If Trees Could Talk: Middle School Curriculum

"If Trees Could Talk: A Curriculum in Environmental History" is an 11-module, middle school curriculum that gives teachers the opportunity to download social studies activities that are based upon archival materials. The centerpiece of each module is a compilation of primary resources—documents, maps, newspaper articles, oral histories or photographs—from which students are asked to gather, examine, and analyze information, and synthesize insights.

Modules cover such topics as how Native Americans and European settlers managed forested landscapes, the significance of private forests in American society, the central role of wood in America’s industrial revolution, the history of wildfire policy and what it means for us today, and the history of the environmental movement.

"If Trees Could Talk" is correlated to National History and Social Studies Standards, as well as individual state standards. The curriculum also meets the indicators for the Guidelines for Excellence developed by the North American Association for Environmental Education.

A Curriculum in Environmental History

If trees could talk and we could listen, would we be wiser? The Forest History Society believes that we must understand the history of forests and their people in order to shape the future of people and their forests.

This 11-module, middle school curriculum gives teachers the opportunity to download social studies activities that are based upon archival materials. The centerpiece of each module is a compilation of primary resources—documents, maps, newspaper articles, oral histories or photographs—from which students will be asked to gather, examine, and analyze information, and synthesize insights.

"If Trees Could Talk" was produced by the Forest History Society in collaboration with Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, North Carolina State University, Project Learning Tree, and the North Carolina Forestry Association. Funding was provided by the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources and the USDA Forest Service through the Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program; the Laird Norton Endowment Foundation; the Bradley/Murphy Forestry & Natural Resources Extension Trust, the Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Curriculum was developed by Dr. Marsha Alibrandi, Lucy Laffitte, Kathleen Johnson, Meg John, and Cheryl Oakes, with assistance by Steve Anderson, Charlotte Clark, Angela Baker Cloud, Sylvia Gill, Rita Hagevik, Barbara Jean, Julia Kertz, Mark Megalos, Greg Morris, Rebecca Pruett, Bob Robinson, Jennifer Swanson, and Susan Zachary. The website was designed by En-Sight Group and Lucy Laffitte.

"If Trees Could Talk" is correlated to National History and Social Studies Standards, as well as individual state standards. The curriculum also meets the indicators for the Guidelines for Excellence developed by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).

Contact: Jamie Lewis

Copyright Forest History Society 2000-2009.

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