Activity 13: The Future of Our Forests
In this activity, students work in teams to become experts on one aspect of southern forests and climate change; each aspect reflects a component of the module. After investigating their topics in more detail, students write reports and give presentations to the class. Following that, groups compile reports, letters, or essays that synthesize all the presentations about the future of southeastern forests and then designate an audience with whom to share their findings. This activity can be adapted if students have not participated in all the activities in the module.
Full Activity (with student pages included)
- Southern Forest Futures Project – Summary reports, a webinar, and other resources related to a multiyear research effort that forecasts changes in southeastern forests between 2010 and 2060.
- Southern Forests for the Future – Maps, photos, case studies, and other information to highlight key features and trends for southern forests.
I incorporated an experimental research rubric as a part of the student
reflections. This included details about addressing their personal level of engagement with the topic, why this topic is valuable to study, as well as reflecting upon their research methods.
I used mini-posters as the method for presentations. The students presented to others in their group and could also rotate around to listen to other groups.
I had to use the information in Carbon on the Move, which I presented to my class before proceeding with The Carbon Puzzle, in order to give my students a bit more background.I made up a study guide with questions about the background info.
Students formed cohesive groups and I allowed them to research their roles more thoroughly so they will be able to answer their classmates’ questions. Some students really got into their roles and did an excellent job communicating with their audience..
Students enjoyed using this activity to pull together what they had learned in this unit/study. Since it was the last week of school, they enjoyed the format we used—group skits. Many used humor to present their information.