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Forests.

Background

The first forests, in the Carboniferous Period, consisted of giant horsetails and club mosses. By the start of the Jurassic Period, conifers had appeared and during the Tertiary Period broadleaf trees with flowers were common.

Today, the world's forests are home to a variety of trees, plants, animals, insects, and microscopic life. This is important, as a forest is an ecosystem and children will need to understand not only the trees, but also the web of life that makes up a forest. Green plants conduct photosynthesis. They are the primary producers in a forest. The animals that eat these plants are termed the primary consumers (or herbivores). Animals that eat these herbivores are known as secondary consumers (or predators). You may even have tertiary consumers to make up an even longer forest food chain.

Scientists use several systems to divide forests into groups. Sometimes forests are classified according to how the wood in their trees is used. For example, hardwood forests contain trees that make good furniture. Sometimes forests are divided into groups according to the kinds of trees found in them. Deciduous (trees that shed their leaves) forests, evergreen (trees that grow new leaves before shedding old leaves) forests, or broadleaf (trees with big, flat leaves) forests. We used a popular system to classify forests. This system uses climate, latitude, seasons, types of trees, and rainfall amounts as a means of grouping. Your children will read about tropical, temperate, and boreal forests along with some of the divisions within each of these forests.

As you talk about forests, you may want to highlight the layers found in them. Your students may be familiar with the layers of a rain forest. But other types of forest have layers, too. The emergent layer of very tall trees towers above the rest of the forest. Below that, the canopy layer of trees is found. There is an understory of smaller trees and shrubs below it. Finally, the forest floor is home to the decomposers of the forest. Earthworms and bacteria break down dead material and change it into basic chemicals that are absorbed and used by plants. Thus, the food chain of the forest is complete!

Endless Summer in a Tropical Forest

A tropical forest is a beautiful array of many plants, animals, and insects. These forests, found near the equator, have the greatest variety of plant life. In a one-square mile (2.6 square kilometers) of land you may find more than 100 different tree species. Even in these huge forests, tiny ecosystems can be seen everywhere. When a tree dies and falls, it still sustains life. Look closely and you will see tiny plants and insects making their homes in the decomposing wood. Leafy bromeliads, high in the trees, serve as "nurseries" for poison dart tadpoles. A walk through a forest wakes up your senses. You can hear the constant buzz of cicadas, see brilliant blue butterflies, and smell howler monkeys.

These generally have 2 seasons, wet and dry. The temperature varies little throughout the year. The coldest time of year will not be more than 5[degrees]C colder than the hottest time of year.

There are different subdivisions of tropical forests. These are divided according to the amount of rainfall and tree species. Divisions range from an evergreen rain forest with no dry season to a moist/dry deciduous forest where many trees lose their leaves and the length of the dry season is longer.

"FALL-ing" For a Temperate Forest

Oak, maple, or elm trees can be found in a temperate forest. These examples of trees that lose their leaves as shorter days and cold weather approach are just some of the varieties of broad-leaved trees that serve as homes and cover for squirrels, bobcats, wolves, and deer.

These forests, where change of the four seasons takes place, are located in eastern North America, northeastern Asia, and western and central Europe. Four to six months of frost-free days gives temperate forests a growing season of between 140 to 200 days. Precipitation in the form of rain and some snow takes place throughout the year.

The northwest coast of the United States has mild winters and lots of rainfall. You will find evergreen temperate forests here. Temperate deciduous forests grow in the eastern United States. Broadleaf and deciduous trees thrive in the warm summers and cold winters of these forests. The Great Lakes region, with its very cold winters, supports both evergreen and deciduous trees.

Winter Wonderland in a Boreal Forest

Boreal forests are noted for extremely cold winters with heavy snowfalls and short growing seasons. These forests are found in Canada and Alaska. Wolves, moose, and caribou make their homes in these northern forests. Here you will find needleleaf evergreens such as spruce, fir, and pine trees. When snow is not covering the forest floor, there will be a carpet of moss and lichens. Some boreal forests contain bogs, areas of spongy ground.

