Environmental Sustainability: Forestry

Lesson Title: Environmental Sustainability: Forestry
Academic Standards: HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-4, HS-LS2-27, HS-ESS2-6
Content Creator: Mrs. Wendy Martin
Level: High School
Duration: 30-40 min
  /  Environmental Sustainability: Forestry


  • Students will learn the benefits of a forest ecosystem.
  • Students will understand what sustainable forestry is.
  • Students will discuss examples of it.
  • Students will understand the carbon cycle and a trees role in it.
  • Students will understand ecological succession.
  • Students will walk through two forest ecosystems - a deciduous forest and a coniferous forest.
  • Students will experience a virtual field trip to a real northern coniferous forest.


We cannot survive on this planet without forests. They provide habitat, food, medicine, lumber, jobs, recreation, and oxygen to our ecosystem. In addition they keep CO2 levels balanced in our atmosphere, acting as a carbon reservoir. but each year we lose close to 10 million ha of forest. How do we slow that? Sustainable forestry balances the need for these forest based resources and economic benefits while maintaining the long term heath of the forest. In this lesson, students will be introduced to a forest ecosystem. They will complete a forest scavenger hunt, walking through and finding examples of forest benefits. Students will also learn about ecological succession and the carbon cycle. A field trip to an actual forest in Flathead National Forest, Montana is included. The students will hear how the owner of the property is practicing sustainable forestry.


  1. Introduction to a deciduous forest.
  2. Introduction to everything a forest ecosystem provides both economically and ecologically.
  3. Go on a forest scavenger hunt, finding items that represent these products.
  4. Discussion of the items found and what they represent.
  5. Move to a coniferous forest and discuss the characteristics of this type.
  6. Discuss sustainable forestry. What is it? Why do we need it? What are some examples of it?
  7. Virtual field trip to Flathead National Forest in Montana.

Demonstratives & Media

Classroom Space
Dinosaur Park
Instructional Videos
3D objects

Suggested Ancillary Support

Scavenger hunt items can include: food items like bananas, nuts and berries, apples animals that in forests like a fox, deer, birds, rabbit, snake wood and lumber products like a chair, a house, a table, etc paper products like office paper or an open book decorations like a Christmas tree or a wreath people in the forest walking for recreation The letter O for oxygen The letter C for carbon A $ sign to represent jobs