Lesson Plans for Teachers

Wood–A Remarkable Fiber workshops and
Ecology, Economics and the Environment (E3) forest tours
Learning from the Forest.

Lessons by Teachers is a collection of teaching activities and lesson plans developed by school teachers who attended a Wood — A Remarkable Fiber workshop or the Ecology, Economics and the Environment Forest Tour.

Editors of Learning from the Forest. Lessons by Teachers

  • Michelle Youngquist, Education Coordinator, Idaho Forest Products Commission
  • Jan Pitkin, Administrative Assistant, Department of Forest,Products, University of Idaho
  • Dr. Tom Gorman, Department of Forest Products, University of Idaho
  • Dr. Leonard Johnson, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho



Science (Preschool): Trees and Forest Floors as a Natural Water Filter

Science (K-1st): Wood Products

Geography (K-1st): Geography of Idaho Trees

Science (K-1st): Wood Types/Porosity

Science (K-3rd): Creating a Machine for Harvesting Timber

Mathematics/Economics (6th-9th): Toothpicks and Timber

Life Science (4th-12th): I’ve Got You Under My Skin

Math/Science (4th-6th): Maximizing Lumber Cuts

Math/Science (4th-6th): Veneer Technology

Science (4th-6th): Grains and Laminates

Math (5th-6th): Board Feet

Science (5th-6th): Idaho Tree Identification and Biographies

Science/Government (7th-12th): Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd

Life Science (7th): Dealing with the Forest

Science/Consumer Economics (7th-12th): Wood Products Scavenger Hunt

Science (7th-12th): Show and Tell Lab

Science/Math/English (7th-12th): How Much Money Grows on Trees?

Social Science/Earth Science/Economics/Mathematics (6th-12th): Forest Dilemmas

Science (7th): Beetle Infestation

Science (7th-12th): Land Use Decision

Industrial Arts (9th-12th): Comparison of Tangential (Plain Swan) to Radial (Quarter Swan) Dimensional Change when Moisture is Added or Removed

Industrial Arts (9th-12th): Transportation System of a Tree

Chemistry (11th-12th): Percent Moisture in Wood

Physical Science/Chemistry (9th-11th): Density of Wood Species

Science (7th-9th): Distillation of Wood

Science (7th-12th): Properties of Paper/Consumer Testing

Science (7th-12th): Stumped Seedlings Game (Tree Identification)

Science/Math (9th 12th) Calculating Cable Tension

Chemicals and Products from Trees

Wood — A Remarkable Fiber was a one (2 days) or two (4 days) credit course offered by the University of Idaho’s Department of Forest Products. This course provides hands-on learning experiences for creation of activities in wood technology suitable for use in educational curricula. Teachers participating in the course learn about the many products made of wood, wood properties, papermaking, and other topics related to the wood products industry. Discussions include many of the social impacts and issues related to sustainable forest products. Participants are asked to develop lesson plans for their students, which build on information they were given during the workshop. Many of these lesson plans have been quite unique and innovative. 

The Ecology, Economics and the Environment Forest Tour was an interactive forest tour sponsored by the Idaho Forest Products Commission, the Science and Mathematics Consortium for Northwest Schools, and the Idaho Council on Economic Education. Teachers came from throughout Idaho to spend three intensive days exploring Idaho’s forests and their management. Highlights of the experience include learning while in the forest, investigating forest management techniques, interacting with professional foresters, touring a sawmill and observing an active logging job. The culmination of this experience is development of interdisciplinary lesson plans that encompass the real-world interplay of ecology and economics in Idaho’s forests. Selections from the lessons developed over the past five years are included in this collection.