Submitted: The Two Sides Team November 7, 2016
In our previous blog “Teacher Resources on Paper, Forest Products and the Environment (K to Grade 6)” we talked about some great web resources for teachers in Kindergarten to Grade 6 – all listed on our latest fact sheet “Teacher Resources Related to Paper, Forest Products and the Environment.”
This blog focuses on some additional great examples for Grades 7 and up. These websites should be used by teachers to provide students (our future leaders!) with opportunities to expand their knowledge of biodiversity, forest certification, carbon storage and sustainable forest management through outdoor activities, data analysis tools, videos and other interactive learning tools.
Forest Fast Breaks provides 17 short videos on subjects like carbon capture, urban forests, clearcutting and forest ecosystems, which sum up the issues succinctly and provide a great basis for further study. Forestinfo.org was created by Dovetail Partners, a non-profit organization that informs about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions. The website also contains an extensive list of forestry-related resources for teachers of upper grades and there is a useful link to careers in forestry.
Paperworks presents several opportunities for older students to learn about the packaging industry. A business themed lesson introduces the modern paper industry and discusses the importance of paper in today’s society and the relative value of recycling and energy conservation versus other materials and digital media. A graphic design lesson provides the background for designing appropriate packaging as well as a specific exercise to design the logo and brand for a described product. Paperworks was created by the Confederation of Paper Industries a leading organization working on behalf of paper-based industries in the United Kingdom.
Project Learning Tree (PLT) has developed nine modules for high school students including ‘Focus on Forests’, ‘Forests of the World’ and ‘Biodiversity’. Each module comes with student lessons and activities, background for teachers and student assessment tools. Lesson plans are fun, flexible and easy to use and encourage teaching outdoors wherever possible. PLT was developed by the American Forest Foundation for teachers and other educators and is an award-winning environmental education program which strives to increase students’ understanding of the environment and stimulate critical and creative thinking. PLT provides teacher training for each module either in person or online at a cost of about $40.
UPM – Forest Life is an interactive educational website created by UPM, a global forest industry leader based in Finland. The site has won several awards and its creators have provided an excellent virtual walk through a Finnish forest that highlights the multiple uses and environmental, social and economic benefits of a sustainably managed forest. Although the bird and wildlife species are not familiar to North American users, the issues (recreation, biodiversity, and reforestation) are very similar.
Sustainable managed forests are integral to maintaining clean air, ensuring sustainable water resources, and preserving the diversity of plants and animals. At the same time these forests make important contributions to our economies and recreational opportunities. Even in our urban areas, trees are a valuable resource that provide shade, reduce home heating and cooling costs, absorb pollutants and provide homes and food for birds and squirrels.
The goal of our latest fact sheet “Teacher Resources Related to Paper, Forest Products and the Environment” is to help teachers and students understand the critical roles that sustainable managed forests play in our society.