Teacher Guides Available for 9-12th grade Educators

By Logan Yonavjak

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has created a series of Teacher Guides for the Southern Forests for the Future project to provide teachers and educators with tools to incorporate SeeSouthernForests.org and the accompanying publication in 9-12th grade classrooms. These guides, found at http://www.SeeSouthernForests.org/teachers, were created in collaboration with Creative Change Educational Solutions, a nonprofit organization that provides sustainability-based curricula, training, and programming.

These guides align with current state-specific curriculum standards for Earth/Environmental Science, Biology, Geography, and Social Studies courses. Initially, the guides focus on six states in the southern United States, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Although the other seven southern states are not included, teachers in other states can still utilize the materials available. WRI will continue to expand the number of states over the course of 2010.

These teacher guides outline innovative activities that teachers can use to educate 9-12 grade students about some of the history, threats, and trends in southern forests. The guides incorporate the plethora of spatial data available on SeeSouthernForests.org and information about the history, trends, and drivers of change outlined in the Southern Forests for the Future publication. Many of the activities are classroom based, but several incorporate outside learning and activities that students can do at home with their families.

Some of the resources available to teachers include:

  • Teacher guidelines for navigating the SeeSouthernForest.org website.
  • A teacher guide focused on exploring the interactive mapping tool by examining some of the main drivers of change, such as suburbanization or pest and pathogen outbreaks. This guide also has information from the accompanying publication, Southern Forests for the Future.
  • A teacher guide focused on incorporating information from the feature themes on the interactive mapping tool, such as fragmentation, protection, and ownership of southern forests. This guide also has information from the accompanying publication, Southern Forests for the Future.
  • Six separate documents referencing state science and geography standards met by the teacher guides for Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

WRI also incorporated a number of activities from Project Learning Tree, a project of the American Forest Foundation. Since its founding in the early 1970s, Project Learning Tree (PLT) has been recognized as one of the premier environmental education programs in the world. The program is used in all 50 U.S. states and a number of countries abroad. Each year in the United States alone, approximately 25,000 educators attend PLT workshops to learn how to use this program with youth of all ages.

To access the teacher materials, go to www.SeeSouthernForests.org/teachers.

For more information, WRI will be hosting a website demonstration for educators on Thursday, May 13 at 1pm EST. Please email Logan Yonavjak at [email protected] to RSVP for this event or for more information about the teacher guide resources.