Deforestation Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about deforestation. Students will read a text lesson that explains deforestation. They will then explore causes/effects of the topic and conclude this lesson with a writing project.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define deforestation
  • identify causes and effects of deforestation
  • consider the impact of deforestation in real-world contexts


1 - 1.5 hours


  • Copies of the lesson Deforestation Facts: Lesson for Kids and lesson quiz, one for each student
  • Examples of public service announcements
  • Prepared set of matching cause/effect index cards. For example, one card may state 'Eating too much candy' for a cause and 'Cavities' as an effect. One card for each student.
  • Map of the United States
  • Access to technology

Key Vocabulary

  • Deforestation
  • Slash and burn
  • Carbon dioxide

Curriculum Standards


Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.


Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

Warm Up and Preparation

  • Prepare for the work in this lesson by reviewing cause/effect relationships.
  • If desired, read the lesson Cause & Effect Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples.
  • Apply ideas by giving each student a prepared cause/effect card and having them find the other person with their matching card.
  • Once students are paired, have them explain to the class the cause/effect relationship. See if the class agrees.
  • Now divide students into partners and have them brainstorm how trees help us. Share ideas and discuss the importance of trees with students.

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