Fifth Grade, Lesson 3: Deforestation
One element of a complex ecosystem may provide essential components to the survival of many species of plants and animals.
How can the clearing of trees destroy a community?
Step 1 -- Connect (The Concept to Prior Knowledge)
Students will identify and connect with the benefits of trees.
As a class, brainstorm the relationship between trees and humans.
- How do we benefit from trees?
- How do they benefit from us?
Discuss oxygen/CO2 exchange, soil stabilization and protection from erosion, animal habitat, shade, medicine from the rainforest, etc.
Step 2 -- Literature/Discuss (Give Expert Information Book; Ask Questions)
Students will be challenged with opposing viewpoints of the relationship and attitudes between humans and the forest.
Step 3A -- Practice (Math and Learning Centers)
Students will use their knowledge of the forest to predict a deforestation scenario.
- Paper, pencils
Students will create a story that shows what they think would happen if all the trees were cut down in their neighborhood.
- Who would be affected?
- What changes would occur? And so on...
Students will act out their stories for the class and/or for the whole school.
Step 3B -- Create (Performance Tasks Related to Standard Indicators)
Students will organize a community tree planting day.
- Have students pretend they have replanted a forest that was cut down for coffee production. Predict how long it would take to look like a forest again.
- Students will organize a community tree planting day.
- Students will monitor the growth of their trees throughout the year.
Step 4 -- Present (Edit Work/Students Present Projects)
Students will put on an open house to present their service project to the community.
- Recycled or Forest Stewardship Council-Certified paper
Students will make and distribute invitations, on recycled or tree-free paper, for an open house where they will describe to the community their goals and objectives of their tree planting service project.
The Rainforest Alliance curriculum is unique in that it teaches science, math, language arts and social studies essentials while addressing the United States National Standards for Learning. These are the standards addressed in the fifth grade lessons.
Standard 3: Evaluation Strategies
Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate and appreciate texts.
Standard 1: Reading for Perspective
Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves and of the cultures of the US and the world.
Standard 4: Communication Skills
Students adjust their use of spoken, written and visual language to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
Standard 7: Evaluating Data
Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems.
Students develop an understanding of the structure and function in living systems, populations and ecosystems, and diversity and adaptations of organisms.
Standard 1: Grades 3 - 5
Students understand the need for measuring with standard units and that measurements are approximations and how differences in units affect precision.
Standard 5: Technology Research Tools
Students use technology to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources.
Standard 4: Technology Communication Tools
Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
Standard 5: Environment and Society
Students should understand how human actions modify the physical environment.
Standard 6: Personal and Social Perspectives
Students develop an understanding of populations, resources and environments.
Fifth and Sixth Grade Resources
- Fifth Grade Curriculum
- Sixth Grade Curriculum
- El Salvador Slideshow [PDF]
- El Salvador Slideshow Script [PDF]
- Coffee Slideshow [PDF]
- Alex Goes Exploring in El Imposible [PDF]
- Alex Explora El Imposible [PDF]
- Alex Explora o Parque Nacional O Impossível [PDF]
- Life in San Miguelito [PDF]
- La Vida en San Miguelito [PDF]
- A Vida em São Miguelito [PDF]
- Ocelot [PDF]
- Great Curassow [PDF]
- King Vulture [PDF]
- Ruby-Throated Hummingbird [PDF]
- Blue-Crowned Motmot [PDF]
- Coffee [PDF]
Teacher Summary: El Imposible National Park, El Salvador [PDF]