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The Service national du RÉCIT de l’univers social proposes a learning situation about forest exploitation in the form of a website with a narrative framework. Students will work on the issue of forest exploitation through the adventures of Mike Forrest, a student who has found a summer job as a tree planter in Abitibi. Upon his return home in the fall, he will be a transformed citizen.

This guide will help you identify the educational orientations of this learning situation. It will also enable you to target the appropriate competencies in each section. Teachers can undertake various tasks in class or online, depending on their educational objectives and the technological resources at their disposal.

The content and tasks in this learning situation were developed to reflect the spirit of the competency-based Québec Education Program. They are an interpretation of the program created by the authors of this learning situation and the Service national du RÉCIT. Pedagogical design and writing was done by teachers Matteo Picone and Marianne Giguère, as well as by Steve Quirion, Educational Consultant and Coordinator of RÉCIT de l’univers social. Research was conducted by teachers Sylvain Decelles, Étienne Soucy and René Landry.

Educational aim
Broad Areas of Learning: Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

To encourage students to develop an active relationship with their environment while maintaining a critical attitude toward consumption and the exploitation of the environment.
Focuses of development: Construction of a viable environment based on sustainable development


Pedagogical aim
To help students understand the complexity of the issue of forest exploitation, not only at regional and national levels, but also at a global level.

Competencies

Cross-curricular competency

  • Uses information and communications technologies

Subject-specific competency

  • Competency 1: Understands the organization of a territory
  • Competency 2: Interprets a territorial issue
  • Competency 3: Constructs his/her consciousness of global citizenship

Defining the concept of forest exploitation

“Territory” section

Aim: To get students to define the concept of forest exploitation through researching its main attributes. Self-directed and collective activities will help students understand this concept and achieve a conceptual grasp of geographic phenomena.

Duration: 2 periods.

Student working documents :

- Working document for activities 1 and 2:

- Working document for activities 3 and 4:

>>> Link to student site >>>

Activity 1:
The purpose of this activity is to review students’ knowledge of the forest. Ask the students to brainstorm, accepting all their ideas as valid. Then sort through the ideas proposed with the help of the students. Personal experience of the forest territory can be included.

Activity 2:
Ask students to identify on their own how they use the forest and its products and then get them to compare their answers with those of other students. The purpose of this activity is to see the forest in a wider context. Students must become aware that the issue of forest exploitation has implications beyond the boundaries of the forest territory. They should suggest a way to classify the various ideas raised by the class. An ICT activity is proposed in which the students use Inspiration or FreeMind to organize the concepts they have identified.


Activity 3:
Provide the students with the various categories that can be used to define the concept of forest exploitation. These categories are: trades, organizations, hazards, recreational tourism, industries, consumer products and types of forest. The students must determine which category various photos belong to. Another ICT activity is suggested in which the students are asked to create a slideshow presentation using the images provided. Students are asked to explain the categories in their own words and end their presentations with a definition of the concept of forest exploitation.

Activity 4:
After a class review, students are asked to define the concept of forest exploitation.

 

Abitibi: A regional and forest territory

Territory section

Aim: To get the students to understand the organization of the territory of Abitibi by associating images with texts. Students must then identify what feelings the various documents evoked for them, grasp the meaning of human actions with regard to the territory of Abitibi and identify the external influences at work in this territory.

Competencies:

Understands the organization of a territory (competency 1):

  • Deconstructs landscapes in the territory
  • Grasps the meaning of human actions with regard to the territory

Uses information and communications technologies:

  • Takes full advantage of these technologies
  • Evaluates his/her use of these technologies
Duration: 2 periods

Student working document: :

- Working document for activity 5 :

>>> Link to student site >>>

 

Activity 5:

This is the only activity in this learning situation that focuses specifically on the forest territory of Abitibi. A school in another region (such as Mauricie) could choose to study another territory closer to or within their own region. The other activities in this learning situation address the forestry issue more generally and could be associated with any forest territory.

Step 1: Students are asked to read the encyclopedia entry for Abitibi. This text provides a short overview of the territory.

Step 2: Students are asked to read about the various types of land use in Abitibi. They must each choose one type of landscape to research further from the following four types:

  • Urban landscape
  • Agricultural landscape
  • Exploited forest landscape
  • Protected forest landscape

Step 3: Student must identify the five photos that best illustrate the organization of the territory.

Solutions (web version):


Type of landscape

Associated images

Urban

Images C, E, H, I, K

Agricultural

Images A, D, G, J, L

Exploited forest

Images B, E, H, J, K

Protected forest

Images A, D, G, I, L

Solutions (paper version):


Type of landscape

Associated images

Urban

Images B, I, L, P, R

Agricultural

Images A, C, J, N, T

Exploited forest

Images E, G, K, O, S

Protected forest

Images D, F, H, M, Q

Step 4: Students are asked to identify what feelings the various documents about a given landscape have evoked for them. They must also indicate why humans are exploiting this territory and identify the external influences at work in the regional territory of Abitibi.

