Resources to teach Forestry: patterns of human involvement and use of environments
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Australia's forests at a glance 2012 (with data to 2010-11)

Lina Ponto's insight:

This online pdf document is a government document that contains statistical information collected by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This document is very comprehensive, clearly defining forestry and explaining the importance of forestry to the Australian economy. 


 This document clears up any misunderstanding associated with the broad yet complex topic of forestry such as the definition of forestry and its ramifications of incorrect practices due to commercial purposes that lead to deforestation.


  This document is an excellent teaching resource for teachers to use in a Stage three classroom to teach students about forestry. It is filled with facts and statistics on forestry especially in relation to the HSIE subject matter on the 'trends of human interaction' with forests from 1960s to 2012. Although, it must be acknowledged that this text may be considered as somewhat ‘dense’ for students. Therefore, as teachers within the classroom setting, we must critically analyse the information first then select information that is relevant to students; rather than to give them copious information that is irrelevant as this would impair students from actively learning as there is a mass burden on their memory load. The teacher will be required to chunk the information and certain information present within this text may be used across a sequence of lessons.


   This chunking of the information could be facilitated through providing summaries, scaffolded notes or a powerpoint where the teacher would present, clarify and allow students to interpret the information.


  It is suggested that when looking at these graphs or appendices present within this text, that students work in groups. This is beneficial for students as it allows for cooperative learning and inclusivity. As a result, this will facilitate students to “actively engage in the learning process to ensure they achieve not only as individuals, but also share in the success of group members when attaining goals”. (Hennessey & Dionigi, 2013, p. 52).


 This text or certain chosen sections of this text could be used for various KLAs especially in mathematics where students can apply their skills of estimating and hypothesizing why certain facts are standing. Students can also use their skills of evaluating and justifying their hypothesises, which is crucial to the English KLA.

  Other resources that this website could be used in conjunction with to provide students with a much more insightful perspective includes:  - These websites provides some insight into the government policies and legislation used to combat illegal logging and other commercial practices that are environmentally unsustainable. 



 ABARES (2012). Australia's forests at a glance 2012 with data to 2010-2011. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from


Australian Government Department of Agriculture (2013, February 5). Australia's Forest Policies - Department of Agriculture. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from


Australian Government Department of Agriculture (2012, December 24). Illegal Logging Questions and Answers - Department of Agriculture. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from


Hennessey, A., & Dionigi, R. A. (2013). Implementing cooperative learning in Australian primary schools: Generalist teachers' perspectives. Issues in Educational Research,23(1), 52-68. Retrieved from


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WWF: Forest Conservation and what individuals can do to contribute

WWF: Forest Conservation and what individuals can do to contribute | Resources to teach Forestry: patterns of human involvement and use of environments |
Conservation of forests, jungles, woodlands and the food, shelter, material and services they provide to all humans around the world.
Lina Ponto's insight:

This a useful online resource that provides a big picture on forestry. The WWF states the problems that are associated with forestry today, current conservation projects occurring worldwide to combat deforestation to ensure sustainability of the ecosystem. It clearly outlines the four key areas concerning forests today: forest certification, tackling illegal logging that is prevalent worldwide, trade reform and protected areas. 


The WWF is an organisation that is not only committed to animals but also is deeply committed to the protection of the environment and conserviation.

    This website could be given by the teacher to students in Stage 3 to access. Students will be actively engaged and participating in ‘ecopedagogy’ by exploring this website. This website is also advocates environmental activism subtly where students can participate as an individual to the global environment through purchasing or supporting recycled products, to sharing their views worldwide by spreading the word online through social media platforms. 


This resource can be easily used in the classroom and be given to students to analyse. It could be used as a stimulus for students to look at, explore the links on the page with the aim of developing background knowledge. Using the background knowledge students possess and continue to develop. After allowing students to explore and analyse the content within this website, students can collaborative discuss, “how they can promote conservation of forests” as a class, as a school, as a community and as part of the international community. 


To accommodate for visual learners and to reinforce students understandings visually, the teacher could also use the information present on this website to create a timeline. Students can actively participate in this and add some of their own research into this class timeline on forestry in terms of conservation, deforestation and national and international policies or agreements. 


Students can use this website as a stimulus for later assessments such as an in-depth study of their own choice into the “problems” such as forest degredation through unsustainable practices, climate change and how that impacts forestry, fuelwood harvesting, palm oil and its affects on the entire environment deforestation due to illegal logging, palm oil production to strengthen their understanding of the complexity of the ramifications of deforestation on both society and the ecosystems. 

