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Educator Resources

Class Discussion

Establish Prior Knowledge

Tell students that American chestnut trees were once abundant in American forests, but in the early 1900s, a blight afflicted these trees and most were wiped out. Discuss with students how this might impact a forest ecosystem. Tell students that in the Snapshot they are about to see, scientists are working to bring the American chestnut back.


Have students view the snapshot and read the synopsis. Have students work in teams. Assign one questions for each team to research and report on.

1. What were some of the uses of the American chestnut?

2.  Where did the blight come from and how does it kill the trees?

3. How did the loss of the American chestnut impact the economy and the ecology of Eastern forests?


When teams have finished have them report their findings to the rest of the class. Pose the following question to conclude the discussion.

  • What impact might the reintroduction of the American chestnut have on Eastern forests?