This outdoor activity encourages students think about the forest structure by comparing it to a house.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will gain knowledge of the structure of a forest.
  • Students will identify the component parts that form the structure of a forest and learn the related terminology for each part of the structure.

Curriculum links

Science: Nature of science

Level 1 and 2

Investigating in science: Extend their experiences and personal explanations of the natural world through exploration, play, asking questions and discussing simple models.

Communicating in science: Build their language and develop their understandings of many ways the natural world can be represented.

Science: Living world

Level 1 and 2

Ecology: Recognise that living things are suited to their particular habitat.

Learning levels

  • Early childhood education
  • Primary


  • Forests and green spaces

Activity instructions

Download the Forest structure activity (PDF, 128K)

Look at the forest you are in now. Does it look a little bit like a house? There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Draw this ‘house’ that you are in and try to use the terms in the glossary below.

  • Canopy: the top layer of a forest
  • Epiphytes and creepers: these grow on the trees
  • Leaf litter: dead leaves, fallen branches
  • Forest floor: the ground part of the forest
  • Trunks of trees: These are the solid wood, tube-like parts of the trees
  • Mid-layer: the plants growing under the canopy layer
  • Roots: These are what trees and plants use to get water and nutrients from the soil up into their shoots and leaves
  • Can you see any windows?
  • What else can you see? 
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