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Deforestation in the Amazon

In this unit, students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world's rainforests through research, discussion and persuasive writing. With an eye towards sustainability, students will discover industry foresting practices and individual choices that help protect this irreplaceable resource.

Previewing the Reflection:

A series of open-ended pre-reading questions designed to engage students, assess prior knowledge, and expose any pre-conceived ideas about the person or culture explored in the Reflection.  Previewing the Reflection questions are intended to be non-threatening and accessible to a range of students.  Students are encouraged to answer honestly, and to discuss their answers with their classmates.

PDF icon Previewing the Reflection

Reflection: Deforestation in the Amazon by Emma Walsh-Alker

In her One World Reflection, Emma writes about her travels through the Amazon rainforest and the splendor of all the sights she encountered there.  Emma also warns about the dangers of deforestation and the potential consequences for the people and animals of the Amazon if we don't start doing something about it.  

PDF icon Deforestation in the Amazon

Understanding the Reflection:

This resource is to be used during and after students read the Reflection.  Included in it are a series of reading comprehension questions designed to check for student understanding of the Reflection.  These questions formats include multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, short response, or other effective questioning strategies.

PDF icon Understanding the Reflection

Learning Activity: English/ Language Arts-Weighing the Benefits

English/Language Arts / 6th, 7th, 8th / 3-6 class periods (135-300 min)

Through this Learning Activity, students will be introduced to the controversial topic of deforestation in the Amazon region. After reading, reflecting, and engaging in dialogue analyzing the cause and effect relationships of deforestation, students will have the opportunity to craft a persuasive letter convincing others of the dangers of Amazonian deforestation.

Learning Activity: Science-Creating Sustainable Rainforests

Science / 6th, 7th, 8th / 3 class periods (135-180 minutes)

After reading the Reflection on Deforestation, students will define 'rainforest' by identifying its four layers, its natural resources, and its byproducts for human consumption. Students will learn definitions and characteristics of deforestation and clear-cutting and evaluate these methods to determine their impact on ecosystems. Students will also research the origins of a wood product or byproduct and apply the use of mean and median in the context of their research.

Reviewing the Reflection:

This resource is to be used after students read the Reflection.  It includes a series of post-reading questions designed to encourage student reflection and assess changes in students' perception and understanding of the cultural issues addressed in the unit through some deliberately repeated questions in the "Previewing the Reflection" activity.

PDF icon Reviewing the Reflection

Responding to the Reflection:

This resource should be used after the students read the Reflection. Students are presented with a list of questions intended to illicit a more personal response about the Reflection they have just read. After considering those questions, students compose a letter to the author of the Reflection with their thoughts, observations, questions and comments.

PDF icon Reflection Response