Deforestation

Since the advent of agriculture, about 11,000 years ago, forests have been cleared to make way for farmland. Cities have also contributed to the clearing of large expanses of trees. As cities grew, pollution became a problem for forests. Factories release pollutants into the air. These gases mix with water molecules and fall to the earth as acid rain. This can kill or harm the trees and plants of a forest and inhibit the web of life found in its ecosystem.

Logging is another problem that has contributed to the decline of forests around the world. Your students may be familiar with the term, "old-growth forests." These forests have never been cut or otherwise disturbed by humans. They are valued today, not just for their beauty, but because by studying them, researchers can find out how plant and animal life is supported by these untouched wonders.

Today, many countries are trying to solve the problems of deforestation. Costa Rica is educating its population about the relationship between tree-cutting and flooding. Thailand has banned the cutting of teak trees. China's Green-To-Green Program encourages local communities to plant trees. These, and other programs around the world, are contributing to the growing awareness of the importance of our forests.

With a Ranger's Hat and Shovel

In the United States, the Forest Service is responsible for protecting and ensuring the best use of the country's forests. It is a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture. Perhaps its best known symbol is "Smokey the Bear" which reminds people who use our National Forests to be careful with fire. Forest rangers protect our forests against the dangers of fire and disease.

They make sure that the proper amount of timber is cut each year. They also supervise the burning of some forest land. This may surprise your students and can sometimes be controversial. It is believed that controlled burning of some land gets rid of dead material that could be highly flammable. When the fires are controlled by the Forest Service, they can direct the path and control the burn, thus eliminating the chance for an unplanned fire that may burn thousands of acres of valuable forest land.

Level Pre-A

Main Concepts: Children will learn that forests are habitat for animals, insects, and trees. They will discuss ways forests provide food, shelter, and protection for animals.

Picture Activity

Ask children to name what is shown in the picture. Elicit the word forest from them and match it to the title. Ask children to name the animals they see in the picture. Discuss how the forest helps each animal (i.e., provides camouflage for the deer, food for the insects on the log, and shelter for the birds.) Ask children if they have ever been in a forest. Talk about the sights, sounds, and smells they may have experienced.

Vocabulary

New words--What is in a forest?

Your beginning readers should be able to match these Dolch and phonetic words with their pictures. Children who have more difficulty should be encouraged to look at beginning and ending consonant sounds. Remember to encourage children to make a "bed" with their hands to help them identify the difference between b and d.

Weekly Lab--Scientists look at things.

This is a chance to talk with students about the importance of making observations. If possible, go outside as a group and find different trees in your schoolyard or nearby park. You may want children to work in pairs to observe a tree and draw their observations. Talk with children about estimation and using themselves to estimate the height of the tree. They should stand up against it and "guess" how many of them it would take to be the same height as the tree. Stress they should NOT climb trees! Have children compare their trees. You may even want children to change their guesses of how tall the tree is if they used YOU as the measuring tool. This could lead to a discussion of various measuring tools (i.e., feet, yards, meters, etc.)

Math--How many birds?

Answers--Both are purposely 8.

This is a good opportunity for you to discuss that there are different ways to name numbers. Make a class list of other ways to name 8. Use tallies, other addition problems, subtraction problems, and perhaps some children even know Roman numerals! You will be surprised at what they know. This is a great way to differentiate learning!

Storytelling--An animal baby lives in the forest.

We have used Dolch words to write the questions so some of your students will be able to read the directions for themselves. Encourage children to tell (or write) their stories from the point of view of the fawn.

Bringing it Home--Who needs the forest?

Dolch words have been used in these sentences to encourage development of reading vocabulary. Most of these words are found elsewhere in the issue so children will be familiar with them. Encourage children to read their sentences after they have cut them out and matched them with pictures. For added practice, suggest that after students have read the sentences to their families, they could read them to their stuffed animals or pets.

