Teacher's notes


How to use this resource...

Our Forest, Our Future helps teachers and pupils to explore the interdependence of people and forests and the vital role forests play in sustaining our environment – in the past, the present and hopefully the future.

The Scots Pine forests in Scotland and the Congo Basin rainforest in Africa provide case studies through which pupils will begin to understand why our forests are under threat and the implications for our planet. Further information about these forests is provided in the following documents.

In making connections between consumerism, people and the environment, pupils will be encouraged to see how they and their actions have an impact on the lives of others globally. It encourages reflection on the possible futures of the world's forests and ways of taking positive actions for a future where people and forests co-exist in a sustainable way.

The resource is structured around a global citizenship framework devised by Oxfam.

Learning framework

More detail on the framework can be found in Global Learning Framework [pdf]

The reflection and evaluation sections in each activity support formative assessment and ongoing monitoring of pupils learning.

Additional assessment opportunities are indicated by... Assessment

Outdoor learning opportunities are indicated by... Outddor learning

Homework activities are indicated by... Homework

Active global citizens


Taking Action for Change

Education for Global Citizenship is committed to enabling pupils to bring about positive actions for change either locally or globally. This process should support pupils to make their own informed choices through a critical evaluation of the options open to them and the possible implications of those choices.

Throughout the resource there are ideas for possible actions, such as reflecting on our power as consumers, peer education and tree planting. Your pupils themselves should be encouraged to think creatively about the many actions they could take, critically evaluate the impact these actions might have and then evaluate what they have done.

The materials below support your pupils through this process.

Which action? [pdf]

How did it go? [pdf]

Our forest our future

Section 1

What is a forest?

1. What are forests like?

2. How are you connected to the forest?

3. Where are the world's rainforests?

4. Exploring the Scots Pine forest and the Congo Basin rainforest

5. Animals and plants in a Scots pine forest

6. The web of life in a Scots pine forest

7. Animals and plants in the Congo Basin rainforest

8. Comparing the Scots pine forest and the Congo Basin rainforest

9. Of forests and Men

10. What is your opinion about the world's forests?

Section 2

How do we use forests?

1. The Guardian of the forest

2. What is 'Sustainable development'?

3. How do we use the world's forests?

4. Scottish forests in the past

5. A history of two forests

6. Needs and Wants

7. Forest clearance past and present part 1

8. Forest clearance past and present part 2

9. Congo Basin rainforest: exploring the reasons for forest clearance

10. Baka community lifestyle

11. Whose forest?

12. Wood survey

13. Where does our wood come from?

Section 3

What is happening to our forests?

1. Why are our forests being cleared?

2. Exploring issues: an enquiry approach?

3. Consumer power

4. A world without rainforests

5. Roads into the forest

6. How can I make the world a better place?

7. How do they feel?

Section 4

Forests of the future

1. Probable and preferable futures

2. Forests of the future

3. Future generations: what are their rights?

4. Trees mean life and other stories of tree regeneration

5. Movements for change: activists' stories

6. What is the best way to protect the environment? (RISC)

> Making connections

4. Scottish forests in the past

What you need:

Activity A

Activity B


To examine what people's homes would have looked like from the Bronze to Middle Ages.

To explore some of the everyday uses of the forest in Scotland's past

To compare these uses to the way forests are used today

What to do

Activity A

Give out a copy of the worksheet to each group. Explain that the picture shows the type of house that was in used in the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland from the Bronze Age through to the Middle Ages.

Discuss with the class firstly what they can see in the picture. In pairs, ask them to discuss what they want to know about the picture. Each pair should note down three or four questions.

Share the questions with the group and write them up on the board or flip chart. Group similar questions together. Allow pupils one minute to discuss the questions and see if they can provide any answers.

If the class still have unanswered questions you could set a homework task for them to try and find out the answers to one or two of the questions.

Activity B

Pupils will now think about how the forest might have been used by a Scottish ancestor using a think-pair-share activity.

Read out the instructions to the class at each stage of the think-pair-share.

THINK – Think, by yourself for one minute, of as many ways as you can how a Scottish ancestor a thousand years ago might have used Scottish woodland to meet their needs.

PAIR - Work together with the person next to you, sharing ideas, discussing, clarifying and challenging. If there are any duplicates try to think of another way the forest might have been used.

SHARE - Share your ideas with another pair and finalise a list of ways the people used the forest. Write down on a sheet of paper all your ideas so you are prepared to feedback to the class.

As a class each group offers an idea of how the forest might have been used by people, keep going round the class group by group and see how many times you can make it around the whole class. When a group can no longer answer, any groups that still have ideas left can share those in turn.

Teacher prompts

Reflection and evaluation

Further ideas

See Wolf Brother's Wildwoods – imaging Mesolithic life in Scotland's forests and woodlands for further ideas on exploring this history with an outdoor learning approach. This resources is available to download www.foresteducation.org/images/uploads/fcms123.pdf