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LEAF Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Education


5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 125 minutes
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Presentation Slides
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin


Google Slides, PDF, YouTube Video

Lesson 3 - Management Systems & Biodiversity

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  • In this lesson, students learn about urban forest management, the impact of biodiversity in urban forests, and the importance of urban forests as a climate change solution.
  • Students will discuss an analogy to understand forest management, collect and analyze data from an urban forest, calculate the carbon sequestration potential, identify and map invasive species in Wisconsin, and write about managing Wisconsin's urban forests in a changing climate.
Teaching Tips


  • This interdisciplinary lesson connects concepts from biology, Earth science, math, geography, and ELA.
  • Students collect and analyze data from their community, making the lesson relevant and engaging.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This lesson is the third of four in the LEAF Urban Forest Lesson Guide 5th-8th Grade Unit. The first lesson introduces Urban Forests, and the second lesson explores their benefits.
  • If skipping the first two lessons, teachers must explain Urban Forests before beginning.
  • The resource includes a comprehensive lesson plan, background information, student documents, teacher slides, and links to additional resources.


  • Additional related resources are linked at the end of the lesson that teachers can use as extensions.
  • There are three options for Activity 1 to accommodate different classroom situations. The first option allows students to collect data outdoors, the second option uses an interactive web-based tool to collect data, and the third option is a worksheet with provided data that classes can use if time is limited.
  • Math and ELA classes can make cross-curricular connections in the calculations part of Activity 1 and the writing for the conclusion, respectively.
  • The Species Cards needed for the game portion in Activity 2 are not included in this resource. Teachers can have students research native and invasive species and create cards that future classes can use for this lesson.
  • If desired, students can move on to Lesson 4 of the LEAF Urban Forest Lesson Guide 5th-8th Grade Unit to research various groups that manage urban forests.
Scientist Notes
This resource from LEAF, Wisconsin’s K-12 Forestry Education Program, is a very well-researched and thought-out lesson plan for 5th - 8th graders about urban forests and biodiversity. The resource includes a lesson plan, activities, and materials for students and the teacher. The resource provides background information and procedures for the lesson. This lesson plan also includes links for additional resources and worksheets for students. This resource is very well-sourced and contains up-to-date information and data. This resource is an engaging addition to a classroom discussion about biodiversity.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
    • 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.
      • MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.1.6-8 Construct maps to represent and explain the spatial patterns of cultural and environmental characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.2.3-5 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their environmental characteristics.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.7 Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Statistics & Probability (6-8)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.
  • Related Resources


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