Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

The Impact
Lesson 3
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Working with current statistics, the learners will understand the repercussions of rainforest destruction and how this destruction may personally affected them if deforestation continues at its present pace.


One Forty-Five Minute Class Periods


The learner will:

  • interpret statistics regarding deforestation.
  • create a line graph depicting the destruction of the rainforest.
  • create captions for their collages explaining the threats to the rainforests.
  • complete a rainforest fact sheet.
  • describe the sequence of events in the story The Lorax.
  • explain how The Lorax pertains to real-life situations.
  • discuss the role of a responsible citizen when it comes to the destruction of the rainforests and how individual rights conflict with community responsibilities.


  • A copy of the book entitled The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • The Lorax Graphic Organizer (Attachment One)
  • It’s A Fact Cards (Attachment Two)
  • Coming to a Close (Attachment Three)
  • Group copy of Keeping Score (Attachment Four)
  • Graph paper (Optional)
Handout 1
The Lorax Graphic Organizer
Handout 2
Itís A Fact!
Handout 3
Coming To A Close
Handout 4
Keeping Score

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set: 
How would you feel if a big corporation cleared the land down the street from you and built a factory? The factory created a great deal of smog and noise 24 hours a day while workers and deliveries added lots of extra traffic noise. And then, as the factory became more successful, the clearing and building expanded, to come closer to you. The community lost it’s community garden and the ball field that the neighborhood kids used to play in is now a parking lot…and now they are telling your parents that you will have to move out as they are planning to expand again. What reactions would you have? Which of your constitutional rights (Democratic Principles) would be violated?  Where would you turn for help? Pose the above questions to the class. After several minutes of think time, ask the learners to share their reactions. This is what happened to the Native American People of North America and is currently happening to the indigenous people of the Rainforest.



  • Tell the learners that while you are reading them the story of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, they will need to pay close attention so they will be able to list the main events in the order in which they happened in the story.
  • Read through the story and distribute a copy of The Lorax Graphic Organizer (Attachment One). Tell learners to use the graphic organizer to create a list of events of the story in the order in which they happened, in other words learners will sequence the events of the story.
  • Ask the learners, “What happened first?” (The story actually started with a look at the result.) Have them start the sequence with the events that took place in chronological order rather than in the “backwards” order at the beginning of the story and then answer the questions at the bottom of this sheet.
  • Make two sets of cards from the It’s A Fact (Attachment Two) before beginning this activity. One set of cards is enough for eighteen learners. Distribute a copy of the recording sheet Coming to a Close (Attachment Three) and one fact card from It’s A Fact (Attachment Two) to each learner. Tell them they will be going on a fact-finding mission to find the missing information on their recording sheet. Tell them to start by reading their card and filling in the missing information on their sheet. They will then move about the room to find someone who has a different card.  It’s possible that you will have more than one learner with the same card. They take turns reading their cards to each other and fill in the missing information on their recording sheet. Once both have shared and recorded the information, the learners are to trade cards with each other, so each time a learner gets new information they also get a new fact to take to the next encounter. This continues until learners have had an opportunity to complete all of their missing information.
  • Display Keeping Score (Attachment Four) and instruct the learners to create a graph using the statistics list.  Indicate that a line graph would be best representing this information. Ask them why it represents change over time. Remind/Instruct them to set up the y-and x-axis.  It is suggested that the vertical y- axis represent the years in increments of two-three spaces and the horizontal axis represent the devastation (in increments of 500) in increments of two spaces. (Note: You can have them go by 1000’s, but it won’t look quite as impressive.)
  • Place the learners back into their core teams of four and instruct them to use the information and discuss the following questions:  “In what years was the rainforest destruction the highest?  Using the most recent statistics, what would you predict to happen in the upcoming years?"  (There answer should reflect a reduction in the amount of destruction.)
  • Given all this information have the learners come up with words or small phrases that capture some of the concerns for deforestation.  Have them write out these words on small pieces of paper using creative fonts and display these words on the collages they made in Lesson Two. The idea is to have the viewers of the collages see the beauty of the rainforest through the pictures but also to understand the issues through reading the captions.Continue to display these collages and captions for all to see.


The successful completion of the assigned work sheets, the extent of their involvement in the group discussions and activities, and their satisfactory completion of the graph and poster captions form the basis of learner assessment for this lesson.

Bibliographical References:

Lesson Developed By:

Cheryl Larkin
Pontiac School District
Madison Middle School
Pontiac, MI 48340


Handout 1Print Handout 1

The Lorax Graphic Organizer








  1. What is the problem?

  2. What is the solution?

  3. What message is the author sending?

  4. How might this relate to a real-life situation?

  5. How does this story represent a conflict between individual rights and community responsibility?

Handout 2Print Handout 2

Itís A Fact!

Handout 3Print Handout 3

Coming To A Close

Find the missing information.

Rainforests once covered _____% of the Earth's land surface; now they cover a mere ____% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than _____ years.

Brazil has lost over _________square miles of Amazon rainforest since 19____.

___________________________ of rainforest are lost every second with tragic consequences for both developing and industrial countries.

Nearly ___________of the world's species of plants, animals, and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the ____________ due to Rainforest deforestation.

Experts estimate that we are losing ________ plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to ____________ species a year.

Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its ___________ by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.

Most of the nutrients in the rainforest are found in the _________________ and once these are cleared the farmers burn the trunks to release the nutrients.  The rain washes the nutrients away and the soil is _________________________, so the farmers seek new land.

Most of the clearing of the rainforest is done for ___________________ to grow beef for the world market.

The peasant farmers clear the land for ___________________ to satisfy the basic human need for food.

The value of a rainforest acre if it is used for cattle operations only generates ___________.

The value of a rainforest acre if it is clear-cut and used for timber operations is __________.

The value of a rainforest acre, if it is used for sustainable harvesting of nuts, fruits, oil producing plants, and medicinal plants is __________.

The ______________ of the rainforest include corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; ___________ like; black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, turmeric, coffee and vanilla and ________ include Brazil nuts and cashews.

There were an estimated ___________ Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than __________.

In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than ______ indigenous tribes since the __________.
Rainforests are being cleared by world giants like __________ Corporation, Georgia Pacific, ___________ and Unocal for ____________.

When a medicine man dies without passing his arts on to the next generation, the tribe and the world loses thousands of years of ____________ knowledge about ___________ plants.

Recycling _____________ can help reduce the impact caused by mining the mineral Colton, which is found in Congo rainforests and there is an estimated ____________ unwanted cell phones lying around, enough to reach from London to New York and back again or __________   tons of landfill waste.

Handout 4Print Handout 4

Keeping Score




Square Miles of Deforestation



































Philanthropy Framework:

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