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Students will begin the unit by working collectively to create a geographic definition of “local” by thinking about the community through their own personal lens and by digging deeper into family connections.  Through these lenses, students will explore the cultural dimension of what it means to be from a particular region, what challenges their communities face, and begin to explore potential resources that can help students on their journey toward understanding local forest use and its impacts on community.  They will then gain a firm understanding of impact from the context of economic, social, and environmental use.  This will be referenced throughout the entire project. Students will learn how to collect qualitative and quantitative data and create a strategy for doing so in their community.  From the qualitative and quantitative data, students will eventually create an ArcGIS map of local resources to help reflect on their own community and the challenges that the community faces.  The end product of this unit will be a poster titled “What’s the Story of Our Community?” which will be presented at the completion of Unit 1. 


This lesson provides a 3-Step process for students to explore their individual identities and the status of their communities.

  • STEP 1:  Students will examine individual identities

  • STEP 2:  Students will identify connections with and role in the community

  • STEP 3:  Students will write I AM poems and consider similaries and differences between individuals and how they connect with their environment. 


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This 3-Step process guides students toward better understanding how their community is connected to the natural resources of its environment. 

  • STEP 1: Students will analyze "forest schools of thought" and further define their own forest attitudes.

  • STEP 2: Students will develop a better understanding of their family's connections and roles within the local community.

  • STEP 3: Students will investigate the status of their community and its connections to the natural resources of the area.


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This 4-Step process guides students toward thinking about economic, social/cultural, and ecological impacts and prepares them to present their findings from Unit 1. 

  • STEP 1: Students will define impact and sustainability from economic, environmental and social/cultural lenses.

  • STEP 2: Students will analyze the impact of natural resources and the sustainability of their community. 

  • STEP 3: Students will create cohort posters to showcase their learning.

  • STEP 4: Students will present to MFC Cohort!


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