Deforestation/Solutions/Teacher Notes

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Module Six Objectives

By the end of this module the learners should be able to:

  • Identify ways in which deforestation can be combated.
  • Implement and evaluate a plan to combat deforestation in their community.
  • Draft, write, edit, proofread and publish an information report.
  • Advice and guide peers on their writing process.

Time allocation

This module is estimated to take between 6.25 and 7 hours of learner time.

Introductory Activity

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The learners are given the opportunity to create their own questions. If they get stuck, here are some that they could use.

  • I wonder if anyone lives around here?
  • I wonder what animals I would hear if I were here?
  • I wonder what this place would look like in five or ten years?

How You Can Help

Simple Tips to Help Create a Beautiful World

  1. Take shorter showers and don’t let the water run while you shampoo or condition your hair.
  2. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
  3. Use re-usable cloth bags for shopping. If you own a vehicle keep a supply of bags in your car.
  4. Use rechargeable rather than disposable batteries.
  5. Turn off all lights and electronic equipment when not in use.
  6. Use rags or hand towels instead of paper towels or napkins.
  7. Avoid disposable plates, cups and utensils.
  8. Do not buy pre-packaged fruit and vegetables, instead purchase loose fruit and vegetables.
  9. Spend less time in front of the television and aim to read more.
  10. Recycle paper products (newspaper, office paper, cardboard, etc.) as well as aluminium, glass, tin, steel, plastic, batteries and more.
  11. Use non-toxic, environment-friendly products for cleaning.
  12. Use re-usable containers to store food in your refrigerator, rather than wrapping food in toxic and environment-unfriendly products such as aluminium (tin) foil or plastic wrap. Try to avoid using Zip-Loc (c) bags, but if you cannot do so, wash and re-use them.
  13. Mend and repair, rather than discard and replace.
  14. Pick up litter when you walk, and support litter pick-up days in your neighbourhood.
  15. Dispose of food scraps, yard trimmings and weeds by starting a compost bin or pit in your backyard. Use the decomposed contents (compost) as mulch for plants, vegetables, etc.
  16. If your family celebrates Christmas, buy a living Christmas tree, and plant it somewhere after the Christmas season.
  17. Plant trees in your garden and community.
  18. Avoid using a tumble dryer and instead hang your clothes out to dry whenever possible.
  19. Before you throw plastic bottle holders/packaging into the garbage, make sure you cut each circle with scissors to prevent animals from becoming trapped in these "loops".
  20. Put plastic bottles filled with water and rocks (for weight) in your toilet tank to conserve water each time you flush. If you have a toilet that has a half-flush facility, then use this whenever possible.
  21. Try to find alternative means of transportation as often as possible to conserve gas, and decrease air pollution, or car-pool wherever possible. Ride the bus, the subway, the train, a bicycle or simply walk at least once a week.
  22. Avoid supporting fast-food restaurants.
  23. Buy a water bottle, preferably glass, and carry it around with you at all times. If it is a plastic bottle, do not re-use more than twice, as the plastic is toxic and more toxins leech into the water the more often it is washed and re-used.
  24. Strive to buy only recycled (and preferably organic) products.
  25. Organize a beach, lake, river, or creek clean up.

Courtesy of Global Response [1]

Global Solutions

Measures by Governmental Agencies and Groups

A number of measures aimed at solving the problem of tropical deforestation have been introduced by governments and international development and aid organisations. These initiatives are often based on the assumption that poverty or overpopulation are the primary causes of deforestation.

Tropical Forest Action Plan: One of the main organisations that has been working to address deforestation is Tropical Forest Action Plan (TFAP). TFAP was formed in 1985 and operates with the assumption that giving forests an economic value will provide motivation to governments and industry to protect them. The TFAP therefore gives money to projects that are aimed at stopping deforestation. The main activity of the TFAP is to promote awareness on the large scale destruction of forests and the global impact. Despite this, the efforts of TFAP have not been successful to date.

Sustained Yield Forestry: There is a lot of disagreement about what this actually is. It most likely refers to control over what percentage of trees are cut down. If fewer than a certain percentage of mature trees are felled, then in theory the forests will to be able to regenerate. This activity is controlled by government officials, by setting the volume of trees that may be cut in order to maintain the stability of the forests. This is claimed by many to be a pointless operation, because logging is so destructive that there is little chance of a forest regenerating even if only a few trees are cut. Government corruption also means that these percentages are not adhered to.

The International Biodiversity Program: The IBDP intends to create large reserves and also plant small forest trees in open land. Where most of the forest trees are still alive, birds and animals are introduced to the reserves. This may actually help deforestation and global warming on a very small scale, however, at the rate of present day deforestation, creating small reserves is not going to make much difference. In other words, every day much more forest area is destroyed than reserve area is being planted.

