Conservation of our nature & saving the future
Class 8, 9 & 10
Key Learning Objectives
1 Hour (Approximately)
- THE MISSION
The student has to play the role of a forest conservationist and is assigned the role of curbing deforestation in a particular area of a forest as wood hunters have started to cut trees in large numbers in the forest for various purposes such as paper, wood, building homes etc. The player has to draw a fence around the forest to protect them from cutting trees, assigning people to guard the forest and also plant as many trees as possible to promote reforestation. The forest area and trees to be planted can be of the player’s liking.
Before delving deeper into understanding the effects of deforestation and the importance as well as ways to conserve forests, lets discuss about the types of forests and the importance of forests in the preservation of habitat.
- Types of forest
Simply defined, a forest is a large group of trees. Forests cover about 30 percent of the earth’s surface. They exist in dry, wet, freezing cold, and scorching hot climates. A forest ecosystem is a community of organisms living in a forest. There are three types of forests that are explained briefly below:
- Evergreen Forest: An evergreen forest is a forest consisting entirely or mainly of evergreen trees that retain green foliage/leaves all year round. They occupy about seven per cent of the Earth’s surface and harbour more than half of the world’s plants and animals. They are found mostly near the equator. These forests are dense and harbour many types of plants and animals. The trees in an evergreen forest have broad leaves that release excess water through transpiration. In India, evergreen forests are found in the Western Ghats in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka. They are also found in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, West Bengal and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- Deciduous Forest: Forests where a majority of the trees lose their foliage at the end of the typical growing season are called deciduous forests. Deciduous forests are found in several parts of the world including North America, Europe, New- Zealand, Australia, and Asia. These forests go through a lot of seasonal changes and are specially adapted to withstand these environmental changes throughout the year. Trees found in a deciduous forest vary by region, but generally include species such as oak, beech, walnut, maple, chestnut and hickory. Deciduous forests grow in areas where rainfall is sufficient to support tree growth. Deciduous forests are well suited to deal with extremes in temperatures. After losing leaves in winter, the trees enter a period of dormancy until the warmer weather returns and the growing season is once again underway.
- Coniferous Forest: Coniferous forests are made up mainly of cone-bearing or coniferous trees, such as spruces, hemlocks, pines and firs. The leaves of these trees are either small and needle-like or scale-like and most stay green all year around. Coniferous forests are found mainly in the northern hemisphere, although some are found in the southern hemisphere. Coniferous trees thrive where summers are short and cool and winters long and harsh. The needle-like leaves have a waxy outer coat which prevents water loss in freezing weather and the branches are soft and flexible and usually point downwards, so that snow slides off them. The temperate coniferous rainforests sustain the highest levels of biomass in any terrestrial ecosystem and are notable for trees of massive proportions
- Importance of forests
Forests are very important for our planet and survival. Some of the important aspects of forests are:
- The forest plays an important role in maintaining the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As we know, plants make use of process of photosynthesis for their food nutrition requirement by consume Carbon Dioxide, released by the living organism from the environment. As a result of photosynthesis, plants release oxygen which is again consumed by living beings for respiration and this cycle goes on. The forests prevent floods in many ways.
- The forest acts as a natural absorber of rainwater and allows it to seep. In deep forest, during heavy rain, the raindrops do not hit the forest floor directly. The uppermost layer of the forest canopy intercepts the flow of raindrops, making its impact slow. On the ground it is absorbed by heaps of decaying leaves etc. In the absence of trees in the forest, rain may hit the ground directly and may flood the area around it. Heavy rain may also damage the soil. Roots of trees normally bind the soil together, but in their absence the soil is washed away or eroded. The forests are perfect recycling factories of nature. Here nothing goes waste.
- Forest is a system comprising various plants, animals and microorganisms. The various components of the forest are interdependent on one another. All animals, whether herbivores or carnivores, depend ultimately on plants for food. Organisms which feed on plants often get eaten by other organisms, and so on. For example, grass is eaten by insects, which in turn, is taken by the frog. The frog is consumed by snakes. This is said to form a food chain. Many food chains can be found in the forest. All food chains are linked.
- Deforestation and its causes
As we are aware of the fact that forest plays such important role in the ecosystem but there are threats that causes harm to the forest. We know that a great variety of plants and animals exists on earth and they are essential for the wellbeing and survival of mankind. Today, a major threat to survival of these organisms is deforestation. Deforestation means clearing of forests and using that land for other purposes. Trees in the forest are cut for some of the purposes mentioned below:
- Procuring land for cultivation
- Building houses and factories
- Making furniture or using wood as fuel
- Increase in the temperature of the earth, i.e., global warming
- Change in the physical properties of soil
- A decrease in groundwater level
- Natural causes like forest fires, droughts, etc
- Consequences of deforestation
Deforestation increases the temperature and pollution level on the earth. It increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Ground water level also gets lowered. They know that deforestation disturbs the balance in nature. It is a well-known fact that if cutting of trees continues, rainfall and the fertility of the soil will decrease. Recall that plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Fewer trees would mean that less carbon dioxide will be used up resulting in its increased amount in the atmosphere. This will lead to global warming as carbon dioxide traps the heat rays reflected by the earth. The increase in temperature on the earth disturbs the water cycle and may reduce rainfall. This could cause droughts. Deforestation is a major cause which leads to the change in soil properties. Physical properties of the soil get affected by plantation and vegetation. Fewer trees result in more soil erosion. Removal of the top layer of the soil exposes the lower, hard and rocky layers. This soil has less humus and is less fertile. Gradually the fertile land gets converted into deserts. It is called desertification.
Deforestation also leads to a decrease in the water holding capacity of the soil. The movement of water from the soil surface into the ground (infiltration rate) is reduced. So, there are floods. The other properties of the soil like nutrient content, texture, etc., will also change because of deforestation.