Level A

Main Concepts: Children will learn that there are different kinds of forests in the world. They will learn what kinds of trees and animals inhabit each of these forest types.

Picture Activity

Have children look at the pictures and make predictions as to what the text will read. Have them identify difficult words (in bold-face) before you have them read silently. Write the words, tropical, temperate, and boreal on the board. Tell children that they can impress their families by reading these words at home! After children silently read the text, discuss the different kinds of trees that are found in each type of forest. Have them hypothesize about what kinds of animals might inhabit each of these forest types.

Vocabulary New words--Animals of the forests

This activity will encourage children to think about the different kinds of forests found in the world and the types of trees and animals found in each. Have children refer back to the words and pictures on the front page for help in completing the activity. They can match the pictures of trees to the more difficult vocabulary words for help in writing the animal names. The ability to refer to text and use clues such as these is an important test taking skill.

Weekly Lab--There are layers in a forest!

This was always my first-graders' favorite activity! Have them choose a type of forest to depict, temperate, boreal, or tropical. They can cut out the animals provided for a tropical forest or draw their own animals. Emphasize that these layers are the same in each kind of forest. Explain that the word "emergent" means "rising out of" or "the highest" layer. (We are using 4 layers for ease of understanding.) Have children cut out trees, bushes, and the ground. Then have them cut out animals for each layer and glue the animals in the tree, on the ground, etc. I suggest having the yarn pre-cut for tying the layers together. I usually have children practice tying before the project begins, and I encourage children to help each other so I don't end up tying 20-plus mobiles! When you are finished, hang the mobiles from your ceiling. It looks great!

Math--How many trees in the forest?

These math problems have been set up so the tropical forest has more trees than the temperate and boreal forests. Discuss with children that tropical forests are dense and have a wide variety of plant species in a small amount of space. This is one reason they are a valuable resource. See TN--BACKGROUND.

Writing in Science Write a story--My Visit to a Forest

This is a good chance to reinforce the kinds of forests and the different trees and animals found in each one. Have children write the title:

My Visit to a--Forest in--.

After children write their stories, extend the lesson by having them locate where each of the forests are found on the globe. Complete their titles with appropriate words such as "My Visit to a Boreal Forest in Alaska."

Bringing it Home--Who lives in what forest?

Encourage children to read the sentences to their families and to explain the differences in each type of forest.

Level B

Main Concepts: Children will learn about the forest divisions of the world. They will discuss the characteristics of these forests and will talk about the trees and animals that inhabit the forests. They will learn the names of forest layers.

Vocabulary--Armies of ants live in tropical forest cities!

After completing this activity, have your students go on a "word hunt" for other y words. Make a chart of these words to reinforce the spelling concept practiced here. You may also want your students to log on to: www.missmaggie.org and go to the game section. "Fish 'Em Up" gives children practice with this and other inflectional-ending spelling skills.

Here's the clue: If a word ends in a vowel plus y, then add s to make the word plural. If a word ends in a consonant plus y, then change the y to ie and add s. (1)

Weekly Lab--Adopt a tree!

Encourage children to select different trees. After the first observation session, have children compare their findings. Have some children been more observant than others? Encourage children to be as specific as possible when charting their data. This may be a good activity for students to do as a summer project.

Math--Walking through a hectare of forest

Answers:

1--319 tree species

2--9 tree species

3--286 tree species

4--281 tree species

Emphasize with children that there are different variations in the number of tree species depending on the type of forest. Ask children to draw conclusions about species variation based on the numbers in the problem.

Writing in Science--Nonfiction writing

Here is a way to review the concepts of kinds of forests or layers of forests while improving writing skills. Why not have children make a "frame" of their own forest drawings for their finished products?

Puzzle Don't let these forests "PUZZLE" you!

Answer Key:

Boreal--B D H

Temperate--E G I

Tropical--A C F

Help your students to remember facts about forests and to practice looking back to the front-page article to check for information, This is an important skill when taking standardized tests.

