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Photo by Jill Pelto

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Jill Pelto Gallery


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus


"Habitat Degradation: Deforestation"

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  • This watercolor by scientist and artist Jill Pelto uses data showing the decline of the rainforest and illustrates how habitat degradation is affecting forest species at risk of extinction. 
  • The image helps students understand how human actions are affecting animals, such as the tiger, struggling to survive due to deforestation.
Teaching Tips


  • Analyzing art gives students the opportunity to discuss their interpretations with their peers and to support their views by referring to specific elements.
  • This resource raises awareness of the problem of deforestation and its impacts on species.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the concepts of biodiversity loss, habitat degradation, endangered species, extinction, and deforestation.


  • In art class, students can analyze the use of color and balance.
  • Science classes can use this resource as a hook for a research project on an endangered animal of their choice.
  • Students can work in groups to brainstorm and research different solutions to stop deforestation and save wildlife.
  • In an ELA lesson, the teacher can ask students to write a reflective paragraph about this artwork. 
  • Students could also watch this video, which introduces students to the impact humans have on biodiversity. 
  • Other works by Jill Pelto on habitat degradation include this piece on ocean acidification and this piece on Arctic melt.
Scientist Notes
The resource outlines the impact of human activities on forests and biodiversity loss.  Many species have been endangered, including the tiger. Recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.2.7a Analyze multiple ways that images influence specific audiences.
      • VA:Re7.2.Ia Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
      • VA:Re7.2.IIa Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • VA:Re8.1.8a Interpret art by analyzing how the interaction of subject matter, characteristics of form and structure, use of media, art-making approaches, and relevant contextual information contributes to understanding messages or ideas and mood conveyed.
      • VA:Re8.1.Ia Interpret an artwork or collection of works, supported by relevant and sufficient evidence found in the work and its various contexts.
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