Video Demo: Forest For The Trees
Watch the Forest for the Trees Demonstration video (15 minutes). PLT’s Forest for The Trees engages students in learning about different forest management practices for overall growth, survival, and sustainable outputs. This video was developed by Anita Smith, a PLT Facilitator in Maine.
This printable cutout of Smokey Bear, courtesy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, can be colored, shared on social media, and sent through the mail to help teach kids about preventing wildfires. Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history. Learn the Story of Smokey, find more activity ideas for kids and resources for elementary and middle school educators at SmokeyBear.com, and review these fire safety tips.
Branching Out in Working Forests
Created by Debra Wagner, a 4th grade teacher and PLT School Coordinator at St. Paul Lutheran School in Florida. Branching out in Working Forests is a game that students can play to gather information about the value of trees as an agricultural commodity in their state. Students will summarize their stops throughout a ‘forest’ by practicing writing sentences using fractions or percentages. Wagner was named a National PLT Outstanding Educator in 2010.
Follow these instructions for the game. You’ll need some card stock for the tree templates, 6 different yarn colors, scissors and glue. Modify the dice templates and tree station facts as needed with information appropriate to your state.
Skype a Scientist
The Skype a Scientist program matches more than 500 scientists with classrooms worldwide. Available for any level along the K-12 spectrum, a typical Q&A-style video chat lasts between 30 to 60 minutes and covers topics in the scientist’s area of expertise and what it’s like to be a scientist. Follow the link to browse scientists and sign up!
Forest Atlas of the US
The US Forest Service created a complete Forest Atlas of the United States. It covers everything from tree pollen count to owl habitats to agroforestry practices, using a range of the Forest Service’s resources. Use this in your classroom to give your students a comprehensive understanding of what American forests have to offer!
A STEM education simulation game from the California Academy of Sciences called Cornucopia is a free online resource. The game teaches students in grades 5-12 about natural resource use and management, the effect of climate conditions on water availability and food production, and the way agricultural technology impacts water use.
Are you looking for additional sources of unbiased environmental information? These engaging, animated YouTube videos provided by ForestInfo help simplify complex forestry topics. With their site currently under construction, ForestInfo offers resources designed to facilitate informed decision-making regarding forestry-related issues for teachers, students, forestry professionals, and those with a general interest in protecting, managing, and enhancing the natural environment.
Foldable 3-D Fire Triangle Model
Simply print out and then fold this 3-Dimensional fire triangle model to help teach the 3 elements of the fire triangle, as well as to show the important connections between weather and how it influences fire behavior.
Carbon Cycle Activity
Carbon Cycle Activity (similar to “Water Wonders” Water Cycle activity) developed by Carlyn Nichols, PLT educator in Seward, Alaska. Helps relate the carbon cycle to climate change.
Into the Outdoors – Forest Ecology
Into the Outdoors is an Emmy award-winning TV show with an emphasis on science education for middle school-aged students. The show’s new website, intotheoutdoors.org, provides free videos and other resource links on many environmental topics to make outdoor learning exciting and fun. While there are many exciting topics to choose from (such as sustainable forestry, biodiversity, and wetlands), Into the Outdoor’s 4-part video series on Forest Ecology is a perfect fit with many Project Learning Tree activities. These 5-7 minute shorts feature middle school aged youth that inspire all of us to take learning outdoors!
Ring of Fire
WildFIRE PIRE is a project of the Montana State University, involving an international team of scientists putting the past, present, and future of wildfire into global perspective. The group will use thousands of years’ worth of historical data on landscape vegetation, fire, human behavior, and climate to build a computer simulation to understand how future changes in climate and human factors might affect vegetation patterns in global forests. To learn about their process and findings, you can read more, or check out their overview video.
Fire Safety Website
Fire safety resources are available at www.firefacts.org. Teacher resources include a Jeopardy-style game on basic fire safety practices, fact sheets, family take-home activities, and links to additional fire safety resources and organizations. Student resources consist of online games and puzzles that teach fire safety rules.
Fire and Conservation Interactive Quiz
Get fired up and take The Nature Conservancy’s online quiz to test your knowledge about fire and how it can be used as a tool to help people and wildlife. A scoring chart helps you to find local volunteer opportunities and other ideas for voicing your support for more American forest restoration by being fire smart!
Saving Southern Forests
Southern Forests for the Future has launched an interactive website for educators that focuses on threats to and the sustainable management of U.S. southern forests. The site offers time-series maps that reveal trends and changes in southern forests, which users can scroll over and zoom in on to see areas of interest. The maps can be used to support high school courses in biology, geography, earth science, and environmental science.
FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has monitored the world’s forests at 5 to 10 year intervals since 1946. The State of the World’s Forests 2020–Forests, Biodiversity and People, examines the contributions of forests, and of the people who use and manage them, to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. For the first time, this edition is a joint effort between two United Nations entities: FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In addition, this interactive report contains the main findings of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020). FRA 2020 examines the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020. The information provided by FRA presents a comprehensive view of the world’s forests and the ways in which the resource is changing. Such a clear global picture supports the development of sound policies, practices and investments affecting forests and forestry.
The 2015 FRA examined the status and trends at the time for more than 90 variables and all types of forests in 233 countries and areas.
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:
Federal Registry for Educational Excellence – Fire Safety
Review fire safety practices with information and resources from the U.S. Fire Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control. You’ll find information about smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, kitchen safety, fire safety plans, and visits to a fire station. In addition, teachers can access online activities such as word searches, puzzles, and interactive quizzes that reinforce important fire safety messages.
Order Free Scientist Cards from Natural Inquirer
Natural Inquirer is now accepting free orders for their Scientist Card sets, directly from their web site. Individual orders are limited to either one full pack (100 cards) or up to 3 of the smaller packs (Women in Science, Classroom set, and Wildlife Scientists). The smaller packs all contain 30 cards a piece. Use these cards to connect PLT lessons to actionable careers!