go to the Tree of Life home page

Treehouse Building Lessons

The lessons below were created to support the process of treehouse building, from introducing the Tree of Life, to publishing your treehouse and joining the ToL in building an open access digital library about biodiversity. Feel free to change the order of the lessons to suit your needs. The Treehouse Building Steps page also links to these lessons, and is a good place to have students access lessons and activities. The Building Steps page is also a place where students can gain an overview of the treehouse building process.

  1. Treehouse Building Lesson: Introduction to Learning with the ToL WebQuest
    • To learn with the Tree of Life (the ToL) and become a ToL contributor, it is important to first learn about the ToL. In this WebQuest you will play the role of students and/or biologists who have been invited to become contributors to the ToL and present at the ToL Biodiversity Conference in the Galapagos. In the process of exploring the ToL in this WebQuest you will visit ToL pages to learn about:
      • Different ToL page types, who authors them and how to browse them.
      • Opportunities to contribute ToL pages and media
      • Where to find documentation for contributing
      • The phylogenetic organization of the ToL, and resources for learning about phylogeny
  2. Treehouse Building Lesson Documenting Research
    • This lesson provides an introduction to the process of documenting research, with an explanation and examples of different ways learners can document their research, as well as activities for students to brainstorm, plan and try out different types of documentation.
    • Students can follow instructions in the lesson's Learner Section
  3. Brainstorm and Plan
  4. Treehouse Building Lesson Treehouse Page Design and Content
    • This lesson goes over some basic guidelines for treehouse page design and content. Students examine some treehouse pages that conform to ToL guidelines and others that do not.
    • Students can follow instructions in the lesson's Learner Section
  5. A lesson you can use if students will observe a group of animals:
    Observing and Documenting Behavior in a Group of Animals (non-human)
    • This lesson provides a structured way for learners to engage in the scientific inquiry process as they research and observe an animal (or animals) in the wild or in a captive setting. The lesson is structured so that learners walk through the steps of the research process, first choosing an animal to observe and conducting basic background research, then developing a simple research design to guide them in further observations. Students are required to develop an ethogram (list of behaviors and their definitions and also a data sheet on which they will collect their data. Following their observation period, learners perform simple statistical analysis and interpret their findings by writing several structured paragraphs.

Building Treehouses

ToL Learning


building treehouses

building for teachers

Builders Toolkit

planning guide

treehouse tools

adding images/media

tips & guidelines