Overview of the various landscapes: In order for the students to be introduced to all the territories, they can be asked to share their observations in teams of two or four. Each student must explore one or more territories and present it to the other students.

 

The issue of forest exploitation

“Issue” section
Aim: To make students aware of the complexity of the issue of forest exploitation by having them study the positions of each of the players involved in this issue. To do so, students are asked to create a sketch that illustrates the issue and suggests a possible compromise.

Competencies:
Interprets a territorial issue (competency 2):

  • Considers how the territorial issue is dealt with
  • Evaluates the [positions] of the groups involved
  • Describes the complexity of the territorial issue

Uses information and communications technologies:

  • Uses appropriate technologies
  • Takes full advantage of these technologies
  • Evaluates his/her use of these technologies

 

 

Duration: 3 periods

Student working documents:

- Summary sheet for activity 6 :

- Working document for activity 6:

Link to student site >>>

 

 

Activity 6: The players involved in the issue

Step 1: Gathering information
Using the summary sheet, students must first identify the various players and determine their points of view. The class can be divided into teams and each team assigned part of this task. However, each student must summarize the point of view of each of the players assigned to him/her.

In teams and following a class discussion, students must identify the compromises possible between the various players.
Individually, but taking into account team discussions, each student must take a stand with respect to the issue.

Step 2: Creating a sketch

Using the online drawing tool or drawing software, students must illustrate the issue of forest exploitation and complete their sketch with a personal statement expressing their point of view. Students’ interpretations can be submitted to RÉCIT de l’univers social by clicking on Soumettre mon croquis.... that is to say, “Submit my proposal.”

 

 

Forest exploitation at a global level

“Action” section

Aim: To help students grasp the global consequences of forest exploitation using the example of the Amazon rainforest. Students must then identify the actions they can take as citizens.

Competencies:
Constructs his/her consciousness of global citizenship

  • Shows the global nature of a geographic phenomenon
  • Examines human actions in terms of the future
  • Evaluates solutions to global issues

Duration: 2 periods

Student working document:

- Student worksheet for activity 7:

Link to student site >>>

 

 

Activity 7: Think globally, act locally

Step 1: Think globally

This activity is based on the environmentalist slogan “Think globally, act locally.” Using the overview of the Amazon rainforest and the student worksheet, students are to identify the global consequences of intensive forest exploitation in the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon rainforest example is to be viewed in a global rather than a territorial context. Students should understand that the intensive exploitation of forests can have disastrous consequences on a global level if industries and countries don’t engage in sustainable development.

Observation of satellite images

Here are some of the activities that students can undertake using the satellite image:

  • Observe that the forest extends over more than one country.
  • Evaluate the area occupied by the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.
  • Evaluate what proportion of the world’s forests is made up of the forest Amazon rainforest.
  • Observe harvesting areas.
  • Observe the Amazon River system.

 

Step 2: Act locally

Again using the student worksheet and the statistics and sites available in the “Action” section, students are to identify actions they can engage in as citizens. This activity may be part of a final task such as a presentation, written text, poster, public awareness campaign or multimedia presentation, or it may mark a special event such as Earth Day.

 

Review

We recommend that students be asked to review this learning situation as a whole so they can integrate what they have learned while undertaking the seven activities described above. This reflection can take the form of a group discussion led by the teacher or be carried out more individually and involve self-correction. Either way, it is important not only to focus on the factual knowledge related to the geographic phenomenon under study, but also to help students to reflect on the competencies they have developed throughout this learning situation.

Here are some examples of questions that could be used to stimulate reflection:

  • What difficulties did you encounter? How did you overcome them?
  • Define the word “issue.” Give examples of issues that affect you or your community.
  • Do all issues have solutions?
  • Define the word “interpretation.”
  • Before giving your opinion on an issue, what must you do?

 

Credits

Project coordinator:
Steve Quirion, Educational Consultant and Coordinator, RÉCIT de l’univers social
Pedagogical activity design:
Matteo Picone, teacher
Steve Quirion, Educational Consultant and Coordinator, RÉCIT de l’univers social
Writing:
Marianne Giguère, teacher
Research:
Marianne Giguère, teacher
Matteo Picone, teacher
Étienne Soucy, teacher
René Landry, teacher
Sylvain Decelles, teacher
Illustrations:
Laurence Dechassey (Lolilou)
Graphics:
Steve Quirion, Educational Consultant and Coordinator, RÉCIT de l’univers social
HTML layout and programming:
Vanessa Blais, Consultant, RÉCIT de l’univers social
Mathieu Rocheleau, Consultant, RÉCIT de l’univers social
Copy editing:
Louise Desmarchais

English adaptation by LEARN (2007)

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