In our area, oaks are probably the most common tree.
I wanted the children to be able to identify an oak, know a little about the importance of oaks in history and to understand about how they shelter other wildlife.
My favourite children's book about oaks is Lord of the Forest by "BB".
Middle Son and I have read this previously but it is rather old for the little ones. Instead, we looked at the pictures and talked about the text regarding the English oak in the Reader's Digest Field guide to the trees and shrubs of Britain. We discussed old houses where the oak beams had previously been part of ships and how oaks have had to be protected. The supply/demand issue caused a fair amount of interest.
Of course, then we had to go to see the oak in the garden and make rubbings of the bark.
There were acorns and leaves to collect for rubbings and drawings.
While the children drew, I read aloud The secret life of trees
and Sara Coleridge's poem Trees
The Oak is called the King of Trees,
The Aspen quivers in the breeze,
The Poplar grows up straight and tall,
The Pear tree spreads along the wall,
The Sycamore gives pleasant shade,
The Willow droops in watery glade,
The Fir tree useful timber gives,
The Beech amid the forest lives.
Perhaps next, to go and identify these trees-most we can find easily, although I'm not so sure about the aspen or poplar.
This literature based approach to nature study seems to be working for us and is so easy. I'm using books that we already have. Equivalents are easily obtainable at the library.