Lesson 2A: Influence and Sustainable Forestry

Lesson 2A: Influence  and Sustainable Forestry     Grade level: 8-12            Time Length:  Two class periods

Cross Curricular Component: Lesson 1D: Consistent Issues; 2C: Stewardship, Consequences and New Ideas; 4B: Influence of the Arts; 5A: Modern Era: Controversy and Strife; 6E: Pol. Cartoons; 6F: How Do Others See Us?

PDE Academic Standards: 1.1.8/11; 1.2.8/11; 1.6.8/11; 4.1.12.E; 4.3.7.A; 4.3.10.A; 4.3.12.A; 5.2.9/12; 6.3.9/12; 8.1.9/12; 8.2.9/12; 8.3.9/12



–Students will become familiar with the work Man and Nature by George Perkins Marsh and discuss how literature and other arts can be a great influence in our society

–Students will compare writings from Gifford Pinchot and Marsh and note parallels

–Students will develop an understanding of the term “sustainable management” and how it pertains to sustainable forest management.



Seeking the Greatest Good

Excerpts from Man and Nature by George Perkins Marsh (Appendix B)

The US Forest Service Mission

Gifford Pinchot’s The Fight for Conservation, Chapters I, IV, VI, IX  (Appendix B)

Original:  http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/consrv:@field(DOCID+@lit(amrvgvg11)):


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

“The future of mankind lies waiting for these who will come to understand their lives and take up their responsibilities to all living things.”

                                                                                                            -Vine Deloria Jr.


–View Chapter II of Seeking the Greatest Good

–One of Gifford Pinchot’s greatest influences was Marsh’s Man and Nature.  In small groups, have the students analyze parts of the work and draw connections to past and current conservation topics utilizing the worksheets and questions provided (Appendix B)  Share out to the class and make a list of all the connections the students can come up with.

–Next, break students up into 5 equal groups, each with a different publication that Gifford Pinchot used to advocate for a national forest or for conservation of forest reserves.  Each document group should also be assigned a group color.  When students are done answering questions as a group, have each group member find a group member with a different color (eg: group colors were red, yellow, blue, green, and orange.  Now you should have 5 different groups, with each group member holding a different color – and a different document). Each group member will now school the others in their part of Pinchot’s extensive publications.  Have each new group answer the Round 2 questions (Appendix B) utilizing all 5 resources.

–Have each group share out.  Then, compare their findings with what they found in Marsh’s work and with the Mission statement of the US Forest Service.  Discuss how one influential work can indeed make a huge difference when the right person believes in it.
1.  How does the mission of the USFS mirror both Gifford Pinchot and George Perkins Marsh?

2.  Compare the phrase in the USFS motto “…quality land management under the sustainable multiple-use management concept to meet the diverse needs of people.” with Pinchot’s phrase of “The greatest good for the greatest number in the longest run.”  Are they the same? Different? Why or why not?

3.  Which of the principles listed under the motto reflects the beliefs of Pinchot and Marsh?

4.  Which guiding principles are the best reflections of the Forest Service as originally intended by Pinchot?


Extension: This lesson can be extended into Lesson 5A utilizing Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring


Closure/Summary:            (3min)

Ask students to think about influences in their lives thus far and whether or not they chose to follow that influence and why.



Students will be evaluated on the quality of their responses both in group work and in the discussion

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