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)

> Exploring viewpoints and values

5. Movements for Change: activist's stories

What you need:


To research and find out about activists from round the world who have recognised the importance of trees and forests

To reflect on the power of individuals to affect change

What to do

Place the students in 'home' groups of 6. This will be the group they will report back to. The 'home' group are then each given a letter A-F - this will group them for their expert group. Explain that each member of the group is going to find out about an activist and report back to the group. NB The information sheets vary in levels of reading ability.

Pupils should now form their expert groups and begin their research:

The pupils will need to read and discuss the information or research online and find out about their activist. As a group they should then decide what key points they will report back to their home groups. Emphasise that each expert will only have 2 minutes to report salient information back.

Pupils return to their home groups and share what they have found out about the activists. Ensure each expert keeps to their 2 minute limit so that the others in home groups have opportunity to report back and there is time for each expert to answer any questions to clarify.

After everyone has reported in home group, ask each home group to discuss which activist(s) they would most like to meet and why? Share the feedback with the class.

As a class choose the most common activist that the groups would like to meet. Ask each home group to think of three questions they would like to ask of this person. These questions could be used for a hot seating activity with a pupil from the 'expert' group taking on the mantel of the activist and responding to the questions asked by the class.

Teacher Prompts

Reflection and evaluation

All these people were motivated to take action and worked to change things for the better. What do the pupils feel about taking action for change? Do they believe they can change things? This can be explored further in the activity How can I make the world a better place?