This post is meant to target a specific problem I’ve encountered for a large number of students who have trouble providing reasons for their arguments or general statements. “Because”, or rather the use of the word, will make their writing so much easier.

Suppose we have two sentences, such as “I want to eat healthier food in the future” and “I am trying to lose weight”. We can generalize here and assume that it’s because of this person wanting to lose weight that they will eat healthier food in the future, of course. But not all sentences are so clear, some a re much more vague. Placing a “because” as a conjunction in sentences such as this one will make it a lot easier for their readers to understand what the distinction is from Sentence 1 and Sentence 2.

There are products available to buy that are more environmentally friendly and decrease our impact on the rainforests

The lesson on rainforests is one of the most pressing, timely issues today. Rainforests are disappearing at an unsustainable rate, and have been for decades now. The little progress that has been made to conserve these areas has been thwarted by recent developments such  as the Belo Monte Project in Brasil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belo_Monte_Dam), and other projects that call for land-clearing and old growth forest removal. It is truly a sad time, as this could be one for incredible discoveries and progress coming from these mysterious areas, but rather we see ecosystems disappearing, endangered species being lost, and tribal peoples being left victims on their natural homeland.

The idea behind what the students are to do on their English notebook (I hope your classroom incorporates the use of one) is simple.


HOW we can protect the rainforests (LEFT SIDE)

WHY we should protect the rainforests (RIGHT SIDE)

Buying foods and other items that are sustainable                                                           ???                          because this means less pollution from our vehicles in the air, which is……..

Try walking or riding your bike instead of driving or taking a taxi                            ???      because you can teach others what you know about the rainforest and inspire others…..

Try using recycled paper instead of normal paper from trees                                     ???      because you will be healthier and less land will be used for farming and raising ………..

Stay educated on the latest developments on rain forests around the world        ???   because less trees in the rainforest will be cut down, these trees stabilize our climate……

Eat less red meat and more healthier, natural foods                                                         ???   because we will be supporting companies that are trying to do their part to…………

The students need to draw a line to the correct matching sentence. Hopefully you know what they are as well, I’m assuming we can as teachers. 

Next, after all students have showed they are able to connect the sentences, have them read the combined sentences together out loud.

The keywords will then be presented, and students should write down each word so they can refer to them later in the last exercise.

We will then move onto the group assignment.

Tribal people in rainforests around the world are feeling the effects of rainforest clearings

Group the students into teams of 3 or 4.

As displayed on the presentation, each group will have to make up their own sentence about the rainforest. It can be ANYTHING, just make sure they use a keyword and of course, it’s all in English. This is a chance for the students to express their beliefs and have fun with the exercise. Some students will be very passive, and some very excited and passionate. It’s interesting to see who does what. You can encourage their progress by coming around to each table and giving encouragement, as I do.

Lastly, after their sentence is read outloud together to the class, they will tell us about the keyword they picked. One of the students in the group will do their best to tell us what the word means.

This is a challenging assignment for your students but mid to high level students can handle the challenge!

Further note:

While this lesson is limited in it’s scope of raising awareness and providing solutions for PRO rainforest supporters, it does get the spark started for those who may have never known about such actions being taken against nature in remote parts of the world. I hope this lesson reaches out to your students and you teach it with the same passion it deserves!

Good Luck!

Link once more: http://prezi.com/zlwxs5_m3fmk/rain-forests/


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