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 can be purchased 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 present. 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 Fire, Smokey Bear, brief historical short stories, and historical out-takes 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] - 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 Search, 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.