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Last Updated: Friday February 01 2008 16:36 GMT

Amazon deforestation

Citizenship KS2/KS3/Levels E&F
Globalisation - environmental implications

A burned area of the Amazon rain forest

Overview

The Amazon rainforest is being given extra protection, because the Brazilian government is worried about how quickly it is being destroyed.

Students answer a quiz on rainforests and plan an advertising campaign to let consumers know the effect their purchases are having on the environment.

Learning aims

  • Reasons for deforestation
  • Local effects of deforestation
  • Some possible alternatives
  • How global trade can damage the environment
  • How consumers can influence the way retailers behave
Icebreaker

Read out this story to the class, then have a go at our rainforest quiz.

QUIZ: RAINFORESTS
Squirrel monkey (Juan Pratginestos/WWW-Brazil)
Rainforest quiz

Students test their knowledge of rainforests with this quiz:

Answers: 1c 2a 3c 4d 5b 6b 7a 8a.

Main activity

DEFORESTATION FACTSHEET
Amazon rainforest destruction (Picture: VT Freeze Frame)

These statements about the effects of deforestation are all mixed up. Students put them in the correct order:

They are available as a printable worksheet to cut up and order.

A. Trees are removed.
B. New trees grow more slowly and there are less species.
C. Soil is now less fertile and the unprotected surface becomes dry and compacted.
D. Trees do not protect soil so nutrients are washed out by the rain.
E. It is hard for rain to soak into the soil, so flooding may occur.

Correct order:

A. Trees are removed.
D. Trees do not protect soil so nutrients are washed out by the rain.
C. Soil is now less fertile and the unprotected surface becomes dry and compacted.
E. It is hard for rain to soak into the soil, so flooding may occur.
B. New trees grow more slowly and there are less species.

Education campaign

Working in groups, students devise an advertising campaign that lets people in the UK know that their purchases (including some makes of ice cream, margarines, mayonnaise, and lipstick) will change the rainforest environment.

Elements of the campaign:

  • Think of a catchphrase
  • Pick a celebrity spokesperson
  • Decide where will you advertise and why?
  • Storyboard a TV advert

For background information, students can also print off the fact sheet which contains:

  • Main reasons for deforestation
  • Effects of deforestation
  • Possible alternatives
  • Facts and myths about the effect of deforestation
Extension activity

Students sketch a club-style flyer to complement the campaign.

Plenary

Students present their ideas to the group and receive feedback.

Ask students: Can people who buy products (consumers) influence the way retailers behave to make sure they are environmentally responsible? How?

Teachers' background

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
The Amazon rainforest

It is estimated that 7.5 million hectares of rainforest are being cut down each year - that is the same as 20 football pitches every minute.

However, there is an area of rainforest the size of western Europe remaining in South America.

Click on the links in the blue box for other Newsround resources on the global environment.

For hundreds more news-based lesson plans, click on Teachers on the left hand side.



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