  Students may wish to visit other websites such as: where they can apply their critical literacy skills when reading these ecoliterate sources. 


The teacher may also choose to implement a personal reflection through the domain of an online class blog where students can individually  reflect on the severity of the degredation of forests and some strategies that their audience could do to support conservation. This is essential as ultimately, “Education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues”  (Earth Summit Report, 1992 as cited in Kahn, n.d ) 




Global Witness (n.d.). Illegal Logging | Global Witness. Retrieved April 7, 2014, from


Kahn, R. (n.d.). Towards Ecopedagogy: Weaving a Broad-based Pedagogy of Liberation for Animals, Nature, and the Oppressed People of the Earth. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from


Say No to Palm Oil (2014). Say No To Palm Oil | Whats The Issue. Retrieved April

7, 2014, from


WWF (n.d.). WWF - Forest conservation. Retrieved March 26, 2014, from



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Use of environments: FORESTIA – A Simulation Game on Sustainable Forest Management

Use of environments: FORESTIA – A Simulation Game on Sustainable Forest Management | Resources to teach Forestry: patterns of human involvement and use of environments |

A fun yet challenging online game. A screen shot of surveying the land using the presser borer to determine which area is viable economically, environmentally and socially.

Lina Ponto's insight:

Forestia, is an interactive simulation game that is accessible to all students online. This website effectively shows today’s dilemma and that is the interaction of humans with the environment with the objectives of commercialism; which is the ultimate goal of this game. This website allows for students to practically apply and strive to achieve the HSIE dotpoint ENS3.5 of “how individuals and groups can act in an ecologically responsible manner” (BOS NSW, 2006, p.31) and ENS3.6

“Explains how various beliefs and practices influence the ways in which people interact with, change and value their environment.” (BOS NSW, 2006, p.33)



 The nature of this resource as a simulation game is for students to be in control of making decisions. The goal of the game is to be successful , make profit for the town through harvesting trees and at the same time conserve the environment through replanting trees and stop forest fires. As mentioned by Suave et al. (2007), simulation games such as forestia replicates the reality that we as individuals within society are facing today, students will be able to ‘use new skills and ultimately acquire new knowledge when interacting with this game’ (p.250). Students also have the opportunity to efficiently test or experiment with hypotheticals and predict the events or outcomes then later seeing the results.


We as teachers need to remind students that there are no incorrect answers as the students would have to provide justification. When the participant makes an incorrect choice such as incorrectly harvesting an area one of the characters such as the biologist or the mayor reminds the participant to think “ecologically sustainably” and justifies why your choice was wrong.


  This resource also teaches other skills associated with forestry such as the surveying of the land and ageing of the tree evident in the use the pressler borer to determine the viability of the area (through the ages of the trees) against three different determinants: economic, sustainability, expansion of the town. This game also incorporates other miscellaneous yet insightful pieces of information about forestry and the use of environments. These trivial pieces of information contribute to students building a deeper understanding of the use of forests in today’s society.



  As a teacher, this simultation game as a resource could be used as an informal assessment strategy where students can in a non-threatening environment would work on their own town at the own pace. In small groups at different points in time, each student can present to their fellow peers what has been occurring in their town, the choices they have undertaken against the determinants and what has been the effects.




Board of Studies NSW (2006). Human Society & Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from




Games for Science (2009). FORESTIA – A Simulation Game on Sustainable Forest Management. Retrieved March 27, 2014, from


Sauve, L., Renaud, L., Kaufman, D., & Marquis, J. S. (2007). Distinguishing between games and simulations: A systematic review. Educational Technology & Society, 10(3), 247-256. Retrieved from

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Fire's role in the Australian environment

Fire's role in the Australian environment | Resources to teach Forestry: patterns of human involvement and use of environments |
Fire: friend or enemy? In southern Australia, prescribed (controlled) burns aim to lessen fuel loads and to protect...
Lina Ponto's insight:

   This short video highlights the traditional Indigenous practices that Indigenous Australians have used in regards to preserving the forests.  The video focuses on fire, one of the ancient practices that is still being used today to conserve the forests.


   It is very interesting when accessing this video, that viewers can explicitly discern how fire is considered as an “ally” to the Aboriginal people whilst on the contrary to the Europeans is “feared”. This engenders the importance of fire to Indigenous culture and the continual relationship that the Indigenous people have with fire. 


