Lesson 1B: Ecological Changes and Consequences of Land Use

Lesson 1B: Ecological Changes and Consequences of Land Use          Grade level:  7 – 12   Time Length: 2-3 class period
Cross Curricular/Cross Lessons: Pre-Lesson: Forest Ecology; Lesson 1A:The Gilded Age; 1D:Consistent Issues; Lesson 2C: Stewardship, Consequences and New Ideas; 5B/C: Current Environmental Challenges; 6A: Sustaining Forests; 6D: That’s a Wrap; 6G: What Might Have Been

PDE Academic Standards: 4.5.6.A; 4.5.6.A; 4.1.10.B; 4.1.10.E;  4.3.10.B; 4.1.12.B; 4.1.7.E; 1.1.8/11; 1.2.8/11; 1.6.8/11; 6.3.9/12; 7.3.9/12; 7.4.9/12; 8.1.9/12;; 8.3.9/12
Students will understand how land use has and is impacting ecosystems and use of natural resources.
–Students will understand the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources
–Students will understand how ecosystems change and that they are always changing
Seeking the Greatest Good
Explore PA history: Pennsylvanians and their Environment: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2: http://explorepahistory.com/story.php?storyId=1-9-E&chapter=1
Map of deforestation:   http://conservationreport.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/anim_area-of-virgin-forest-usa_.gif
Harvard Forest dioramas:  http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/dioramas
Gifford Pinchot’s Primer of Forestry Part II: Work in the Woods, pages 38 -42. https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=f38menAlUyIC&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&authuser=0&hl=en&pg=GBS.PA21

Anticipatory Set:  (2min)      “Moment of Zen”       Discuss the quote as it relates to both students and the topic.

“A Nation deprived of liberty may win it; A Nation divided may reunite; but a Nation whose national resources are destroyed must inevitably pay the penalty of poverty, degradation, and decay…Conservation…is the key to the future.”                                                                                           –President John F. Kennedy, Grey Towers Dedication Speech

Watch chapter one of Seeking the Greatest Good

–Explain the processes of forest succession to the class

–Break the students into groups, and have them read Explore PA history.  Write the following questions on the board or hand them to the students to answer in groups:

What do you think were the environmental impacts of the land use of settlers?

-Deforestation, silt, wildlife, plant life, etc

Using what you learned about forest ecology, what do you think the ecological consequences were at the time?

–Ask the students in class, or for homework, to draw a picture of what they thought the area looked like before and after, using the descriptions in Changes and have them describe the consequences. If feasible, ask students to create their own time lapse map and list the impacted species and the impact on the ecosystem via the loss of these species.
–Have students read the selected pages in Gifford Pinchot’s Primer of Forestry Part II.  Then have students work in groups of 3-4 to answer the following questions:
-List 5 uses of wood                 -Is it bad to cut trees?  Explain.
-How does “Conservation lumbering”, more commonly called “sustainable forestry”, differ from traditional   lumbering?

-How does sustainable forestry ensure a future supply of trees?

Advanced Extension (recommended for 11-12 grade elective)

–Break students into 8 nearly equally-sized groups.  Give each group images of two consecutive Harvard Forest Dioramas with the accompanying description.  Ask them to read the description and analyze the images as a group.   What is different between the two images? What caused the changes?   Are the changes bad?  Hve groups present their findings to the class.  Project the consecutive images for each group so that students can point out changes to their peers.
–If feasible, ask students to create their own time lapse map and list the impacted species and the impact on the ecosystem via the loss of these species.

Closure/Summary:            (3min)
Answer the Key Question:
How do human activities influence ecosystems?
Students will be evaluated on the quality of their responses and projects

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