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Welcome to the Formal Educators Page

The Forest Team spent the winter term designing lesson plans about the essential aspects of old growth forests for 6th-12th grade students. Some of the lessons are designed to be used on the Lookout Creek trail in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest and others can be used in a classroom setting. If you can't visit the Andrews, the lesson plans can be adapted to another old growth trail. These activities are linked to Oregon educational benchmarks and cover the following topics:

    1. Forest Structure - This activity introduces participants to the layers of the forest. By having them analyze and classify plants based on their needs. This activity also can display the process of succession by removing one of the larger trees and showing what new species fill in first.

    2. Tree Anatomy - This activity will introduce the student to the structure of the tree and what the various structural components do by using hands-on activities and various inquiry methods and questions.

    3. Decomposition and Nurse Logs - This activity introduces participants to the process of decomposition in logs and the organisms involved using hands-on investigation and discussion.

    4. Woody Debris in Streams - This activity introduces participants to the characteristics of large woody debris (LWD) in streams using metaphorical pictures.

    5. Creative expression in the forest - This activity allows participants to closely observe the forest and then express their observations, thoughts, values, and beliefs about the forest through drawing and/or writing. Students will read samples of nature writing done in the Andrews and will then create their own writings or drawings to communicate their experience in the forest.

    6. Disturbance in the Forest - This activity introduces participants to the concept of disturbance specifically fire, wind, pests, disease and animal browsing, using a game, analysis of the activity, and then applying the lesson to the HJ Andrews Lookout Creek Trail or any other old growth trail.

    7. Non-Timber Forest Products - This activity introduces participants to the importance of Non-timber Forest Products (NTFPs). By using five NTFPs that grow in the Northwest as examples, this activity will give participants an introduction to key issues surrounding harvesting, management, and distribution of these very important resources.

Feel free to download the lesson plans and use them in your classes. Each lesson plan can be used independently of the others, but together they provide a comprehensive overview of address old growth forest characteristics. They can be used in conjunction with the virtual trail tour on this website to enable students to connect with this world-class research forest from the classroom.