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Regional Focus

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Global Forest Watch Interactive Map

Author: Global Forest Watch
Grades: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Science, Biology, Earth Science, Economics, Geography, Climate Action
Resource Type:
  • Interactive Media
Synopsis
  • This interactive map visualizes large amounts of data related to forests and land use, including tree cover, deforestation over time, fires, types of land use, climate, and biodiversity. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Turning different map layers on and off allows students to gain a deeper understanding of what is located on the Earth in different locations and how those things are changing over time.
  • This tool lends itself to curiosity and excellent questions.
  • This tool is wonderful if you would like students to investigate a certain country or region of the world.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have some basic geography knowledge and should be reminded that approximately 80 percent of species on land live in forests.

Differentiation

  • This tool might feel overwhelming to some learners. These learners might benefit from only looking at one layer of data at a time.
  • Students could be divided into groups to explore different topics and/or focus on specific areas.
  • The left side of this tool features five main categories that students can explore: forest change, land cover, land use, climate, and biodiversity.
  • Small green numbers appear next to each main category showing how many layers have been activated in that category.
  • The easiest ones to understand are the ones set by default: tree cover gain, tree cover loss, and tree cover.
  • Students can turn on as many or as few layers as they would like.
Scientist Notes

The interactive map contains appropriate data layers that display forest change, informed with accurate datasets. It is simplified, suitable, and recommended for educators to teach students to understand the variation and rate of the world's forest change.

Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.1.9-12 Use geospatial and related technologies to create maps to display and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.

Reviews

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  • I've used this multiple times with my high school students. It's a perfect tool to drive curiosity and engagement. And it leads to the necessary "So what should we do about deforestation?" Highly recommend!
    3 months ago

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