Timber Labelling: The (FSC) Forest Stewardship Council has created a timber labelling procedure. Timber labelling is where all the timber bought and sold is certified. Certification of timber traded internationally has been seen as a tool for the protection of primary forests. Consumers are able to buy timber which has been certified by the FSC instead of that which has no certification. If there is enough support for the FSC-certified timber, i.e. people only buy certified timber, then demand for timber that has been logged in an environmentally unsound way will decrease and the rate of deforestation will decrease. While the FSC has been very successful in getting agreement among groups and organisations, it may be too early to tell whether it can have a significant effect on global deforestation.

Indigenous people and their Rights: The governments of countries with tropical forests have started to think differently, recognising that the rights of indigenous people are neccessary for the protection of forests. These people are the occupants of the land, having lived there for centuries. The idea behind this scheme is that these indigenous people know how to manage their land well. It is important to know that the most promising projects to preserve rainforests have been carried out in cooperation with indigenous people who are the rightful owners of the forests. In 1990, the Colombian Government gave back half of its Amazonian territory to its rightful indigenous owners, acknowledging that they were the best guardians of the forest. In Papua New Guinea and Ecuador, the Rainforest Information Centre and other organisations have been involved in projects which support the realistic development aims of traditional land owners on small scale projects which are under the control of the landowners themselves.

Initiatives by Developed Countries

Carbon Footprint: Carbon emissions and carbon footprints are becoming a "hot topic" in developed countries. There is a lot of information and emphasis on understanding and reducing your carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere in order to supply the energy for your house, car and appliances in daily or monthly living. Large carbon footprints are seen as "bad", and in some countries taxes may be imposed if your carbon footprint exceeds a certain set limit for the size of your family and property.

Taxes to Discourage Carbon Emissions: Additional taxes are being imposed on businesses which release carbon into the air. These vary from country to country and in New Zealand there is even a tax that farmers must pay per ruminant (cud-chewing) animals that they own because these animals release methane gas (a carbon-based gas) into the atmosphere.

Subsidies for Efficient Heating and Cooling: Subsidies are offered by governments for those home owners who install cheaper water heating, for example solar panels or heatpump cylinders. Governments and local government bodies also offer subsidies for installation of more efficient heating and cooling systems, such as reverse-cycle air conditioners and high efficiency boilers and gas/wood fires.

International Agreements: There are a number of countries who have signed up to the Kyoto Protocol which is a global agreement aimed at reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (carbon-based gases). Each country that signs this agreement, agrees to cut their carbon emissions by the amounts specified in the agreement, although in some cases countries are allowed to increase their emissions (such as Australia).

Design of Efficient Cars: To combat the rising fuel prices, car companies have designed new cars called hybrid cars. These cars still run on petrol or diesel but use much less fuel. Some cars are completely electric. Just plug them in to charge, and then drive - just the same as charging a laptop and using it outside your home. When the car's electric battery is recharged, they run like a normal car without petrol.

Getting more Physical Exercise: Students are encouraged to walk to school if the school is within a reasonable distance. Parents are encouraged to take a walk to the dairy or shop nearby instead of using a car. Not only is this good for our planet, it also saves money.

Transit Lanes and Car-pooling: Car-pooling schemes are encouraged in most developed countries, and in many areas there are special lanes on the road that may only be used by cars with more than one passenger. Using these lanes (if you have more than one passenger) generally results in faster travel, because most cars on the road only have one occupant and are therefore not allowed to travel in these lanes.

Man-made Forests: The costs of establishing and maintaining man-made forests are high. These forests may be created for the purposes of conservation of soil, water and wildlife and/or the creation of recreational facilities. The biggest limitation to afforestation (the opposite of deforestation, i.e. planting of trees), is money. It requires large sums of money and many other resources (including people) to replant trees in an area. The main reason for afforestation is to increase the amount of plant life growing on the earth in order to provide a healthier supply of air for breathing (cleaner air with more oxygen).

Canada is considered to have developed one of the largest man-made forests. After the trees mature, they are cut and the new trees are planted to replace the cut trees. New Zealand is considered to have the second largest man made forest.

Activity One: Class Report

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Teaching Objectives
  • To provide an opportunity for learners to practise their leadership, recording and presentation skills.
  • To assess the learners' accumulated knowledge of deforestation.
  • To provide the learners with an opportunity to practise formulating questions.
  • To stimulate reflective thought around the topic of deforestation.

Activity Two: Before and After Poem

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Teaching Objectives
  • To provide the learners with the opportunity to express their creativity and extend their vocabulary through the medium of poetry.
  • To encourage reflective thought in order to reinforce the devastating effect of deforestation.

The following links will provide you with information regarding Cinquain and Haiku poetry:

Suggested Procedure

  • Ensure that the learners do not spend too much time on arriving at a consensus about which type of poem to write.
  • Learners may be encouraged to illustrate the poems, or alternatively the learners could look for applicable images on the Internet (if available).
  • The poems can be displayed side by side, or on one piece of paper.
  • Remind the learners to sign their poems.


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Teaching Objectives
  • To foster critical thinking skills.
  • To assess the learner's understanding of content of all the preceeding modules.
  • To provide the learners with the opportunity to construct and present a point of view or argument.
  • To improve learners' ability to "think on their feet".

More information on the different approaches to teaching and/or managing debating in the classroom is provided at this link: [2]

Activity Three: Implementing a Solution

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Teaching Objectives
  • To expose learners to possible solutions to deforestation in their local community.
  • To encourage learners to consider other ways that people may think about deforestation.
  • To provide further experience with the use of a PMI chart.
  • To encourage students to create an awareness of deforestation in their local community through using their knowledge and creativity.

Encourage the learners to consider implementing one of the strategies in their own home. This will allow the learners the opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of their strategy, using the PMI graphic organiser. An opportunity could be provided for the learners to give feedback on their results to the class - this feedback may inspire their peers to generate more ideas that could be effective in the community, if implemented correctly.

Activity Four: Word Bank

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Teaching Objectives
  • To allow the continual assessment of learner understanding throughout the unit.
  • To increase learner proficiency in the location and assimilation of information.
  • To broaden learners' scientific vocabulary.


Assessment One: Written Report

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Teaching Objectives
  • To exercise learners' report writing skills.
  • To provide an opportunity for learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the content.
  • To assess learners' knowledge and understanding.
  • To provide learners with experience in proofreading and editing.
  • To provide learners with an opportunity to exercise their increasing vocabulary.

The learners should now possess a solid knowledge base as well as various sources of information needed to complete an information report. An example of "a good report plan" is provided in the learner notes. Ensure that the required length of the report is clearly specified: it is recommended that the specification is provided according to the word count, assuming that the learners will be utilising computers for this task; otherwise according to the number of pages. Below is an assessment rubric which could be used for either self, peer or teacher assessment, for this task.

1 2 3 4
Vocabulary Used
  • My sentences are short, simple and repetitive.
  • My language is boring and unimaginative.
  • I have not used any deeper features.
  • There is no interesting language.
  • I have only used one type of sentence starter.
  • I have used interesting words.
  • I have used one type of deeper feature.
  • In one paragraph I have included technical language.
  • I have used convincing sentence starters.
  • I have used subject specific vocabulary.
  • I have used a variety of deeper features.
  • I have used technical language.
  • I have used a variety of convincing sentence starters.
  • I have used specific text type vocabulary.
  • I have used a variety of deeper features.
  • I have used a range of technical language.
Plan of Report
  • My paragraphs are not organized at all.
  • I have not included any information to support each of the points.
  • I have not included a summarizing comment.
  • My paragraphs are not organized following the text type layout.
  • I have given information from my research but not directly quoted it.
  • I have logically sequenced my ideas.
  • My final paragraph is just a statement.
  • My writing follows text type layout.
  • I have given information in each paragraph with evidence to support from the research.
  • The sequence of my writing is logical.
  • The final paragraph reiterates my main points and gives my point of view.
  • My writing follows the text type layout.
  • I have used direct quotes from some of my sources.
  • The sequence of my writing is logical.
  • The final paragraph reiterates my main points and gives my point of view.
Proofreading and Editing
  • I have not used an editing checklist at all.
  • I have not proof read my work.
  • I have not changed any of the words in my writing.
  • I have used part of the proofreading checklist.
  • I have corrected a few errors.
  • I have used part of the editing checklist to edit my work.
  • I have changed one or two words using a thesaurus.
  • I have used a proofreading checklist to check my work.
  • I have used a dictionary to correct errors.
  • I have used an editing checklist to edit my work.
  • I have used a thesaurus to change some words.
  • I have used a proofreading checklist to check my work.
  • I have used a dictionary to correct errors.
  • I have used an editing checklist to edit my work.
  • I have used a thesaurus to change some words.

Assessment Two: KWL Chart

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Teaching Objectives
  • To teach learners to write effective questions.
  • To teach learners to summarise information, i.e. to write in point form.
  • To assess synthesised knowledge gained by learners.

Photo Gallery

A number of photographs are provided in the Photo Gallery as additional resources for the Module Summary. Alternatively these can be used at the educator's discretion at any other point in the Module.