- Conservation of forests
There are various ways in which we can conserve and save our forests. Some of the ways are as follows:
- Planting more and more saplings and trees
- Don’t throw garbage on the streets and keeping our environment clean
- Forbidding others to cut trees
- Making people aware of the significance of a clean and green environment
- Watering the plants regularly and taking proper care of them
Reusing and recycling paper to save trees, energy, and water
- Problem statement
The student has to play the role of a forest conservationist and the player has been sent on a mission of curbing deforestation in a particular area of a forest by constructing fences to prevent people from cutting trees, station people across the fence as guards and plant at least 75 trees to construct a mini version of a forest of your liking from the three types of forest present. There is no game time however after every 30 seconds of game time the difficulty of game increases in terms of doubling the numbers of wood hunters. Strategize to create a mini forest before the wood hunters cut down all the trees.
- Game design overview
In the game, the player is a forest conservationist. Imagine, you are a conservationist who has been given a mission of planting 75 trees to create a mini forest in one of the affected area of forest. The wood hunters are cutting trees in all the forest rapidly and you being the saver strategize to ensure the trees are not cut by hunters. You have a team of guards who you can place them strategically in any area of the forest to control the speed of tree cutting. Also, you have a fence which you can place around the planted trees to safeguard them. The challenge is that with every 30 seconds passing of game time, the wood hunters gets doubled. Your task is to plant all the 75 trees along with saving the tree cutting by placing the guards strategically. If the tree count gets reduced below 50% in the forest, the game gets over. Each tree planted will give you 10 points. Plant more trees to achieve the highest competitive score.
- How to design the game?
- Step I
As the game begins, the player is given instructions of the game in the form of short & quick story and once continued, the players starts the journey of planting 75 trees. You have to carefully plant in a desired area as the ground is mix of soil and stone. You have a fence which you can place it around the tree planted. You have a team of 10 guards who you can spread and strategically place them around the forest to save as many trees as possible.
Hint: You will have a tree counter that keeps changing as you plant the tree along with a fence counter. Remember that you can’t sow multiple plants together and it has to be one by one. Also, plant it at the safe area so that it shouldn’t appear in the eyes of wood hunters. Always start the game by placing your safeguards at a right position and keeps changing their position as per the hunter quantity.
- Step II
There are 5 wood hunters from the beginning of game and with every 30 seconds, the count gets doubled. The 10 guards you have has the power to stop the hunters but it is possible only if you strategically place them at a correct place. Remember that 1 safeguard can hold up to 8 hunters’ maximum. Every time you plant a tree, you get 10 points and if the planted tree is destroyed by hunter, you lose 5 points. If you fail to safe guard the forest from cutting down the trees and the forest plantation percentage goes below 50%, the game gets over.
Hint: You will have map on which the whole forest area will be visible along with the wood hunters and your safeguards marked as a dot. The counter for number of hunters will be visible on the screen and their movement can also be seen on the map. Also, the forest plantation percentage should also be shown on the screen and its variation should also continuously change with change is trees. You can have 100 trees in the forest and each tree corresponds to 1%. Each tree you plant adds 1% to the counter. The hunters will be more attracted towards newly planted plants. So, be careful and remember to place the fence around it after the plantation.
- Step III
As the difficulty level increases with time, you have to increase the speed of tree plantation and simultaneously keep changing the positions of safeguards. Your target is to plant all 75 trees as early as possible and keeping the forest plantation rate above 50%. More the number of plants, more the high score. So, try planting all the trees to master the game.
Hint: If all the trees are planted, the game will get over. If you fail to plant all trees due to forest plantation percentage going below 50%, the game will get over. Hence, it is very important to plant as many trees as possible before plantation percentage goes below 50% and if you get successful in placing all the 75 plants, the score achieved will be the highest score.
Learning Objective Based Evaluation (0-1)
Higher Order Thinking Skills
Learning Objective Based Evaluation Total Score
Higher Order Thinking Skills Total Score
Learning Objective Based Evaluation
1 point Questions:
Q1. What is the type of forest that has trees containing leaves all year round?
- Evergreen forest
- Deciduous forest
- Coniferous forest
Q2. What are the causes of deforestation?
- Cutting of trees
- Building houses and factories
- Making furniture or using wood as fuel
- All of the above
Q3. Which of the following is not an important function carried out by forests?
- The forest plays an important role in maintaining the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
- The forest acts as a natural absorber of rainwater and allows it to seep
- Forest is a system comprising various plants, animals and microorganisms. The various components of the forest are interdependent on one another
- Forests are the main reason for formation of deserts.
Q4. What does Deforestation do to the air quality?
- Increases Carbon Dioxide content in the air
- Increases Oxygen content in the air
- Increases Hydrogen peroxide in the air
- All of the above
Evaluation of HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills)
Identification of the Problem Statement:
Q5. What is the goal of the game that you have designed? (1 point)
Q6. Does the game designed solve the problem? Justify your answer. (1 point)
Solution of the Problem Statement:
Q7. What are the main reasons for deforestation and why should it be prevented? (1 point)
Q8. What are the steps you will take to promote and practice reforestation? (1 point)
Innovation in the Problem Statement:
Q9. What are the innovative aspects of the solution for which the game is designed? (2 points)
Creativity in the Game Design:
Q10. Describe and explain the unique design elements used in the game. (2 points)
Disclaimer: This document is meant to be used for educational purposes only. The content here has been curated from various online sources. We do not intend to infringe on any copyrights. Please note that there are third party links in this module and Atal Innovation Mission or NITI Aayog does not endorse any person(s) or organizations mentioned on or related to these links.