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The LEAF Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Lesson Guide includes complete interdisciplinary units for teaching students about forests and forestry in Wisconsin.

Subject areas addressed in the lessons include Arts, English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. The Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and H. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory were referenced during the development of the guide. The LEAF Lesson Guide is based on principles outlined in the LEAF Conceptual Guide To K-12 Forestry Education in Wisconsin.

Unit-Based Lessons

The unit-based lessons are divided by grade levels: K-1, 2-3, 4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-12. Lessons build upon one another to provide connectivity in the students’ educational experience. When taught as a unit, these lessons provide students a well-rounded understanding of forestry in Wisconsin. You may find that they are also effective when taught individually and integrated with other classroom material. Each lesson includes an introduction, step-by-step procedure for activities, and a conclusion. Formative assessment is woven throughout each lesson. Questions with answers are provided to help teachers follow the level of understanding of students. Summative assessment ideas are listed at the end of each lesson. Suggested activities have students apply what they have learned in a new way.

Careers Exploration

There are hundreds of interesting and exciting forestry-related careers. In each lesson you will find a career profile of a forestry professional working in Wisconsin. Use these profiles to help students explore careers by reading them aloud, copying and handing them out, or creating a bulletin board. At the end of each unit is a careers activity that utilizes the career profiles from the unit.

Field Enhancements

Take your students outside for some hands-on learning and fun with forestry field enhancements. Each unit contains at least three field enhancements that can be done in your schoolyard or school forest. These activities are designed to enhance the classroom lessons by adding tactile elements and exploration. 

K-1 Unit:

The K-1 Unit is an introduction to trees and forests for the Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. Students learn about the parts of a tree, what forests are, and why they are important.
5 classroom lessons, 1 careers lesson, 3 field enhancements

Intro​duction   |   LEAF K-1 Standards Addendum   |   Glos​sary

2-3 Unit:

The 2-3 Unit expands on basic ideas about forests and helps students understand their connection to forests; appropriate for 2nd and 3rd grade classrooms. Students learn about energy flow, basic tree identification skills, forest products, and what it means to be a forest steward.
6 classroom lessons, 1 careers lesson, 3 field enhancements

Intro​duction   |   LEAF 2-3 Standards Addendum   |   Glos​sary

4th Grade Unit:

The 4th Grade Unit focuses on Wisconsin forest history. Students learn about the forests and people who lived in what is now Wisconsin before European settlement, the logging days, farming the cutover, events that led to modern forestry, and why forests are important today.
7 classroom lessons, 1 careers lesson, 3 field enhancements

Intro​duction   |   LEAF 4th Standards Addendum   |   Glos​sary

Lesson Resources:

  • Resources to support this Guide can be found in Google Drive.

5-6 Unit:

The 5-6 Unit connects the science of forests with human aspects for 5th grade and 6th grade classrooms. Students learn about forest layers, ecosystems, and energy flow. This information is related to the value of trees, forest ownership, and management.
8 classroom lessons, 1 careers lesson, 3 field enhancements

Intro​duction   |   LEAF 5-6 Standards Addendum   |   Glossary

7-8 Unit:

The 7-8 Unit highlights a wide variety of topics related to Wisconsin’s forests; appropriate for 7th and 8th grade classrooms. Students learn about forest biomes; types of forests; biodiversity; forest management; forest trends, issues, products; and sustaining forests.
8 classroom lessons, 1 careers lesson, 3 field enhancements

Intro​duction   |   LEAF 7-8 Standards Addendum   |   Glossary

Lesson Resources:

9-12 Unit:

The 9-12 Unit has an environmental science focus. Students learn about forest ecosystem processes, succession, the economics of forest products, and science and technology; appropriate for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade classrooms.
5 classroom lessons, 1 careers lesson

Intro​duction  |  Marketplace Matters: Understanding the Economic Value of Wisconsin’s Forests  |  LEAF 9-12 Standards Addendum   |   Glossary   |   Appendix

Lesson Resources: