What is a forest?
How do we use forests?
What is happening to our forests?
Forests of the future
Explain to the class that forests all over the world are being cleared for many reasons. Ask the class if they know any reasons why forests are being cleared? Put the ideas on the board.
Show the class the PowerPoint about forest clearance. Ask the class if they were surprised by what they saw? What do they think about it? How did it make them feel?
In pairs, pupils should make a list of all the products of forest clearance. The pupils are now going to investigate whether they can find any of these products in school or at home. Key things to look for are palm oil (found in hundreds of food products), wood (can they find out the type of wood and where it came from?), coltan (in all mobile phones and touchscreen technology), leather (a by-product from cattle) and gold (in most laptops).
Pupils can create a table showing the products that they use which are connected to forests around the world. They could also identify these places on a map and create a pictorial representation of where products come from.
Hold a plenary session and discuss how pupils feel about what they have found out. How does it make them feel? Is there anything thing they can do about what is happening?
Pupils might be surprised to find that they are linked to the clearance of forests in other countries. The following websites can support further exploration of trade links which illustrate our global interdependence:
Pupils can create an issues tree to demonstrate their learning. The trunk is the issue of 'forest clearance', the roots are the reasons for forest clearance, the branches are the effects of forest clearance and the leaves are possible solutions to the problems. Further work on thinking about the future of forests will be looked at in the final section. Pupils can add to their trees once they have completed that section – particularly around the solutions. Pupils also might want to think about local and global aspects of the tree.