Keywords: natural resource, renewable, aesthetics, environment, manufacturing, and economics; Grade Level: 2nd Grade; Total Time Required: 4 days (approximately 1-2 hours per day); Setting: South Mountain Forest (Emmaus, PA) and the classroom

Subjects Covered: Science, Social Studies, Language Arts

Topic(s) Covered: Why Pennsylvania forests are important to us. (economics, aesthetics, environmental benefits)

Goals for the Lesson

***Main Goal: Students will create a brochure depicting why the PA forests are important to us.

*Students will determine what items they use that come from the forest.
*Students will identify at least 3 environmental benefits of the forest.
*Students will look for ways that forests can provide relaxation and enjoyment.

Materials Needed

Outdoor Journal, South Mountain Forest, Camera

State Standards Addressed:
3.6.4C Identify examples of manufactured goods present in the home and school and identify basic resources needed to produce a manufactured item.
4.2.4A Identify needs of people. (and how the environment provides this)
4.2.4C. Know that some natural resources have limited life spans.
4.3.4C. Know the importance of natural resources in daily life.
6.4.3C. Identify local resources.
1.4.3 Write informational pieces.
1.2.3A. Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the elements of a variety of informational texts to demonstrate an understanding of the information presented.


Day 1:

1. Ask students what they know about forests. List on board.
2. Ask them to think about why forests are important to people.
3. Tell students they will be hiking to a spot in the forest on South Mountain (Emmaus, PA) and will be using their senses to make a list of all the things that they see, hear, smell, feel, etc…
4. In groups of three, have them discuss their lists and categorize them as things they liked and things they did not like.
5. Guide students to make the conclusion that forests are often times looked upon as a place to relax and to find enjoyment just by being there. Introduce the word and definition of "aesthetics".

Day 2:

1. Review what "aesthetics" means. Remind the students that one reason forests are important to people is because it is looked upon as a place of beauty.
2. Put students in groups of 4 and give each group a camera.
3. Tell them that today they will be hiking the South Mountain trail again. They should be looking carefully at the environment and taking pictures of anything they would describe as "nature found in the forest".
3. As the students walk down through the town, have them discuss how the environment is different in this location.
4. Have them think about what plants and animals are present in the forest versus in town.
5. Guide students to make the conclusion that another reason that forests are important is because of environmental benefits.

Day 3:

1. Review what "aesthetics" means and how it relates to the forest.
2. Review the environmental benefits of the forest.
3. Look around the classroom and school building and make a list of everything they think comes from trees.
4. Have them think about what they use at home that comes from trees.
5. Read "Incredible Wood" by Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension as a class and discuss.
6. Have them revisit their list and add items made from wood that they missed the first time.
7. Discuss what jobs may be created by manufacturing items from the forest.
8. Guide the students to make the conclusion that forests are important because they are used to create everyday items and create numerous jobs for people.

Day 4:

1. Review the 3 reasons that PA forests are important to us.
2. Each student will create a brochure that shows the importance of PA forests.
3. Brochures will be typed, illustrated, and printed. They will be distributed within the community.


Brochure will be used as an assessment.

Literature/Sources Cited

"Incredible Wood" (Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension.) Prepared by Sanford S. Smith, natural resources and youth extension specialist, and Lee R. Stover, extension wood products specialist.


Lisa Fritz, Seven Generations Charter School