Resource 4: Big tree

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

Ghana's Big Tree

Adapted from: Fauna Flora, Website

The “Big Tree”, which is one of the most attractive tourist spots in the country, is located in one of the district’s nine forest reserves, called the Esen Epan Forest Reserve, about 22 kilometres from Akim Oda on the Oda – Agona Swedru trunk road. The tree, believed to be the biggest in West Africa, is 12 metres in circumference and 66.5 metres tall.

The district’s nine forest reserves are good for game and wildlife parks, souvenir shops and the like. Areas around the “Big Tree”, which is already a prime tourist attraction, can be complemented with good access road, eating and relaxation places, souvenir shops and other such things The beautiful sceneries along he banks of the Birim River are also good for the development of camps and chalets, particularly, areas around Oda Secondary School.

The height of the Big Tree

Remind your pupils that the height of the tree is 66.5 m. Ask them:

‘Do you think if all the pupils here were to balance on each other’s heads you would eventually reach to the top of this tree?

That would not be easy and so what else can we do? Yes, we could try lying down instead.

Let’s do that.’

Ask about ten pupils to lie down and ask another pupil to measure and see if that is enough.

Now ask: How many pupils do you think it will take?

Add more pupils until how many it takes to make 66.5 m is reached.

Finally, ask someone to describe how tall the Big Tree is.

The circumference of the Big Tree

We are told that the circumference of the tree is 12 m. That means that if you wanted to tie a string around this tree, you would need to go to where the tree is growing and use a string12 m long. This is probably not possible, but you could try measuring a local tree for pupils to practise.

How many pupils do you think it would take if you wanted to make a ring around the tree, with fingers touching? Try it by getting one pupil to measure 12 m. Then form a circle and count the pupils – this will give you an idea of the circumference of the tree.

Now try these questions with your group (you could ask them before the exercise and then get them to check their answers after)

1. Before this activity I thought 66.5m was:

  • As tall as my school building
  • As tall as a mountain
  • As high as a tall tree
  • As tall as a telephone tower
  • Hadn’t thought about it

2. It would take the following number of classmates to make a ring around the “Big Tree”:

  • At least 7
  • At least 6
  • At least 5
  • At least 4
  • At least 3

3. 1m in length is approximately:

  • The span from the tip of an average person’s nose to their fingers.
  • The height of an average person
  • The length of a small table
  • The height of a cow

Resource 3: Questions on length