Bringing it Home--Science and Art

See TN--Level A--WEEKLY LAB. Have children choose a particular type of forest to highlight in their mobile. Encourage your students to use reference material to learn more about the various animals that make their homes in the specific forest layers. It's always fun to hang these mobiles from your classroom ceiling. They make a great "canopy" themselves!

(1) According to the Perdue University Online Writing Lab at: http://owl. english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_spelnoun.html

Level C

Main Concepts: Children will learn about the forest divisions of the world. They will discuss the characteristics of these forests and will talk about the trees and animals that inhabit the forests. They will learn about the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes regions.

Vocabulary

This is more than just a word search. Children use their new vocabulary and knowledge to find the words that match the definitions and clues. It reinforces the skill of looking back to the front-page article to find the specific words they need.

Math--Towering old giants

Answers:

1--425 meters tall

2--408 meters tall

3--1,049 meters tall

Be sure to watch HOW children arrive at answers. Children who are comfortable with multiplication, will use this operation. Others may prefer to rely on addition. You may want to have a class discussion on ways to solve these problems. Also, be alert for students who go back and rework all the numbers to get the answer to the last problem. This may tell you they don't have a clear understanding of the meaning of the mathematical question.

Weekly Lab--Can you identify a tree?

Prepare students beforehand, about taking care in leading their partners to a tree. Talk about using different senses, and have students share ideas as to how and what they can discover. If you cannot take students out, perhaps you can bring in some leaves and bark, or find pictures in books or on the Internet.

To extend this activity, have students write about their experiences. They could detail what they found difficult, and what they learned. This might be a good summer project.

Writing in Science--Life in an old-growth forest

Encourage students to find out more about old-growth forests by accessing the United States Government Forest Service web sites such as: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/forests/westcascade/ douglas-fir/mature/index.shtml

The book, Ancient Ones, The World of the Old-Growth Douglas Fir is a wonderful resource. Have children complete the secret code PUZZLE activity before beginning their writing, as they will have a better understanding of the animals that call these forests home.

Talk with students about using good descriptive words and phrases. Perhaps you may introduce the use of a thesaurus or you may want groups of children to come up with lists of descriptors. Why not have students tape-record their stories and use them as a listening station?

Puzzle--Breaking the code of old-growth forests

Here is another chance for children to think about old-growth forests. Point out that the animals used as part of the secret code are "residents" of these forests. Ask them which one is endangered (the spotted owl!)

The largest land salamander in the world is the Pacific Giant.

To extend this activity, have students research more about the mothering characteristics of this creature. (She lays her eggs in water and guards them for nine months!)

Level D

Main Concepts: Children will learn about the forest divisions of the world. They will discuss the characteristics of these forests and will talk about the trees and animals that inhabit the forests. Students will have an opportunity to make their own recycled paper and learn about unique features of tropical forests.

Vocabulary--Use the facts to uncover a secret!

This activity not only helps your children "uncover" a fascinating fact, but it gives them practice in recalling vocabulary words from the front-page article. Your students are likely familiar with counting rings of a tree to determine its age, but many trees in tropical forests do not have distinct rings. This is because of the two seasons that have little temperature change.

Answer: Some trees in tropical forests have no rings.

Math--How many trees do you need to build a house?

Answers:

1--500 trees

2--20 acres

3--600 trees

4--40 acres

Encourage children to make up their own problems using the information in the problem. This may lead to a discussion about recycling and using different house-building materials.

Weekly Lab--Making recycled paper

This was always a favorite activity in my classroom. It's fun to further experiment with different kinds of paper. Encourage children to use their recycled paper to complete their writing assignments! This is also a good lesson in the importance saving our forests by recycling.

Writing in Science--Ecosystem science--The bromeliad nursery

This activity is designed to encourage your students to think about the concept of ecosystems, big and small! Some of your students may want to learn more about poison dart frogs or they may want to research other small environments that are essential in animal development.

