8-10 yrs old
11-13 yrs old
Climate & Environment
Students explore the concept of sustainable forest
April 7, 2021
Georgia-Pacific and Sustainable Forestry
Penn State: Sustainable Forestry
What Products Are Made from Trees
Sustainability City Minecraft World
World to support lesson activities. Direct download.
In this lesson, students will explore a sustainable forest. They will begin at the lumberyard where they can see stored lumber that can be used to construct buildings, made into paper, or used as yard material. Students will then travel up a path to see what a 40-year sustainable forest cycle looks like. Moving forward, they will continue up a path to a hiking trail where they will come across a conservationist and a local hiker. Finally, students will be introduced to the concept of a hectare and how it is related to sustainable forestry.
Possible NGSS standard(s):
K-ESS3-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
MS-ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
The teacher will need to collect materials made from trees. Some examples may be a wooden toy, clothespins, paper, cardboard, toilet paper, any deodorants or insecticides made from tree chemicals, cellophane, sandwich bags, fruit, etc. There are more examples listed in the link called What Products Are Made from Trees. Other websites may offer other common and unusual examples to garner student attention.
The following vocabulary will be used in this lesson and the teacher may want to introduce these to the students beforehand.
The teacher will begin by asking students to look around the classroom or think about their home and jot down all the items they think come from trees. Students will share some of their responses and the teacher will put those on the board.
Next, the teacher will pull out a box of items that are made from different parts of trees. S/he should try to choose some unique items that students may not have considered before. The teacher will ask students how they think it is possible for there to always be an availability of these products. This will lead to a discussion on what the word sustainable means and how it relates to forestry and products made from trees (PE1, PE2).
Before going into the Minecraft world, students will watch the Georgia-Pacific video (linked) and discuss the social, economic, and environmental impacts of sustainable forestry according to the video (PE1, PE2, PE5).
Minecraft World Exploration:
Students should take notes on what they learn as they complete this exploration—specifically on how sustainable forestry can impact social, economic, and environmental aspects of the city.
Students will begin their exploration at the front of the lumberyard. This is where they should think about what that lumber may be used for in the city (PE1).
Next, they will head up the hill to find out what sustainable forestry is, as well as find out what the management cycle is (PE1, PE2). Students can press on the button of the management cycle NPC to see what a 40-year cycle looks like (PE4).
After climbing up the hill a bit more and crossing the road, students will come across an NPC that will tell them about conservation. This is where they can gather some more information on the environmental impact of sustainable forestry. Following the trail up the mountain, students will eventually come across a hiker that explains the importance of caring for our environment (PE3, PE4).
Once the students hike back down the trail, they will turn right and learn what a hectare is and why it is an important concept in sustainable forestry.
In small groups, students will discuss what they learned about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of sustainable forestry both from the video and the Minecraft world (PE5). Then the class will come together to share out. The teacher should note these ideas on the board.
Students will then create digital infographics that share information and facts about the social, economic, and environmental impacts of sustainable forestry (PE5). For this part, they will use their notes from the lesson, but they will also need to do some research. The teacher may want to ask that students add facts about forestry specific to their county/state/country.
Once completed, the students will upload their final infographic product to a class collection site such as Sway, Wakelet, or Padlet (PE5).
Students will be able to…
Sign up for the Minecraft: Education Edition newsletter. We promise to respect your inbox.