Rainforest Lesson Plan

Detailed lesson plan

World map
Internet access 

1)      To locate the rainforests
·        To know what Rainforests are?
·        To have an understanding of the global locations of the rainforests.
·        To know the physical structure of the rainforest (strata).
·        To classify animals

·          Watch Journey into the Amazon video.
·        Select the Rain Forest Action Network slide show, slides 1 and 2; discuss the location of these in the world.
·        Take guided rainforest meditation, students use mind map to represent their experiences and feelings.
·        In groups students research and discuss all the qualities of their allocated layer of the rainforest, which plants and animals live there? Which classification are the animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects)? How much sun does it receive?
·        All groups to recreate their layer and draw in the animals and plants, insects and trees.

2)  Animals of the rainforests
·        To learn about some animals that live in the rainforest and the parts of the forest they inhabit.
·        To classify animals.
·        To articulate personal response to literature, identifying why and how a text affects the reader.
·        Listen to a rainforest story  - e.g. The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry; Princess Iyiomon’s Blogs –Rainforest Adventure.
·        Write a report on this.
·         Students pick an animal to research and write a journal on, as if they were that animal living in the rainforest. What is its day and life like?

3)  Rainforest biodiversity

·        To learn about the rainforest biodiversity (Adaptation and Survival ).
·        To know that plants and animals have features that help them live in different environments

·        Watch and discuss the slide show on: www.msu.edu/user/urquhart/tour/slidec.html

·        Students pick a rainforest animal. Write a science report on; the unique features it has acquired for survival in the rainforest, e.g. camouflage, toxicity, speed, claws, what level on the food-chain it is on, is it endangered? If so, why?
·        Students draw their animal for inclusion on display board. 

4)  Rainforest ecosystems
·        To know ways in which species interact and depend on one another in an ecosystem (e.g., producer/consumer, predator/prey, parasite/host, relationships that are mutually beneficial or competitive).
·        To know relationships that exist among organisms in food chains and food webs.
·        To learn about the Water Cycle in the rainforest (Transpiration)

·        What is a food chain? What animals eat what in the rainforest?
·        Discuss interdependence and the ‘web of life’ what happens when one animal is extinct e.g. what happens to the population of the birds when there are no worms for food?
·        Discuss water cycle in the rainforest use a house plant to show the transpiration process.
·        Design a board game for the scenario: you and your friends have planned a trek through the rainforest to search for a lost temple. Include challenges along the way that will make it difficult to reach e.g. avoid becoming part of the food chain, save a monkey in distress, take photos of beautiful waterfall and miss a go etc. Who gets there first?

 5)  Rainforest products

·        To learn about products from the rainforest- medicines, food, wood, clothing etc.
·        Students to study foods eaten in rainforest regions, animals hunted, homes built and materials used for this; and the plants gathered for medicines; from The Amazonia video clips.
·        Students research food, medicines and other products from the rainforest which are exported to other countries.
·        Select a rainforest country and research its food exports and imports.
·        Produce facts files about individual rainforest products e.g. name, how grown, how processed, uses, importance, other interesting facts, etc. (e.g. Rattans, Willows, Periwinkle, Pawpaw)

Homework task: Design a ‘Save the Rainforest’ poster

6)  Threats to the rainforests

·        To understand the ecological importance and the fragility of rain forests.
·        To know about the threats to the rainforest – deforestation, dams, mining, logging, cattle ranching, etc.
·        To write a persuasive letter for a real purpose.


·        Read the complete Princess Iyiomon’s blogs.
·        Discuss the impact early explorers and the colonialists had on the pristine rainforests.
·        Discuss impacts modern day multinationals and industries are having on rainforest countries and the world at large.
·        Research statics on the shrinking rain forests. Where is the biggest impact being made? Why do you think this is so?
·        Write a persuasive letter to the director of one of the multinational cooperative with business interest in a rainforest zone, to give something back to the indigenous community for their loss.

7)  The Rainforest experience

Visit a rainforest garden or stimulate a virtual visit online.

·        Know that living things are found almost everywhere in the world and that distinct environments support the life of different types of plants and animals.
Activity: Takes notes of the different types of animals and plants you meet on the trip. Take photographs of any strange ones to research later.


·        To write a sequence of poems linked by theme or form e.g. Rainforest Poems.
·        To use art to represent rainforest habitats and organisms.

·        Discuss class trip. Begin a representation of students’ learning on a mind map: - food, medicines, products, tribes, threats. Students to independently complete this.
·        Rainforest poems - Demonstrate to students how to choose an area from their visit to write a poem about:- using the following sequence: The Rainforests- Threats- vocabulary to describe this (global warming, species extinct, animals homeless, food chain broken – use these to write ‘What If’ poems or ‘Rainforest Song’, etc. 

9)  LEARNING INTENTIONS -   Social Studies
To learn about people, places and environments, and begin to make links between different places in the world through types of food

1.    Experience tropical taste and food from around the world in rainforest themed party. Ask parents to bring in their traditional food to share in a community day celebration.
2.   Perform rainforest dance in front of audience. 

10)   Creative day ideas
What can you make?
                                                            What will you need?
Down in the Jungle
Imagine that you are on a rain forest expedition, you lost most of your supplies coming down river, design and make a hat that will protect your neck and body from the heavy forest rains and can also double up as a water bowl so you don’t get dehydrated.
A Prince for The Princess
Aerodynamics – The Princess has set Odion and the other Princes a task, she will marry the Prince whose aerodynamic spear (paper dart) will travel the farthest. Can you design a paper plane/ dart that will help Ali Baba win the Princess’s hand in marriage?

Noiseless Bridge
Occasionally, the Princess would like to get away from her minder to explore the forest by herself. There is only one route she could use without being seen but it has a stream with a rickety bridge. She would like to be able to cross the bridge without her minder hearing her. Can you help her design and make a bridge that would muffle the sounds of her shoes when crossing?

Drinkable  Water
Your team is stranded in the rainforest; you have run out of drinking water and face dehydration. It rains heavily in the rainforest.

Ø Can you devise a system to collect the rain water for drinking?
Ø There are many of you in the expedition party, everyone must get drinking water. Can you devise a purification system to extract the rain water from the muddy puddles on the forest floor in order to get enough drinking water for everyone?

Move it, Raft
On your rainforest expedition, you have come to a large river which was not shown on your map. You need to cross it to get to the other side to continue your journey however you have a large cargo with you and you must get it across as it contains most of your supplies for the expedition. Can you design and make a raft that will carry the most amount of cargo across the river without sinking?

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