Dear Future Generations, Sorry: Stand Up for Trees

Here is the first in a series of lesson ideas I would like to share because I don’t have a classroom of my own.  It was inspired by a retweet by @Margaret Atwood

Stand up for trees

Recommended grades: 6-12  You will need to modify some of the ideas here based on the grade/age of the group.

Subject(s): Language/English, Geography, Science

Minds On:

  • Project the first frame of the powerful video, “Dear Future Generations, Sorry”.  Using the title and clues, predict what Prince EA might be apologizing for.  Share your prediction with a partner.

  • While viewing students can use the PMI strategy

PLUS–something that really stands out to them

MINUS–something that they don’t necessarily agree with

INTERESTING– something that they learned or found interesting

(it may be worthwhile to talk about what strategies are most useful to extract information while they are viewing a film i.e, focus on key words, ideas, take notes). Recommendation:  view the video once without taking notes and then the second time, they can begin to formulate their PMI)

Share PMI with a partner (orally)

OR students can contribute their ideas virtually.

–>Use a Padlet virtual wall (Click here for a tutorial by Richard Byrne on how to create a Padlet)

–>Use Google Slides for student contributions (Click here for useful tips by Alice Keeler on using Google Slides to teach)

Whole class sharing.

  • After Viewing:  What is the “action” this video is persuading us to take? What persuasive techniques does this video use to relay its message (Click here for a comprehensive list from What is the Stand for Trees movement all about?  How does the video work to help persuade people to take action? to donate?

Follow up ideas: (Action)

Inquiry:  Students may choose the different claims made by the video to research how trees provide medicine, oxygen, store & purify water, cure diseases, etc… OR Students may choose to research some of the countries and the impact of deforestation–Brazilian Rosewood Forest Conservation Project, Main NDombe Forest Conservation Project, etc…(full list is on the site).  Use Skype in the Classroom to initiate a connection with one of the countries studied.

-What other organizations also embrace this cause?  Find them on Twitter, visit their webpage.  Compare

-If students feel strongly about this cause, they may want to create PSA’s and share them on Twitter, YouTube, etc… (there is a sample PSA on the Stand for Trees website).  Click here for an Ontario lesson on creating PSA’s

“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”  

-Explore the truth of this statement in other contexts.

-Students may want to create a campaign at their school to fundraise for Stand for

Critical Literacy:  Is this organization the best use of donation dollars to support this cause?  What other organizations support sustainable rainforests?


What have you learned about trees? In what ways has the video or the activities we’ve engaged in helped you to understand the issue of deforestation and its impact?  Respond to the prompt, “I used to think, now I think…” in either written or video format.

If you use any of the ideas here, I’d love to hear about it!

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