Middle school students are gaining a deeper sense of themselves as members of communities – both human communities and natural communities. They are becoming aware of how people’s actions impact others, and friends and relationships consume a lot of their thought and energy.
Students this age understand that problems have multiple solutions, and are able to see different perspectives on an issue. They should also be able to back up personal opinions with evidence and to distinguish between opinion and fact. Forest literacy activities at the middle school level may focus on:
• What social, economic and environmental benefits do forests provide?
• How do human activities affect forests?
• What can we do to protect Oregon’s forests?
Forests can become a meaningful context for middle schoolers to design and conduct investigations, use evidence to analyze results, and examine issues from various perspectives. Activities such as these will help students gain a deeper appreciation of the interconnected relationships between people and the environment.