After students write their stories, encourage them to draw pictures from the perspective of the tadpoles. You may even want the class to make a PowerPoint[R] presentation. Take digital photos of their illustrations and have students type in their stories. This makes a wonderful "end of year" presentation for the students' families. You can even burn CDs of the show and hand them out as student remembrances!

Where in the World?--Taking care of Thai teak!

After children create their posters, display them in the hall. You may want children to research other countries who are taking positive steps to save their forests.

Meet the Scientist

Encourage children to think about their interests and how these interests might effect future career paths. You may want children to write in journals about the influence a family member has on them.

Level E

Main Concepts: Children will learn about the forest divisions of the world. They will discuss the characteristics of these forests and will talk about the trees and animals that inhabit the forests. Students will have the opportunity to make their own recycled forest product and will learn about various research conducted by scientists in the world's forests.

Vocabulary

Answers:

1--terrace

2--terra cotta

3--terrain

4--terrapin

5--terrarium

6--terrier

7--terrine

8--territorial

Many of your students may be ready to talk about Latin and Greek roots. This not only helps develop vocabulary, but also aids in spelling.

Weekly Lab--Making recycled paper

See TN--Level D.

Math--Solving a forest problem!

Answers:

1--400 trees

2--8 trees per square foot

3--40 acres

4--600 trees

To extend this activity, have students research other wood requirements of forest products.

Writing in Science--Ecosystems Isle Royale--A balanced national park

Encourage children to share their stories and to illustrate them. One of my favorite activities is to have students create a painting or colorful drawing. I take a digital photo of it. Then I have each child pose as if he or she is in their painting, and I take another digital photo of the child. I "cut them out" using photo software. Then I import the cut-out of the child into the digital photo of their artwork. This makes a unique piece of art to accompany a story. You can even ask your computer "whiz kids" to help in this endeavor!

FYI--Furthering Your Interests They make paper out of WHAT??

Elephant dung paper feels coarse, but it is clean! You might have students research the steps in making elephant dung paper. Other kinds of paper include coffee and banana paper. Can your students find other examples?

Meet the Scientist

See TN--Level D.

Weekly Resources Helpful Sources for Planning Your Science Weekly Classroom Activities

Recommended Resources

* Bash, Barbara. Ancient Ones, The World of the Old-Growth Douglas Fir. San Francisco, CA: The Sierra Club, 2002.

* Bishop, Nic. Forest Explorer: A Life-Sized Field Guide. New York: Scholastic, 2004.

* De Hugo, Pierre. In the Forest. New York: Scholastic, 2003.

* George, Jean Craighead. One Day in a Tropical Rain Forest. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.

* George, Jean Craighead. The Fire Bug Connection. New York: Harper Collins, 1993.

* Kalman, Bobbie. The Life Cycle of a Tree. New York: Crabtree Publishers, 2002.

* Pledger, Maurice. In the Forest. San Diego, CA: Silver Dolphin Books, 1998.

Internet Resources:

For more information on Isle Royale--http://www.isle.royale.national-park.com/ Visit our National Park web site at: http://www.nps.gov/ You can read more about the U.S. Forest Service at: http://www.fs.fed.us/ There are lots of pictures to color and information about forests at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/

DID YOU KNOW??

Each forest has a layer of plants, called the strata.

DID YOU KNOW??

Hardwood forests consist of trees that will make good furniture.

DID YOU KNOW??

A coniferous forest has trees that bear cones.

DID YOU KNOW??

The word boreal means northern.

DID YOU KNOW??

One-third of the world's people rely on firewood for fuel.

DID YOU KNOW??

Medicine to treat cancer is made from the Pacific Yew tree.

Forests

Imagine walking through 40-foot-tall ferns. You brush by giant horsetails (horse-tails) and club mosses (mos-ses). This is what the first forests were like. Walk in a forest today and you will have a very different experience. Some forests are home to screeching tropical (trop-i-cal) birds, other kinds of forests shed their leaves and provide habitat (hab-i-tat) for deer and squirrels, while the cold, long winters in some forests provide habitat for wolves and moose. The seasons, trees, latitude (lat-i-tude), and climate of the world's forests help divide them into groups.

