Lesson 06 – Deforestation

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Read About Deforestation


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

Carbon dioxide is a colourless gas found in the air and has a faint odour.

The climate is the long-term weather pattern in a specific area.  It measures the average temperature, wind, humidity, snow, and rain in a place.

Deforestation is when people cut down all the trees in a large forest area and do not plant new trees.

When animals are endangered it means that they are in danger of becoming extinct.

Erosion is the wearing away of the land by forces such as water, wind, and ice.

Extinction is the dying out or disappearance of a species from earth.

Lumber is wood that has been cut to be used as a building material.

Natural resources are anything that is found in nature that living things can use.


Deforestation happens when people cut down all the trees in a large area of a forest and do not plant new trees. Large parts of our planet were once covered with forests. In the last 200 years, about half of these forests have been cut down.

Reasons for Deforestation

  • People need trees to make lumber for construction projects and various kinds of paper products. In parts of the world where people do not have electricity, wood is used for heating homes and cooking.

  • Farmers need more land for planting crops and raising animals.

  • As cities grow larger, more space is needed for building homes, stores, and factories.

  • The land under a forest may contain valuable natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, or minerals. People deforest the land so they can mine these underground natural resources.
Deforestation is when all the trees in a large area of a forest are cut and not replaced.

What Happens When Forests Are Destroyed

  • Forest trees protect the soil from the heat of the sun. The roots of trees help to hold the soil in place. When forests are destroyed, the soil dries out and there are no roots to hold the soil in place. Then rain can erode, wash away, the soil.

  • Forests provide a habitat for many different types of plants and animals. When forests are destroyed, some plants and animals can become endangered or extinct.

  • Carbon dioxide is a gas in the air that leads to climate change. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. When forests are destroyed, more carbon dioxide remains in the air and makes climate change worse.

To learn more about deforestation, watch the video by National Geographic on Youtube.

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