   This video is useful as it links to students’ prior schemas on germination of plants and after viewing this video the teacher can introduce in other practices that Indigenous people have used when sustainably interacting with the environment. 


It must be suggested that if using this resource in the classroom, the teacher must provide the students with other pieces of information to consolidate the students understanding on the Indigenous cultures such as other newspaper articles, videos or podcasts to expand students’ understanding of the different ways to conserve the forest environment such as the understanding on seasons and waterways. Teachers could also provide different perspectives of how other Indigenous peoples globally conserve and interact with their environments.


 By providing an Indigenous perspective as presented within this resource, this allows students to appreciate Indigenous practices that reinforces the inextricable connection Australian Indigenous people have with the land and see the successfulness of traditional practices that permeate into modern society that is  suggested by Biermann & Townsend- Cross (2008). This is essential to teacher’s pedagogical practices as teachers should strive to overturn the prevailing deficit view that may exist within the classroom  and allow for students to provide students to multiple perspectives rather than Eurocentric perspectives. 


 Other resources students could look at in order to strengthen their understanding of the Aboriginal interaction and use of environments can be reinforced through:


To provide a more local perspective on how Indigenous people within the area that school is located the teacher could contact the AECG to get a deeper understanding of how the local Indigenous custodians interact with the land. 




ABC The World Today (2007). Indigenous perspective on sustainability - Geography (10) - ABC Splash - [Video file]. Retrieved from


ABC 7.30 Report (2007, August 22). Science and ancient fire knowledge - Science (6,7) - ABC Splash - Retrieved March 30, 2014, from


Australian Government Department of the Environment (n.d.). National Parks | Department of the Environment. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from


Biermann, S., & Townsend-Cross, M. (2008). Indigenous Pedagogy as a force change.The Australian journal of Indigenous Education, 37, 146-154. Retrieved from;dn=671911611374847;res=IELIND


Landline ABC (2013, May). Fire's role in the Australian environment - Geography (10) - ABC Splash - [Video file]. Retrieved from


Wet Tropics Management Authority (n.d.). Rainforest Aboriginal history - Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from


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Global Forest Watch: Patterns of human involvement (2000s- now)

Global Forest Watch: Patterns of human involvement (2000s- now) | Resources to teach Forestry: patterns of human involvement and use of environments |

An example of analysing Australia's gains and losses in forest coverage from January 2000- January 2013. Users can zoom in to magnify and see directly the areas affected. 

Lina Ponto's insight:

      Global Forest Watch is an interactive online resource available to students and teachers. This visual resource clearly shows what is happening in forests globally over the past decade due to human interactions with the environment. From accessing and analysing the data present on this website, students will achieve the dot point in the HSIE Syllabus of ENS 3.5,  "Demonstrates an understanding of the interconnectedness between Australia and global environments and how individuals and groups can act in an ecologically responsible manner". (Board of Studies NSW, 2006, p.31)


  This website effectively highlights the losses in forestry cover worldwide due to various reasons such as deforestation, exploration of other resources such as mining explorations, palm oil and excavations presented through the detailed colour-coded maps. However, it also shows areas of current success stories in replantation and in the conservation of forests over the years. Thus, Stage 3 students can apply various mathematic skills when analyzing these graphs through interpreting and evaluating data displayed on this website.


   This website is useful for students especially in the multimedia classroom environment as students have autonomy and can tailor what they wish to see through clicking buttons, thus focusing their research into the topic of forestry more critically. This constructivist learning can be easily achieved through students being exposed to this website and processing the facts as students have the ability to hold a visual representation in the visual working memory.


   This website can be used to supplement other information provided to students such as previous patterns such as statistical information on human involvement on forestry prior to 2000. However, to ensure that students are on the track and can achieve optimal results in their searches, teachers will need to provide some scaffold through explicit instruction for example, providing a demonstration tour when using this resource in the classroom with Stage 3 students, as the directives allow the student “to maintain an internal locus during learning.” (Reeve & Jang, 2006, p.211)


In terms of assessment, this website also has significant potential where a teacher could allocate a student to choose a country and by using the maps can start to critically inquire about correlations or certain trends within the information provided on this website. This website can be used as a stepping-stone for students individually or in groups to compare countries.





Board of Studies NSW (2006). Human Society & Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Retrieved March 14, 2014, from


Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What Teachers Say and Do to Support Students' Autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Education Psychology, 98(1), 209-218. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.98.1.209


World Resource Institute (2011). Global Forest Watch. Find out what is happening in forests right now. Retrieved March 18, 2014, from

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