Endless Summer in a Tropical Forest

Walk through a tropical forest and you will see many plants, animals, and insects. In a small square of land you may find more than 100 different tree species (spe-cies). Even in these huge forests, tiny ecosystems (ec-o-sys-tems) can be seen everywhere. When a tree dies and falls, it still sustains life. Look closely and you will see tiny plants and insects making their home in the decomposing (de-com-pos-ing) wood. Leafy bremeliads (bro-me-li-ads), high in the trees, serve as "nurseries" for poison dart tadpoles. A walk through a forest wakes up your senses. You can hear the constant buzz of cicadas (ci-ca-das), see brilliant blue butterflies, and smell howler monkeys.

These forests are found near the equator and generally have two seasons, wet and dry. The temperature varies little throughout the year. The coldest time of year will not be more than 5[degrees]C colder than the hottest time of year.

There are different subdivisions of tropical forests. These are divided according to the amount of rainfall and tree species.

"FALL-ing" For a Temperate Forest

Oak, maple, or elm trees can be found in temperate (tem-per-ate) forests. These are examples of trees that lose their leaves as shorter days and colder weather approach. They are just some of the varieties of trees that serve as homes and cover for squirrels, bobcats, and deer.

These forests, which change with each of the four seasons, are located in North America, northeastern Asia, and western and central Europe. Four to six months of frost-free days gives temperate forests a growing season of between 140 to 200 days. Precipitation, in the form of rain and some snow, takes place throughout the year.

You might live in one of the subdivisions of a temperate forest. The northwest coast of the United States has mild winters and lots of rainfall. You will find evergreen temperate forests there. Temperate deciduous (de-cid-u-ous) forests grow in the eastern United States. Broadleaf (broad-leaf) and deciduous trees thrive in the warm summers and cold winters of these forests. The Great Lakes region, with its very cold winters, supports both evergreen and deciduous trees.

Winter Wonderland in a Boreal Forest

You will need layered clothing and maybe even snowshoes to walk in a boreal (bo-re-al) forest. Wolves, moose, and caribou make their homes in these northern forests that have extremely cold winters with a short growing season. Here you will find needleleaf (nee-die-leaf) evergreens such as spruce, fir, and pine trees. When snow is not covering the forest floor, there will be a carpet of moss and lichens (li-chens).

Unfortunately, the variety of forests we have is not permanent. Logging (log-ging) and pollution have contributed to much forest loss. People and governments are now working to save this valuable resource.

Vocabulary

A forest is a terrestrial (ter-res-tri-al) ecosystem The word-part terra is Latin for earth. Look at these definitions. Write the word for each meaning. Put one letter on each line.

1. a series of flat mounds of earth with sloping sides that rise above each other:

2. brown-red earthenware used for pottery:

3. the natural features of a piece of land:

4. the family of North American land, freshwater, or tidewater turtles:

5. a container with small plants or animals:

6. a small dog that likes to dig:

7. an earthenware dish:

8. staying on a specific piece of land:

WORD BANK

terrier

terra cotta

terrine

terrapin

terrarium

terrace

territorial

terrain

Weekly Lab Make your own recycled paper!

Adult Supervision Required

You need: old paper scraps, a cake pan, water, a tablespoon, cornstarch, a measuring cup, a mixing spoon, a. blender (or egg beater), a wire screen, wax paper, a rolling pin,

Step 1: Tear your paper into small pieces and put it in the cake pan.

Step 2: Pour in just enough water to cover the paper. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Step 3: Mix together 1/8 cup (2-Tbsp.) of water and 1/8 cup (2-Tbsp.) of cornstarch.

