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Timber! New Lesson Plan on the Texas Lumber Industry

The lumber industry has played a key role in the economic development of Texas since the end of the Civil War. Timber production in East Texas was partially responsible for the rapid growth of railroads in the state, as well as the development of the Texas paper industry and the rise of both residential and commercial building. However, jobs in the lumber industry have been considered as some of the most hazardous occupations, and numerous problems with pollution and deforestation have led to some people speaking out against commercial lumber production.

This lesson highlights the work of lumberjacks and millworkers, as well as the benefits of the paper industry, the need for conscientious timber stewardship, and the importance of lumber to the Texas economy. Using videos showing different aspects of lumber production and outside research from their textbooks and reference websites, students will analyze and compare depictions of the lumber industry – both those showing the hazards of timber manufacturing and those showing the benefits of lumber production. Students will develop analytical and critical thinking and viewing skills, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of their subject.