PrintThree-Four Forty-five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify organizations established to halt deforestation.
  • identify possible avenues for becoming involved in efforts to halt deforestation.
  • define stewardship.
  • Small tree branches (one per every four learners)
  • Access to on-line computers
  • Responsible (Handout One)
  • Rainforest Action (Handout Two)
  • My Hands Are Not Tied (Handout Three)
  • A Plan of Action (Handout Four)
  • Lined Paper

1.     Monga Bay “How to Save Tropical Rainforests” https://rainforests.mongabay.com/1001.htm

2.     Rainforest Animals https://blueplanetbiomes.org/rnfrst_animal_page.php

3.     ThinkQuest “What Can You Do to Save the Rainforest?”  http://library.thinkquest.org/4621/BPAGE2.HTM [no longer available] 

4.     Save the Rainforest http://www.savetherainforest.org/savetherainforest_002.htm

5.     Rainforest Alliance https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/kids

6.     Learning About Rainforests http://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/krubal/rainforest/Edit560s6/www/preserve.html

7.     How to Make Paper Fireplace Logs https://ourpastimes.com/

8.     Airport Recycling “Benefits of Airport Recycling” http://www.airportrecycling.com/pages/benefits.php [no longer available] 

9.     Rainforest Facts https://rain-tree.com/facts.htm

10.   Amazon Watch http://amazonwatch.org/take-action

11.   Kids Saving the Rainforest https://www.kidssavingtherainforest.org/

12.   Rainforest Concern https://www.rainforestconcern.org/explore/resources


  1. Anticipatory Set Pose this question: "How would you feel if you witnessed someone mistreating an animal?" Ask for volunteers to share their responses. Then pose this next question; “What would your reaction be? Would you want to take action, if so what might you do?” Give the learners a few minutes to think and create a response. Ask for volunteers to share their thoughts. Be careful not to let this go too far. After a few angry responses, verbally recognize that the learners sound as if they were extremely angry. Ask if any one has a different type of reaction. Next pose the question; “How do you think you would feel if this went on for weeks and months, even years? Do you think you would become less apt to react?” Share responses. Discuss how over time, we often tolerate injustice and/or feel powerless. Remind learners that day after day many plants are destroyed and animals lose their homes/habitats due to human wants and needs. Ask what, if any, personal feelings they have regarding that.

  2. Distribute a copy of Responsible (Handout One) to each learner. Assign the learners to teams of four and hand one of the members in each team a small tree branch.Read through the instructions together. If your learners are unfamiliar with this type of activity, be sure to do some “guided practice” or modeling of the correct procedures. (Spend a few minutes discussing what it means to “politely disagree”.) Tell learners you will be “observing” while they are working and you may come and sit with their team. Remind them that you are not there as an active member of the team and your task is to gather mental notes rather than make comments or become involved. Allow teams time to work through each of the questions.

  3. Distribute a copy Rainforest Action (Handout Two) and have the teams read through the article.

  4. Distribute a copy of My Hands Are Not Tied (Handout Three) to each learner and read through the instructions together. Take a minute to ask learners what people mean when they say “My hands are tied.”? Ask why this is entitled “My Hands Are Not Tied?”Ask what questions the learners have and allow them time to begin their on-line research.

  5. Tell the teams that they are to become “environmental stewards” by advocating for saving the rainforest. Discuss the definition of “stewardship” and be sure that the learners see the connection between what they are planning to do and evidence of what it means to be a steward.

  6. Distribute a copy of A Plan of Action (Handout Four). Go over the instructions together clarifying questions.

  7. Once the learners have had a time to develop their plans provide an opportunity for each team to share their suggestions.While each team is presenting, the other learners should be taking brief notes on each teams suggestions. Once all teams have shared, ask learners to choose their two or three choices for taking action.

  8. Write a title for each of these top choices on the display board and provide opportunity for the learners to discuss the pros and cons of the feasibility of each chosen activity. Then have a class vote to make the final decision as to which plan of action they will choose to implement.

  9. Brainstorm with the learners ideas for implementing the plan. Examples to consider: who is involved, what permissions do you need, what safety procedures should be considered, what costs might be involved and would there be a way to get donations for the needed materials, and what is the time commitment to do a good job? Write these possible answers to these questions on the display board.

  10. Once the details have been worked out ask for volunteers to fill the jobs called for in the plan. Allow several class sessions to complete the plan of action.

  11. Implement the plan and at its conclusion spend time in reflection, having the learners share how they felt about the project and changes, if any, they would make if this project were to become a part of a course. Also, take time during reflection to have the learners answer the question and share their rationale for their response, Is it only the government’s responsibility to do something to stop continued destruction of the rainforest and promote alternative methods for successful economic growth in those areas? If so, why? If not, why not and who else is responsible?” (Be sure that the learners can identify some of the non-profit organizations involved in ‘saving the rainforests’ efforts.)


Learner participation in the team discussions, the extent and accuracy of their research, their involvement in the plan of action, and their depth of their reflection form the basis for the assessment of this lesson.

Cross Curriculum 

Generating funds to be donated to a non-profit rainforest organization.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Describe how different needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society, and family.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify civil society organizations that protect and speak for minority viewpoints.
    2. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and describe civil society organizations whose purpose is associated with issues relating to "human characteristics of place."
    3. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.11 Identify and give an example of organizations in the civil society sector that work to protect minority voices around the world.
    4. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Set a fund-raising goal and identify sources of private funds.
    2. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.