Step 4: Put the mixture and the paper in a blender (or use a hand egg beater)and blend for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 5: Put your screen over the cake pan and pour your blended mixture over the screen.

Step 6: Cover the mixture with wax paper and use the rolling pin to roll it out.

Step 7: Remove the wax paper.

Step 8: Let your paper dry for 2 to 3 days. Then, carefully peel your recycled paper off of the screen!

Step 9: Make a list of different ways recycled paper can be used. You can research this in library books or on the Internet.

Science says ...

An adult should help you with this project.

Math

Solving a forest problem!

You know that people cut down trees to get lumber for houses. To build a house of 2,000 square feet you need 16,000 board-feet of lumber. Figure out how many trees you would need to cut down to build this house.

Science says ... Imagine each tree will give you 40 board-feet of lumber.

1. How many trees do you need to build your house?

2. How many board feet of lumber do you need for each square foot of house?

3. If there are 20 trees per acre, how many acres will need to be cut to build this house?

4. If you increased the size of the house to 3,000 square feet, how many trees would you need?

Writing In science

Ecosystem science--Isle Royale, a Balanced National Park--Pretend you are a scientist working on Isle Royale. Write about an imaginary day and night about your work at the park. Write about what types of things you would need to bring to conduct your studies. Think about clothing and supplies as well as scientific material. What kinds of problems might you face?

Isle Royale is a National Park that is an island. But it's not a warm tropical island. It's an island of forest in the coldest and deepest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior. Researchers often visit the 132,018 acres of this national park to study the relationship between wolves and moose. This is the longest running study of a large mammal prey (the moose) and predator (the wolf) on Earth. It makes a good place for researchers to do their work because the animals can't leave these island forests. Biologists tag wolves and moose and study their movements, habits, and relationship to learn more about this remote ecosystem. Find out more about Isle Royale online at: http://sweet watervisions.com/Pages/isleroyale.html or http://www.nps.gov/isro/

FYI--Further Your Interests

They make paper out of WHAT??--You aren't the ONLY one who can use recycled material to make paper! People in Thailand use recycled elephant dung to make unique paper. You might say, "lck!" But this paper doesn't smell. It is thoroughly washed and dried. Buying it helps to support the elephants, and it makes an unusual gift. Sometimes elephants even paint on the paper they created!

Do you know of other materials that are used to make paper? Do some research using library books or the Internet to find out about some other materials that are sometimes used to make paper.

Write an essay about your findings. Try to find samples of the paper or images of the paper. See if you can find out about the process used in making the paper, and write out the directions so that someone else could follow them.

As a bonus, see if you can find out more about elephants that paint pictures. Can you find pictures of their work? What do you think? Do you think it looks good? Try to paint your own pictures that look like elephant art! People have paid a lot of money for elephant art!

Meet the Scientist

Dr. Stephen Faulkner, Research Scientist The United States Geological Survey

Dr. Stephen Faulkner has a busy life as a researcher with the United States Geological Survey. He spends his days tramping through forests near the Gulf of Mexico, working in a laboratory, or writing up his research findings in his office. But it's all worth it because Dr. Faulkner is doing what he loves--finding out how forest systems work.

Dr. Faulkner has always loved the outdoors. As a boy he enjoyed camping and fishing. His grandfather inspired him to think scientifically and helped him to develop a curiosity about the world around him. From an early age, Dr. Faulkner learned the importance of asking questions about the way the world works.

Today he is finding out answers to many of his questions. He wants to know how forest systems function. When trees take carbon dioxide from the air, it helps to keep our atmosphere balanced. But, deforestation and burning of fossil fuels releases C[O.sub.2] into the air. This has added to global climate change. Dr. Faulkner is trying to find out about the factors that influence how much carbon forests can store. Answers to his questions will help scientists as they search for ways to keep Earth healthy.

DID YOU KNOW??

Boreal forests have an uneven layer of trees. This layer can be 23 meters tall.

DID YOU KNOW??

The word boreal means northern.
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Date:Mar 13, 2006
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