Wood Lesson for Kids: Facts & Uses

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  • 0:04 What Is Wood?
  • 0:53 Types of Wood
  • 1:54 Uses of Wood
  • 2:33 Fun Facts About Wood
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

'Woodn't' you know - wood is one of the most widely used materials in the world. Learn what wood is, explore different types and uses of wood, and find out some interesting, fun facts in this lesson.

What Is Wood?

Say this three times fast: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? This is a super fun tongue twister and leads us to our topic: wood.

Wood is an organic material, meaning it comes from nature. Specifically, the part of nature that wood comes from is the trunks and branches of trees. If you cut through the trunk of a tree, there are several rings that tell you how old the wood is. The more rings the tree has, the older the wood; kind of like the more wrinkles a person has, the older the person (just kidding!).

Wood is made up of different cells; they're either living, dying or dead. These cells make up two things: the cellulose and the lignin. The cellulose are tiny fibers, and the lignin is the glue that holds the fibers together.

Types of Wood

Did you know that there are more than 23,000 types of trees? This means that there are at least 23,000 types of wood. These different types can be categorized into two groups: hardwood and softwood.

No, this doesn't mean that some woods are hard, and some woods are soft. While most softwoods are softer, that isn't always the case. In fact, the softest wood in the world is balsa, but it's a hardwood. The categorization is a bit more complex than that because it depends on the physical makeup of the wood.

Hardwoods come from flowering plants, like walnut, maple and oak trees. They have pores, or tiny vessels, that are used to transport water. The pores can only be seen under a microscope. Hardwoods are typically more expensive and are normally darker than softwoods.

Softwoods come from non-flowering plants, like spruce, pine, or fir trees. They are more commonly used to build things since they account for around 80% of timber production. This is because they're easier to work with and less expensive.

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