Fifth Grade, Lesson 3: Deforestation

Fifth Grade, Lesson 3: Deforestation

Concept 

One element of a complex ecosystem may provide essential components to the survival of many species of plants and animals.

Essential Question 

How can the clearing of trees destroy a community?

Step 1 -- Connect (The Concept to Prior Knowledge)

Step 1

Challenge

Students will identify and connect with the benefits of trees.

Procedure

  1. As a class, brainstorm the relationship between trees and humans.
    1. How do we benefit from trees?
    2. How do they benefit from us?
  2. Discuss oxygen/CO2 exchange, soil stabilization and protection from erosion, animal habitat, shade, medicine from the rainforest, etc.
     

Step 2 -- Literature/Discuss (Give Expert Information Book; Ask Questions)

Challenge

Students will be challenged with opposing viewpoints of the relationship and attitudes between humans and the forest.

Materials

- Book: The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

Procedure

  1. Read The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss.
  2. Discuss the two main characters. Explore student’s thoughts and reactions to what these characters represent in our society.

Step 3A -- Practice (Math and Learning Centers)

Challenge

Students will use their knowledge of the forest to predict a deforestation scenario.

Materials

- Paper, pencils

Procedure

  1. Students will create a story that shows what they think would happen if all the trees were cut down in their neighborhood.
    1. Who would be affected?
    2. What changes would occur? And so on...
  2. Students will act out their stories for the class and/or for the whole school.
     

Step 3B -- Create (Performance Tasks Related to Standard Indicators)

Challenge

Students will organize a community tree planting day.

Procedure

  1. Have students pretend they have replanted a forest that was cut down for coffee production. Predict how long it would take to look like a forest again.
  2. Students will organize a community tree planting day.
  3. Students will monitor the growth of their trees throughout the year.

Step 4 -- Present (Edit Work/Students Present Projects)

Challenge

Students will put on an open house to present their service project to the community.

Materials

- Recycled or Forest Stewardship Council-Certified paper

Procedure

Students will make and distribute invitations, on recycled or tree-free paper, for an open house where they will describe to the community their goals and objectives of their tree planting service project.

The Rainforest Alliance curricula is unique in that it teaches language arts, math, science, social studies and the arts while addressing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics. Our multidisciplinary curricula present information on forests, biodiversity, local communities and sustainable practices. Lessons provide a global perspective on the importance of protecting the world's natural resources, locally and globally, while giving students opportunities for direct action.

To help teachers seamlessly integrate our resources into their lesson plans, we have correlated our kindergarten through 8th grade and climate curriculum guides to the Common Core State Standards for both English language arts and mathematics. Please feel free to use these correlations to help guide you through these lessons, as well to help you identify extensions and adaptations to advance your work.

The Rainforest Alliance can help your school district incorporate local standards and closely align our curricula with the educational mandates in your region.

In addition to the above standards, the education program seeks to advance alignment opportunities with the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development; National Education for Sustainability (K-12) Student Learning Standards.

For any further inquiries, please contact us at education@ra.org.

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