Forests of the World

Forests of the World

Forests of the World (E-Book)   $9.99 Add to cart

Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. PLT's secondary modules challenge students to explore in-depth the complexity of environmental issues and real-life decisions.


Nearly 30% of the land area on our planet is covered by forests. In this Project Learning Tree high school module, students learn about their connections to the forests of the world and the challenges impacting this critical global natural resource. The curriculum’s structure is based on the framework of the Montreal Process, an international effort to implement criteria and indicators for forest conservation and sustainable management.


Educators can access this 148-page module online as an e-book.


What's included:


Activity 1 – Making the Global Connection

In this activity, students will conduct a survey to help them assess what they and others know about forests and to consider ways that people are linked to forests around the world.


Activity 2 – What Is a Forest?

Dozens of official definitions of the term forest are in use throughout the world. In this activity, students will analyze various definitions of this term and then consider different cultural perspectives that affect people’s perception of forests.


Activity 3 – Mapping the World’s Forests

Identifying, documenting, classifying, and accurately mapping the diversity of forests found around the world is an active, ongoing process. A holistic system of global ecological zones related to simple, well-known climate characteristics and vegetation types is now used to classify the world’s forests. In this activity, students will examine this system to see how temperature and moisture determine the type of forest in a given locale.


Activity 4 – Analyzing Patterns of Forest Change

Human activities and other forces can change forests in a variety of different ways. Students will identify global trends in forest cover; through maps and historical accounts they will analyze how particular forests have changed over time.


Activity 5 – Understanding the Effects of Forest Uses

In this activity, students will analyze the effects of different ways that people use the world’s forests and determine which effects may be sustainable according to one definition.


Activity 6 – Seeking Sustainability: A Global Response

In this activity, students will consider possible indicators that a forest is sustainable, and learn about one international initiative for monitoring forest sustainability. They will find out what is being done locally and in other countries to determine whether forests are managed in a sustainable way.


Activity 7 – Exploring the World Marketplace

In this activity, students will conduct a simulation in which countries use their forest resources to “manufacture” products and to sell them to an international trader. Through the simulation, students will experience what can happen when forest resources are unevenly distributed around the world and will explore some of the tradeoffs of resource use.


Activity 8 – Making Consumer Choices

Using paper as an example, students will analyze the life cycle and consumption patterns of forest products, and they will identify the international dimensions of product use. Using their findings, they will then draw conclusions about consuming forest products in a way that is more intelligent and takes into account the global consequences.


Activity 9 – Researching Forests Around the World

In this activity, students will explore their connections to the world’s forests by researching a forest in another country or region, and by creating a profile about that forest.


Global Connections: Forests of the World is a result of a partnership between Project Learning Tree and the World Forestry Center. It is designed for use in biology, geography, agriculture, and other science and social studies courses at the high school or early college level.


The module helps students understand their connections to the forests of the world as they learn about cultural, economic, environmental, and political aspects of the world’s forests. The activities provide students with opportunities to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills while investigating world forestry issues and conducting service-learning action projects.


Supplementary Resources


Supplementary resources include downloadable PDFs of a poster and a map to project onto a smartboard or other screen, or have them printed at your local print shop.

  • The Global Connections: Forests of the World poster (24” x 36”) depicts global forest coverage, describes common forest types, and shows ecological zones across the Earth. Suggestions for using the poster are listed in specific activities throughout the module.
  • Global Ecological Zones Map (11” x 17”) shows the locations of Earth’s ecological zones. It is intended for use by individual teams in Activity 3: Mapping the World’s Forests.