Resources for Focus on Forests Activity 9 – Words to Live By

The writings of different environmental authors reflect the views of their time periods, as well as their own personal feelings toward forests. In this activity, students will express their own views about forests and explore different perspectives by reading excerpts from the writings of different authors.

This is one of 9 activities that can be found in PLT’s Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests moduleTo get the activity, attend a training and receive PLT’s Focus on Forests secondary module. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 


Download the copyright-free student pages that are included with this activity:

Schools of Thought (PDF)

Tales of the Forest (PDF)


Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals, while building upon concepts learned in this activity, with the following children’s book recommendations:


The following tools and resources may be used to enhance the activity.

  • The Garden of Wisdom: Earth Tales From the Middle East

    This first-hand account of nature and environmental issues in the middle east is great for ages 7 and up. Written by award-winning author Michael Caduto and illustrated by Odelia Liphshiz, The Garden of Wisdom: Earth Tales From the Middle East brings together traditional stories about earth, stewardship, and protecting endangered species. Gathered from oral tradition, stories range from themes of Animal, Plants, Friendship, Stewardship, and Wisdom. The book offers sections for parents and teachers to draw connections to lessons from each story and dig deeper into the sources. ISBN: 978-0-9727518-5-8.

  • More Than Just Parks

    More Than Just Parks have released their eighth national parks short film—Grand Teton. Explore Jackson Hole Valley and the foothills of the Teton Mountain Range, a land dominated by towering peaks, apex predators, and majestic beauty. To see more National Park films, visit More Than Just Parks.

  • John Muir in the New World

    This 90-minute documentary explains John Muir’s influence then and now, delving into Muir’s life with reenactments filmed in high definition throughout the majestic landscapes he visited: Wisconsin, Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Alhambra Valley of California, and the glaciers of Alaska. Placing our nation’s most important natural assets in a cultural and social context, John Muir in the New World is a timely reminder of America’s unique and, ultimately, threatened ecosystems.  Visit the PBS website to watch a preview or watch the full documentary online.

  • About the Authors

    Short biographies of the nine authors highlighted, listed in chronological order by birth date.

  • Forestry Careers & Degrees: A Guide for Students

    If students are considering a career in the forestry profession, they may envision spending a workday in blue jeans and hiking boots, managing wild lands and protecting nature for future generations. The reality of forestry careers, however, is somewhat different. Forestry Careers & Degrees: A Guide for Students offers a wealth of information about forestry careers, including facts and data on employment prospects, educational requirements and options, and more.

  • A Tribute to Wangari Maathai

    Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and her story promises to inspire your students. Use this Words to Live By activity adaptation to learn about the life and lessons of Wangari Maathai, in her own words. 

  • EnviroAtlas

    EPA’s new EnviroAtlas tool is designed to help communities and researchers make informed planning and policy decisions related to the environment and ecosystems. EnviroAtlas provides datasets and interactive tools to allow users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services. EnviroAtlas includes over 300 data layers, letting users analyze how decisions affect ecosystems and their ability to provide goods and services. Key components include: