K-2 Teachers Guide

The Greatest Good film was produced by the US Forest Service in honor of its Centennial celebration in 2005. The film offers a historical overview of the last 100 years of natural resource management.

The Greatest Good is available for purchase on DVD and includes three disks. Disc 1 contains the two-hour history documentary film, detailing, in four 30-minute parts, some of the major Forest Service events and issues from the early 1900's to 2005. Disc 2 contains bonus materials, including the original film trailers (ads), as well as music videos, various views on hot topics in the Forest Service, and historic public service announcements. Disc 3 contains additional bonus materials including such topics as wildfires, Smokey Bear, brief historical short stories, and historical outtakes from the film. To learn more about what is on the three discs, see The Greatest Good DVD index.

Lesson Plans & Discussion Ideas

"Woodsy Owl" [Disc 2] contains various age appropriate public service announcements featuring Woodsy Owl. Excellent for discussing issues of pollution, littering, recycling, as well as Earth Day activities and discussions.

  • Woodsy Owl Activity Guide (small fee for activity book)
  • Contaminated Drinking Water (grades 1-3) The Ecology Center offers this lesson allowing students to discuss drinking water quality and the effects of pollution in their daily lives.
  • Freddy the Fish, available on the Texas Tech University web site. Students identify ways humans pollute water supplies and the effects water pollution has on plant & animal life.
  • In the Air, (grades K-3) Developed by Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center through EPA funding. Students will learn basic facts about air pollution and ways to improve air quality.
  • Pollution Projects, a PLT* activity (grades 2-6 with Pre-K-2 variations) - students will identify forms of pollution and the relationship between humans and pollution.

"Smokey Bear"[Disc 3] - Various historic information about Smoky Bear including Public Service Announcements and the Smokey song - Excellent for discussing wild fires and fire prevention.

Continue to check the Forest History Society website for further modules being added to the "If Trees Could Talk" curriculum.

*To use PLT materials, instructors are required to complete PLT training to access them.