Geography KS3: How deforestation in Madagascar is threatening animal habitats

Eight children are sent to investigate the challenge of protecting the animals’ natural habitat whilst allowing local people to farm so they can feed their families and build homes, even if that causes deforestation.

An introduction to Madagascar, an island in the Indian ocean of the West Coast of Africa.

The country is home to rare and unique animals, 80% of which can be found nowhere else on the planet.

This clip is from the series Deadly Dilemmas.

Teacher Notes

Could be used to start a discussion for and against deforestation.

The class could be divided into pairs and asked to formulate an argument for and against deforestation.

Questions that could be posed to the class include: How far do you think the human population should go to protect the lemurs?

What will happen to the local people if they are prevented from farming?

Children could be asked in two opposing lines representing both sides of the argument (conscience alley).

Select a child to walk through the middle while both sides say/shout/whisper their argument.

Discuss who the child listened to and why.

Summarise different sides of the argument, clarify the strengths and weaknesses of different positions and choose individuals to signal personal opinion clearly.

As a further activity, children could write an argument in role either as a local farmer or conservationist.

They could produce a poster campaign about a particular flagship species or write a letter arguing for more farm land.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Geography at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland.

More from Deadly Dilemmas:

The balance between tourism and conservation in Madagascar
How fishing on the coral reef in Madagascar causes habitat destruction
The food dilemma in Madagascar
Protecting endangered species in Madagascar