Learning about forests for Earth Day and everyday is vital for students. Earth Day corresponds closely with Arbor Day, another opportunity to teach about forests. Additionally, forests are essential parts of our ecosystem. Thus, we encourage you to integrate this learning into your classroom anytime of the year. But, the April holidays of Earth Day and Arbor Day bring attention to trees and ecosystems. As such, these holidays can catapult student learning. 

We’re excited to share one of our newest Journeys in Film lesson plans. It is the Forests lesson from our curriculum guide for  Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops. This lesson plan corresponds with the short film of the same name, Forests, produced as part of the Climate Emergency: Feedback Loop series. 

Climate Emergencies: Feedback Loops Poster

Utilize Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops to learn about forests for Earth Day

Learning About Forests Through Film

Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops is a series of five short films. These films are perfect for the classroom, running 9 to 15 minutes. Furthermore, all five films are available to stream for free

We recommend pairing Forests, the short film and the lesson, with the feature documentary film River of Gold

River of Gold chronicles the clandestine journey of two war journalists and their guide into Peru’s Amazon rainforest. The film makes clear the consequences of this devastation on a global scale. Since the Forests short film from the Feedback Loop series focuses on tropical forests and, specifically, the Amazon rainforest, screening it as an introduction to River of Gold and using the two films in tandem can enhance student learning. Our eleven-lesson curriculum guide for River of Gold includes a lesson on rainforest ecology, perfect for learning about forests. The curriculum guide is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. 

River of Gold film poster featuring a photograph of the Amazon River

Utilize River of Gold to learn about forests for Earth Day

The Power and Importance of Learning About Forests 

“All forests provide critical feedback for limiting global warming. By removing atmospheric carbon dioxide, they reduce its atmospheric increase. This reduces further warming,” shares Dr. Bill Moomaw, Professor Emeritus at Tufts University and distinguished visiting scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center. “The Amazon forest plays an outsized role in controlling global temperatures including in the Arctic. As strange as it seems, restoring the degraded tropical Amazon forest will help keep more sunlight reflecting ice in the Arctic. This can prevent additional release of methane from thawing permafrost. This set of feedback loops will help to cool the planet.” 

Dr. Moomaw was a panelist in our Share My Lesson webinar, Climate Emergencies: Using Feedback Loop Films to Inspire and Educate. The webinar highlights our curriculum guide for the Climate Emergency film series. The webinar features scientific insight from Dr. Moomaw and Lara Tukarski. Tukarski is the South Sound FieldSTEM Coordinator for the Pacific Education Institute.

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Bold Black text over a white background says: "A Celebration of Nature: Resources for Grades 3-7". In the bottom right corner are Journeys in Film teaching guides for Jane and Landfill Harmonic. In the top right corner threre is the Journeys in Film logo. Bold black text over a white background says: "Environmental Studies Lessons". In the bottom right corner there are teaching guide covers for Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops and The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. The Journeys in Film logo is in the top right corner.






Written by Jennifer Fischer