Protect and Preserve
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Grade: 12th Grade
Class: Government
Author: Natalie Scavone
NYS Content Area Standard:
Social Studies:
Civics, Citizenship and Government
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
English Language Arts:
Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural HistoryGovernment & Civics
Performance Indicators:

ELA Standard 1:  Performance Indicators  Locate and use school, public, academic, and special library resources for information and research

ELA Standard 4:  Performance Indicator Share the process of writing with peers and adults

SS Standard 3:  Performance Indicators: Locate and gather geographic information from a variety of primary and secondary sources

SS Standard 5: Performance Indicators: Key idea 3:  Understand how citizenship includes the exercise of certain personal responsibilities Analyze issues at the state, local, and national levels Explore how citizens influence public policy Key Idea 4:  Consider the need to respect the rights of others, to respect to others' points of view

Keywords: advertising, Forest Preserve
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: How might we persuade the public to help protect and preserve the Adirondack Forest Preserve?

The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined. The boundary of the Park encompasses approximately 6 million acres, nearly half of which belongs to all the people of New York State and is constitutionally protected to remain a “forever wild” forest preserve. The remaining half of the Park is private land that includes settlements, farms, timber lands, businesses, homes, and camps.

In 1894 a new covenant was adopted into the Constitution of the State of New York to achieve meaningful protection for the Forest Preserve. Henceforth, the Adirondack Forest Preserve would be "forever wild". In 1971 the Adirondack Part Agency was created to to develop long-range land-use plans for both the public and private lands within the Blue Line. Since then, many individuals, government agencies. and organizations have worked to preserve the park.

To set up the following challenge, show students the PBS program "The Adirondacks". Ask students to take notes as they watch the program in preparation for a formal journal essay they will be asked to write at the conclusion of this unit of study.

Focus their notetaking on two questions:

1) What is special about the Adirondacks that make it worthy of protection and preservation?

2) What place or resource associated with the Adirondacks would you personally want to preserve and protect? Why?

Following the program, invite the class members to discuss their responses to the two questions above. Explore the details of their thinking with them. Ask them to describe the range of motivations behind their desire to preserve and protect various places and/or things.  

Share the quote from Jacques-Ives Cousteau, "People protect what they love." To what extent do the students think this quote is accurate? What insight does Cousteau provide us regarding the protection and preservation of the Adirondacks? How might we support and expand efforts to preserve and protect the Adirondacks?

Before proceeding too far in this challenge, the teacher will no doubt want to spend time with students discussing a common understanding of the following terms :

- "ad" campaign

- persuasion; persuasive language and argument

- preservation of natural resources

- protection of natural resources


The Challenge:

In teams of two organized with the help of your teacher, prepare an advertising campaign to be used as part of a non-profit effort to encourage the public to help preserve and protect a specific place or specific resource that is an essential part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. As you prepare your campaign, consider the following:

1) You will be expected to vigorously defend your choice of a specific place or specific resource  as essential to the long term well being of the Adirondack Forest Preserve and therefore worthy of protection. Be sure your research is thorough, your information accurate, and your arguments persuasive.

2) Your ad campaign should have both text and visual components. Therefore as part of your campagin package:

    • Create an engaging and informative poster that will persuasively communicate the essence of your message to the public.
    • Create an interesting and informative 30 second radio ad that could be used on NPR or other public medium to communicate your message.
    • Write a  formal business letter to a state or local politician who has influence regarding Adirondack issues. In this letter persuasively  "make your case" for his/her continued support of public policies that protect or preserve your chosen place or resource. Be sure your letter is in proper form and that the information you use to support your arguments is accurate.

Both authors of this campaign should be prepared to share and interpret their work for other class members and be ready to persuasively defend their point of view.

Examples of Student Work

Resources: PBS Adirondacks DVD For links to government agencies Internet searches for history and geographical information

Book references

Produced at the 2008 Adirondack Geography Institute

Quality Standards:
  • All information included in the products of the ad campaign is accurate
  • Poster is persuasive, engaging, and informative
  • Thirty second radio script is interesting and informative
  • Formal business letter is written in correct form and is error free
  • Content of the business letter is persuasive
  • Authors are able to respond persuasively to all questions about their work
Product Quality Checklist
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Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:


  • All information is accurate
  • Poster is persuasive
  • Poster is engaging - use of color and graphics is visually appealing
  • Information is relevant and necessary to communicate argument


Radio Ad Script:

  • Engaging language - both interesting and informative
  • 30 seconds in length when spoken


Business letter:

  • Accurate and error free
  • Persuasive language
  • Correct business letter form


Authors are able to respond persuasively to all questions about their work


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