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3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 50 minutes
  • Videos, 34 seconds
  • Videos, 58 seconds, CC
  • Interactive Media
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 44 seconds, CC

Regional Focus



Google Slides, PDF

Investigating Deforestation Through an Earth Systems View Using Landsat

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  • In this lesson plan, students analyze imagery taken from NASA's Landsat satellite, a time-lapse video of deforestation, and a global land cover map to identify the different causes of deforestation.
Teaching Tips


  • Students will use evidence from recorded data imagery to represent and discuss the factors contributing to deforestation and the role that humans play in global deforestation rates.
  • All materials are included and accessible in multiple formats.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the terms biosphere, atmosphere, land cover, and deforestation.


  • Students can complete this activity individually or in groups.
  • If students have access to devices, they can complete the graphic organizer digitally in Google Slides. There is also a PDF version for printing.
  • Students can further explore the root causes of deforestation related to human activity and brainstorm solutions at various levels (individual, community, state, national, and global).
  • Students can respond to the videos in a written response or group discussion.
Scientist Notes
The Google Slides interactive card resource is valid and will guide students to interpret Landsat imageries. The resource is valid and recommended to understand the rate of deforestation in Brazil up to 2019. Educators should note that this resource will not be sufficient to explore present changes in Brazil's forests.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 4.ESS2.2 Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
      • 5.ESS2.1 Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 8.ESS3.4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
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