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Author

Jean-François Bastin

Grades

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

Subjects

Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Video, 5 minutes, 43 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Article
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessment

Regional Focus

Global

What If There Were 1 Trillion More Trees?

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Synopsis
  • In this animated video, students will learn about how trees help to sequester carbon and the role they can play in restoring the balance of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. 
  • Students will learn that ecosystems with diverse native tree species are more likely to live a long time and sequester more carbon. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video includes helpful graphics that explain the content. 
  • The resource includes an interactive quiz, an article with linked resources for further reading, and a discussion board.
  • Students will learn about concepts such as photosynthesis, respiration, carbon sequestration, and the role of native species in ecosystems. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • It would be beneficial for students to have a basic conceptual understanding of the number one trillion. 
  • Some features of this site require students and teachers to create a free account. 

Differentiation

  • In language arts classes, students could produce a persuasive writing piece that addresses whether certain forests are best restored by human intervention or by leaving them alone. 
  • Students could work in groups to research native plant species in certain regions and learn about the role these plants or trees play in the local ecosystems. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this ClimateScience video that asks whether trees can undo climate change, this interactive game about designing an urban tree planting project, and this podcast about the benefits and drawbacks of planting forests as a climate change solution. 
Scientist Notes
We know that trees are an important factor in carbon sequestration. This TED-Ed video examines if trees are the solution to the climate crisis. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • 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-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • HS-LS2-5 Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 3: Developing Claims and Using Evidence
      • D3.4.6-8 Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.
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