Keywords: watershed, sustainable, rain garden, riparian buffers, wetland, carrying capacity; Grade Levels: 4 - 12; Time: 40 minutes plus allow 25 additional minutes to present Lorax book or DVD; Setting: indoors; Subject: Science; Topic: Develop an environmentally sustainable plan for a forest within the Lorax Watershed

Goals for the Lesson

  1. Students will apply understanding of best management practices to create plan for forest area.
  2. Students will recognize the importance of forest management while working in a cooperative group.

Materials Needed

  • Lorax book or DVD
  • Truffala Forest Plan expectations
  • Mapping paper (could use graph paper)
  • Pencils, colored pencils, markers, crayons

State Standards:
* 4.2.C Renewable/Non-renewable Resources: Management
* 4.8.B Humans and Environment: Sustainability

Teaching Method: Experiential Learning


  • The Lorax tells a story meant to inspire stewardship. After watching the story on DVD or hearing it read, students will have the opportunity to create a forest management plan for the Truffula Forest.
  • Truffala Forest Plan
    Your company, Onceler Incorporated, has acquired 500 acres of Truffala Forest. Your task is to develop an environmentally sustainable plan for this forest within the Lorax Watershed. Use the map paper provided to illustrate your plan. In order to develop an effective management plan your group will need to consider the following information:
    1. You will need to set aside two acres for your new Thneed Factory. Remember to include a parking lot for employees. Runoff water from the parking lot should run into a rain garden (Collection area for run off).
    2. Truffula trees are fully grown in ten years. Plan a forest area that includes a cycle of trees you will cut to make thneeds, trees you will let grow for future thneeds, and young tree seedlings you will have just planted or allowed for regeneration (There are a variety of regeneration methods. Explain to students that trees renew themselves through seed dispersal, root sprouts, and stump sprouts) to replace full grown trees.
    3. In order to prevent pollution of gluppity-glup and schloppity-schlopp into Rippulous Pond you will need to add a wastewater treatment plant along with riparian buffers (An area of grass and trees along waterways includes wildlife habitat and collection area of run off.). Grickle-grass grows quickly and could be planted in the riparian buffer. Humming-Fish love humming under the shade of the Truffula trees too.
    4. Remember the Swomee-Swans will migrate through the Truffula forest in the fall and spring of the year. Prepare a wetland (Slow moving water collecting on land 6-12 months of the year.) space for them.
    5. Can you add anything to your thneed factory in order to prevent the production of smogulous-smog?
    6. The carrying capacity (The population of a species able to survive in an area based on habitat, water, food, and space.) of a mature Truffula forest for Brown Barbaloots is 5 per acre. More than that, and they start to get crummies in their tummies. To maintain biodiversity (A measure of the distinct characteristics, qualities, or elements of plants and animal life in a defined area.) think about their habitat needs, plan for space, water, and food.
    7. Have you managed to consider every part of the Lorax Watershed (The land area from which surface runoff drains into a stream channel, lake, reservoir, or other body of water; also called a drainage basin)? Remember that a watershed include the land area draining into a body of water. Is there anything you might have missed?
    8. If you are able to create an outstanding plan, there will be 500 Brown Barbaloots on your site, all playing happily in their Barbaloot suits.


Allow each group to present their map and explain their management plan.

Literature Source

Lesson creation is based on characters and concepts from the story, The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, copyright 1970, 1999. Consult your local Penn State Extension or Conservation District for more information regarding best management practices for conservation of our natural resources.


Sallie Gregory, Lancaster County Conservation District