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

8. Forest clearance past and present – whose forests? Part 2

What you need:


To explore the history of forest coverage in Scotland and in the Congo Basin rainforest

To consider the causes and consequences of forest clearance past and present

To understand the different ways 'development' can impact on stakeholders

To reflect on the sustainability of different types of development within forests

What to do

Activity: African Rainforest Development game

Divide the class into 6 groups. Each group will represent a forest user and pupils will have to present their viewpoint in a discussion. Give them all a role card. Set the scene: You live in a fictitious African country which has a great natural resource; a rainforest (give the country a name). Your country is very poor and owes lots of money to the International Bank. The government has put forward the following proposal to develop the forest.

Forest development proposal

A large area of rainforest will be developed to provide jobs and prosperity for the people in this country. New roads will be built. Logging companies will clear the forests. The land will be turned into farms. Mining companies will search for oil, coal and minerals. This plan will bring jobs, money, schools and hospitals to the people of the forest.

Give each group time to discuss their role and come to an agreement on their view of the forest development proposal and prepare their reasons for this viewpoint (in role). They must nominate a representative in each group who will be their spokesperson.

Invite each representative to introduce the group they represent and present their opinion about the proposed development.

Invite any other members of the class to share their viewpoint or to ask questions.

Can the whole class come to a consensus as to how the forest proposal might be changed so that it accommodates everyone's viewpoint?

After the activity is complete hold a plenary discussion using the teacher prompts below.

Teacher prompts

Reflection and evaluation

Repeat the pre-activity around the 2 statements:

Have their views changed? What has changed? Why?

In Scotland did we use our natural resources in a sustainable way in the past?