CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Logging and Clearcutting Debate

1 to 2 lessons
To examine the debate between environmental groups and the forest industry
Students will debate the issues involved in current forest industry practices.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Write the following terms on the board or chart paper: Clayoquot Sound, MacMillan Bloedel, Sierra Club. Ask: How are these terms connected? What do you know about the controversy over Clayoquot Sound? Identify clearcutting, tree spiking, former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt, and other issues and people involved in the dispute.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Clearcutting and Logging: The War of the Woods on the CBC Digital Archives website. In small groups, students will browse the site and prepare a list of issues and controversies surrounding clearcutting and other logging practices. Divide the class into small groups and assign an even number of groups to each of the two sides: the forest industry or environmental groups.

Have students return to the site to prepare arguments supporting their assigned position in the debate.

Revisit and Reflect

Stage a series of short, time-regulated mini-debates on the issue of clearcutting. As they observe the debates, students should list the main arguments from each debate in a two-column chart organizer.

After all groups have presented, ask: What are the main points supporting each side in the clearcutting debate? List students' responses on a two-column chart on the board. Ask: Which are the most credible or convincing points? Why?


Students can prepare a summary statement defending their personal position on the clearcutting issue, based on information from the website and points raised in the classroom debates.

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