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Deforestation with Janina Cope


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Learning Objectives

  • Students will design and create Minecraft worlds illustrating the before and after effects of deforestation from 1990 or prior and 2016 in an area

  • Students will make predictions for the next 5-10 years in that same area based on the rapid rate of deforestation since 1990.

  • Students will research and present their call to action for slowing the process of deforestation in their community.

Guiding ideas

Mini-Lesson (whole class):

As students enter class or as a transition to the subject, play this YouTube video while they get settled.  

• Building Prior Knowledge 

• Watch these videos on the deforestation of the Amazon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVh2DEgpvsM 

• Next, show the students the following digital images of deforestation






• Have students share the images with other student partners in with the same cause/effect. 

•  As large groups of the same cause/effect card, students can vote on the pair of before/after images they want to share. 

Class discussion:

• After all small groups have shared their images, discuss as a large group the causes and effects of deforestation as it relates to different parts of the world.  Record answers in a central location to be used as reference throughout the lesson.

Student activities

• Option One: Design and create a Minecraft world illustrating an area in your state that has experienced deforestation. Be sure to clearly show the before and after effects of deforestation from two different dates.

o Once the design is complete, take a screenshot demonstrating before and after for each point in time.

• Option Two: Design and create a Minecraft world illustrating present day deforestation in a particular area and take a screenshot.  Next, predict the effects of deforestation in the same area as it would look in the next 5-10 years.

o Once the design is complete, take a screenshot of the final product.

Extension Activities:

• Science- students read article about the Oso landslide, one of the most recent National disasters in Washington State which killed 43 people.  The report states that the evidence is inconclusive http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20141209/NEWS01/141209031

• Students can construct an argument for or against citing evidence from their research and create a 30 second commercial stating their main point with evidence. 

• Students design a campaign to make changes in their own local area to impact deforestation.  They choose a point of view based on the causes and effects of deforestation and can make a video or develop other materials to create awareness of how their community.  Students can come up with other creative options to get the word out for example, creating PSA’s and posting them on SchoolTube as well as Tweeting facts about deforestation in their community with the hashtag #deforestisdestructive.

Performance expectations

Evidence of Learning

• Screenshots or screencast of either the Minecraft world demonstrating the before and after effects of deforestation in chosen state/local areas. 

• Screenshots or screencast of the Minecraft world demonstrating the present day deforestation in a particular state/local area.  Include additional screenshots or screencast of how the same area would look in 5-10 years.


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