Rainforest Land Use News Report

Rainforest Land Use News Report
Social Studies
Middle School
Time Frame:
3 class periods
Using a jigsaw approach, students will investigate the conflict over land use in the Amazon Rainforest. After researching a variety of perspectives and possible solutions to reduce the conflict, small groups representing at least 3-4 perspectives will create a news report imagining how different groups would respond to a proposed solution. The news report could be in the format of a radio broadcast, television news, or a current events article.
  1. KWH - What do the students already know about the rainforest? What do they want to know about the rainforest? How could they investigate those questions?
  2. Pose the essential question for the unit, How should the resources of the rainforests be used and preserved?
  3. Background Reading - Read pages 177-179 in Geography Alive.
  4. Assign project teams of 3. Have students select their area of expertise from the 3 available to their team. (Half the teams choose from Native Amazonians, Loggers, or Settlers. The other half choose from Rubber Tappers, Cattle Ranchers, or Environmentalists.)
  5. Jigsaw Groups -
    • Students independently read the page for their area of expertise. While reading, students should record their notes in bullet format on a 3x5 card. (or, they can take notes in the TCI Student Handbook)
    • After reading and notetaking, students get together with the other students who have the same area of expertise to compare notes.
    • Optional - have groups find 2 quality websites that have additional information on their area of expertise. News sites like NPR, BBC, and ABC (Australia) could give students a wider set of ideas.
    • The group then designs a PowerPoint or Keynote slide with at most five bullet points summarizing what they have learned about their group. Or, students could just post bullet notes to a wiki page.
    • These slides should be uploaded to a wiki page with a section for each perspective.
    • Optional - Post links to the websites the group found beneath the slide.
  6. Project Teams - Students then join their project teams.
    • Each member should then read 1 of the 3 ideas to preserve the rainforest on pages 186-187.
    • They then explain the idea they read about to the other two members in their team.
    • Optional - Have students use the internet to search for X number of alternative ideas such as consuming 1 less meal with beef each week. As earlier, news sources could be used here and would also give the students a feel for the style of their own report.
    • Teams then select one of the ideas (or better yet, creates a synthesized idea) and discusses the strengths and weakness of it from each of their three perspectives.
    • Teams then script/storyboard an audio or video news story (third option would be to write a text-based story). They then record, edit, and export their story (GarageBand, Audacity, Flip Camera & software, iMovie, MovieMaker, etc.) Their story should include background information, a description of their proposed solution, and reactions from each perspective. Props, greenscreen, sound fx, costumes, etc. should be considered.
    • Teams upload their finished project to a wiki page with a section for each team.
  7. Reflection - Using the comment/discussion feature of the wiki, have groups comment on each project.
    • Questions to probe their assumptions/reasoning
    • Similarities/differences to their own project/solution
    • Disagreements (polite) with their assumptions/reasoning - give reasons
    • Discuss inferences/implications
    • Provide an opinion (similar or different)
  8. Project Debrief - Whole group discussion (f2f or Moodle)
    • How would the project have been different if other tools were used?
    • How many of the original KWH questions were addressed? What new questions do they have now?
    • How does this project connect to their daily lives?
    • What are their (informed) opinions on the rainforest now?
  • GLCE's:
    • 5.2 Environment and Scarcity: Describe how human actions modify the physical environment
    • 5.6 Economic Systems: Describe characteristics of different economic systems, institutions, and incentives
    • 5.7 Uses of Geography: Apply geography and history to interpret the present and plan for the future
    • 6.4 Physical and Human Systems: Describe how physical systems affect human systems
    • Considering alternative perspectives.
  • !gnite:
    • Communication with text and non-text resources (presentation slides & news report)
    • Collaboration - jigsaw groups and interdependent groups
      • problem solving
      • synthesis
      • metacognition
    • Wiki skills
Rubric Elements
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