The rainforest has experienced deforestation at an alarming rate over the last 50 years. Deforestation has been increasing due to human exploitation, represented primarily by the logging industry and agricultural use. Classroom activities on the deforestation of the rainforest should incorporate statistics to show the extent of the damage and destruction, the effects of deforestation, and deforestation solutions.
One of the best ways to see the impact of deforestation is to break down how the rainforest has been destroyed. Students can break deforestation down based on the country and should include the original forest amount, the present forest, and the annual rate of deforestation. A bar graph or pie chart can help outline the major causes of deforestation and link it with a pictorial description.
Take a globe or world map and a red marker and colour in the parts of the rainforest that have been destroyed in a specific time frame. You can break this activity down by country or region so that different groups can focus on how the forests have been reduced by different methods of human exploitation.
Effects of Deforestation
Assign each student a discussion topic on the effects of deforestation, including the erosion of the soil, the disruption of the water cycle and the ecosystem, the loss of biodiversity, flooding and droughts, and climate change. Students lead discussions focusing on how soil erosion washes away nutrients, how water circulates in ecosystems and how it changes when trees are destroyed, what animals are most affected by deforestation, and the relationship between climate changes and carbon dioxide emissions.
One of the ways to address deforestation in the classroom is to examine potential solutions intended to reverse the damage to the environment. Solutions to address in the classroom might include sustainable commercial logging, strategies to preserve the soil, plans to protect habitats and alternative energy sources.