What is a forest?
How do we use forests?
What is happening to our forests?
Forests of the future
This activity works best if pupils can be sat in a circle or away from desks. The best option would be to take the pupil's outside and read the story under a tree.
Ask pupils if they have visited a forest? What was the purpose? (walk / activity, etc.) Why do other people visit forests? Do they know any food that grows in the forest? Are there any other products that forests provide?
Read the story to the pupils. When you have finished hold a discussion on the concept of fairness and sustainability using the teacher prompts below.
In pairs ask half the class to think about what questions they would like to ask the tree and the other half to think about what questions they would like to ask the boy. Give each pair 2 post-its and ask them to write 1 question on each.
Gather the questions from the pupils' and group them by theme. As a group, select 1 question for the tree and 1 question for the boy. As a group, discuss the question and the different responses the boy and the tree might give.
Hold a plenary discussion using some of the reflection points below.
Ask pupils to look around the room at all the things they 'use.' Where do these things come from? Do we use them up or are they renewable? Are they from this country? In the story which things that the boy used were renewable and which were not? Explain that this story is an example of one wood but it can illustrate what is happening to many of our forests across the world.
Encourage the pupils to think back to the Web of Life activity in section 1. What roles can humans play in this web? Do they have a positive role in the web? Are there different roles they can play? In terms of this story, what role are people playing in the web? What are the consequences of this locally / globally?
Pupils can research and share stories or fairy tales which are set in forests or are about trees.
Visit www.treeaid.org for further ideas around writing tree fables – 'Tales from beneath the Baobab'