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Devastating Deforestation Triarama

The continuing destruction of the world’s rainforests has enormous effects on life. What can be done to help stop the devastation?

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Not long ago, 14% of the Earth’s surface was covered with rainforest. Today it is about 6%. Because of clearing trees (deforestation), scientists estimate that timber and cattle farming will destroy the remaining forests within 40 years.
    2. It’s hard to imagine that 137 species of organisms are lost each day. Students research some endangered or already extinct plant and animal species such as the jaguar and pygmy marmoset monkey. How will loss of these species and their habitats affect humans? What can be done to stop the destruction of rainforests?
    3. What’s endangered? On a recycled file folder, students draw endangered rainforest animals and plants with Crayola® Markers. Leave a small tab to attach each picture to your triarama. Cut them out with Crayola Scissors.
    4. Assemble the triarama. Cut another file folder into a square. Fold in half, point to point, making a triangle. Cut one fold from a point to the center. Lay flat. Decorate two sides and one of the triangles with a rainforest background. Slide the undecorated triangle under the other one. Glue with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the triarama.
    5. Display endangered flora and fauna. Glue flora and fauna tabs to the triarama. If you like, add labels to show names of endangered or extinct species. Air-dry the glue. Students explain their findings and solutions to classmates.
  • Standards

    LA: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

    LA: Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.

    LA: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SS: Explore causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as pollution and endangered species.

    SS: Describe how public policies are used to address issues of public concern.

    SS: Give examples of conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and nations.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Invite a local authority to visit with the class and discuss steps the community is taking towards increased conservation of goods, recycling, etc. Prior to the visit, students compose questions for the visitor. After the meeting, students post new learning to a class blog.

    The Amazon rainforest has been called the Lungs of Our Planet, producing 20% of the world's oxygen. About 20% of the Earth's fresh water supply comes from the Amazon Basin. Small groups of students examine the planet's ecology in light of these statistics.

    Students prepare a presentation for local officials which includes their research of local consumption of resources, how consumption can be minimized, education towards minimizing consumption, etc. This can be organized in the form of an electronic presentation for viewing.

    Older students can examine the economics of the rainforest, where land is valued at $60/acre it is used for cattle grazing, $400/acre for timber, and $2,400/acre if filled with renewable resources. Have students organize their research for presentation to the class.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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