Stewardship and the Rainforest
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize the wise use of resources as <i>stewardship</i>.

This lesson will familiarize students with the concept of stewardship and the practice of that stewardship by problem-solving what an individual or group can do to take care of our natural environment. While written for a Catholic Elementary School, this lesson may be easily adapted for public school use.

PrintTwo Thirty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • after reading a piece of literature, define rain forest, use rain forest-related vocabulary, and name flora and fauna that live in the rain forest.
  • write a description of a beautiful place.
  • define stewardship and explain the stewardship necessary to maintain a beautiful natural environment.
  • Amazon Rain Forest (CD) (see Bibliographic References)
  • The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry (see Bibliographic References)
  • Cherry, Lynne. The Great Kapok Tree. Voyager Picture Book, 2000. ISBN: 0152026142
  • Amazon Rain Forest. Madacy Records: 1997. (Audio CD) ASIN: B00000JNQK
  1. Anticipatory Set: Listen to the sounds of the rain forest on the CD “Amazon Rain Forest.” Ask students to be prepared to list the animal sounds heard when the selection is complete.

  2. Introduce the vocabulary: rain forest, oxygen, layers of the rainforest, emergent layer, canopy, understory, forest floor and deforestation. Ask students to name some plants that grow in the rain forest.

    • Read The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry. Review the vocabulary words as they appear in the story.
    • Define stewardship as the wise management and use of personal resources (natural resources and financial resources) for the benefit of all. Discuss what it means to be a good steward of the rain forest. Why is it important? Include a discussion of irreplaceable resources. Review the terms core democratic values and common good.
    • Tell students that we are called (by Christ) to be stewards of the earth. Ask students to write a detailed description of a place that they think is beautiful. Then, have them write some of the activities of stewardship that are necessary to keep that place beautiful, natural, and healthy. Students should include the term stewardship and its definition in their writing.

Students’ paragraphs should use and define the term stewardship and give examples of responsible stewardship that is necessary to maintain irreplaceable resources and natural beauty.