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Suzanne Simard, TED


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology

Resource Type

  • Videos, 18 minutes, 10 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America


Downloadable MP4/M4V

How Trees Talk to Each Other

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  • This video is about the interconnectedness of our forests and how trees can communicate with and protect one another through fungal networks in the soil. 
  • Students will learn about the experiments of Suzanne Simard and why her findings should change the way we view forests and trees. 
Teaching Tips


  • It provides solutions to promoting biodiversity and protecting forests, including spending more time in forests, saving old-growth forests, and replanting forests with native species.
  • It includes a timestamped transcript for students who need support following along.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The transcript and closed captioning are offered in 32 languages.
  • There is a short ad before the video.
  • Students might benefit from a discussion about mycorrhizal networks prior to the video.


  • Science classes can summarize the experiment she described and analyze how she concluded that trees were communicating to each other.
  • Biology classes can include this video in lessons about plants, decomposers, fungi, molecular signaling and communication, or ecology.
  • Chemistry classes could use this resource for lessons about the practical applications of isotopes.
  • English language arts classes can practice making a claim with evidence using this video and write a short paper proving that trees can "talk" to each other.
  • Other resources related to these topics include this video about fungi that help plants survive, Mapping the Powerful Impacts of Forests, The Importance of Forests, and What Are Primary Forests and Why Should We Protect Them.
Scientist Notes
Suzanne Simard is an accomplished researcher with many peer-reviewed journal publications. In her TED Talk, she explains how her research showed the interconnections between trees and how they communicate with each other. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • 9-10.RST.8 Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 8.ESS3.4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS.ESS3.1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS.ESS3.4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 7.LS2.4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • 7.LS2.5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Social Sciences
    • Social Science Analysis (K-12)
      • HS.75 Evaluate options for individual and collective actions to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
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