M1/1.2 - What is Deforestation?


Module one is designed to help students explore why existing forests need to be protected. Students will confront the threats to existing forests and contemplate the very real dangers that await us if we do not learn to effect change and contribute to a more sustainable world.
21st Century Skills Critical thinking, social responsibility, inquiry, problem solving, systems thinking & written and oral communication skills.

Learning Objectives

To examine the causes of deforestation.

Learning Outcomes:

All students will be able to identify why rainforests are disappearing.

Most students will be able to explain the main factors involved in deforestation.

Some students will reflect upon the implications deforestation will have on the natural environment.



Teacher notes: All resources can be found under documents.

Student instructions:

Work through PowerPoint presentation ‘A question on rainforest.’ The activity introduces students to key facts/ issues on the rainforest.

Task 1: Why are rainforests disappearing?

Watch the following video that highlights the causes of deforestation. Start and stop the video from 47:00mins to 55:34min: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCUb>

Students are to respond to the issues raised in the video and provide initial first thoughts. This can be shared via a discussion post.

In pairs students are to discuss why rainforests are disappearing. List the main factors involved.

Task 2: What are the causes of deforestation?

Teacher notes: The internet is full of fantastic environmental sites that could be used for the below activity. Please visit bookmarks for recommended sites

Student instructions:

Divide class into groups of four/ five. Give each group one of the following ‘causes of deforestation’ to research and study:

- Logging
- Agriculture
- Cattle
- Roads
- Poverty

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM TOOLS:Each group is to produce a report to upload to the virtual classroom writing wall. Each report should have a clear title that highlights the cause studied i.e. Cause of deforestation: Logging.

Task 3: Conversion

Teacher notes: Conversion is a teaching and learning strategy that asks students to take material that is presented in one format and convert it into a different format. Typical examples include: turn text into a mind map or turn text into a story board or even turn the teacher’s explanation into a poster etc.

Student instructions:

Students are to read through the group reports (all should be uploaded to the virtual classroom writing wall for easy access). They are to take the ‘cause of deforestation’ that most interests them and convert the material into a different format. For example, if students choose to convert the material into artwork, take a picture and upload the work to the virtual classroom gallery.


Ask students to generate as many questions as they can about the causes of deforestation. Place all questions in a hat. In turn students are to pick out a question and attempt to answer it.

Continue to M1/1.3 - Why do rainforests need protecting? »