions as they use renewable and nonrenewable resources. Also addressed is the fifth grade science standard: Benchmark 2, students will understand the impact of human activity on resources and environment.



Countdown to Statehood

The 150th anniversary of Kansas becoming a territory took place in 2004. Kansans celebrated this milestone by planting a tree in all of its 105 counties. Each county chose a special location for their tree. Find out about your county's tree!

Have you thanked a tree lately?

It is easy to take trees for granted. After all, what do they do besides stand around and look nice? Trees have many jobs that are very important to you, me, and everyone else on the planet.




got trees?

Many early settlers came to Kansas from eastern states such as Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana where the land was covered with trees. They were used to having trees for building homes, for cooking and heating, and to shade them from the hot sun. the open Kansas prairie provided a challenge.

What is Brown and Green and Named "Orange?"

The answer is the Osage orange tree. These trees have a long history in Kansas. American Indians used the branches of Osage orange trees to make bows. These popular bows were important trade items among tribes.

The Kansas State Tree

Cottonwood trees have played an important role in Kansas since the beginning. Yesterday's pioneers used them to build log cabins on the Kansas prairie. Today, families picnic under their shade. For generations cottonwoods have helped make life better in Kansas.

The Capitol Cottonwood Mystery

An old cottonwood tree stood on the south lawn of the State Capitol grounds in Topeka for many years. Presidents Harrison, McKinley and Taft and Vice President Charles Curtis were said to have stood in the shade of the tree's branches as they gave speeches to Kansans.

A Slice in Time

Many types of trees can live to be more than 100 years old. In fact, there are giant trees in California called Sequoias that may be 3,000 years old!

Happy Arbor Day

Arbor Day was created in Nebraska in 1872. Our neighbors to the north needed trees for the same reasons early Kansas needed trees: for shade, shelter, fuel, beauty, and fruits.

In This Issue:

  • Trees are Terrific
  • Countdown to Statehood
  • On the Cover
  • For Parents and Teachers
  • Have You thanks a Tree Lately?
  • How Much Do We Depend on Trees?
  • Got Trees?
  • Visit History
  • The Kansas State Tree
  • The Capitol Cottonwood Mystery
  • What is Brown and Green and Named "Orange?"
  • More Famous Kansas Trees
  • A Slice of Time
  • History Lab
  • Terrific Trees Word Search
  • Happy Arbor Day
  • Kaleidoscope Challenge
  • Answers
  • Bee a Winner!
  • Book Nook

Teacher Supplement