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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#1705. The Layers of the Rainforest

Science, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Apr 25 09:49:36 PDT 2000 by Bethany Nichols (ykrg@grove.iup.edu).
The Layers of the Rainforest
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, USA
Materials Required: Tent, plant and animal decorations, rainforest CD, humidifier, rainforest literature, animal costume
Activity Time: One hour
Concepts Taught: The Layers of the Rainforest

Rationale:

This is the first lesson of a two week unit on rainforests. This lesson focuses on the four layers or strata of the rainforest. This lesson will also touch on different animals and plants that live in the four stratas. The knowledge acquired in this lesson will allow students to identify the different layers of the rainforest and to distinguish between the plant and life forms that go along with each layer. The students have background knowledge of the rainforest since they are discussing the environmental concerns in Social Studies class.

Objectives:

Following instruction on the layers of the rainforest, fourth grade students will be able to finish a word search puzzle dealing with the layers and different life and plant forms of the rainforest with 100 percent accuracy.

After visiting various websites that pertain to the rainforest, fourth grade students will be able to answer questions from a particular website dealing with the layers of the rainforest with 95 percent accuracy.

After viewing various websites dealing with the animals and plant life in the different layers of the rainforest, fourth grade students will be able to draw and color their favorite animal or plant that lives in the correct layer of the rainforest.

Following the lesson on the layers of the rainforest, grade four learners will be able to:

1. List the layers in the correct order from the rainforest floor to the tops of the tallest trees.
2. Complete a word search puzzle.
3. Name different animals and plants that live in the rainforest.
4. Use the Internet and websites to complete a worksheet on the rainforest.
5. Draw and color a plant or animal that lives in the correct layer of the rainforest.

Modified Objectives for the students with an IEP:

Following instruction on the layers of the rainforest, the learner will be able to finish a crossword puzzle dealing with the layers and different life and plant forms of the environment with 80 percent accuracy.

After visiting various websites that pertain to the rainforest, the learner will be able to answer questions from a particular website dealing with the layers of the rainforest while working with a partner with 80 percent accuracy.

Lesson Materials:

Tent
Decorations of animals, plants, etc..
Rainforest CD
Canoe
Humidifier
Rainforest literature
Animal Costume
Computer with Internet connection
Layers of the Rainforest word search
Layers of the Rainforest worksheet
Art materials such as: posterboard, markers, feathers, glitter, paint, etc.

Lesson Activities:

*The day before, I will prep the students by telling them that the class will be taking a trip to an exotic location. I will not tell then where we are going, but I will describe the climate, animals, plants that live where we are going. The class will write a letter to their parents telling them that we are going on an adventure.

*Before the students enter the room, I will decorate the room to model the rainforest. I will hang cut-outs of animals and trees all over the room and ceiling. I will also have a tent set up in the corner of the classroom. The tent will be called "The Radical Rainforest". A humidifier will be placed in the tent to create a "wet" feeling of how a rainforest really feels like. I will have various rainforest books outside the class in order for the students to read more information on the rainforest. There will also be a canoe in the other corner of the room in order for the students to transport us to the exotic land we are visiting.

*When the students enter the classroom, I will have a CD playing of different noises of a rainforest--bird calls, waterfalls, animal cries, and rain showers. I will also be dressed up as an animal that lives in the rainforest.

1. I will allow the students to walk around the room and look at the pictures, decorations, and books that are around the room. I will answer none of the questions that are asked by the students. I will instruct the class to climb in the canoe and we will pretend that we are traveling to our exotic land. I will let the students ask questions at this time to try to figure out where we are traveling to . I will only answer their questions in "Yes/No" responses. (3 minutes)

2. I will then ask the students to enter "The Radical Rainforest" where instruction will begin. The students and I will sit in the tent and begin the lesson. If they did not guess where we are, I will tell the class that we are in the Amazon Rainforest. (2 minutes)

3. At this time, I will present the class with the layers of the rainforest. We will touch upon the layers of the rainforest in the tent. I will make sure the students can differentiate between the layers and know some facts that deal with the different layers. (10 minutes)

4. We will leave "The Radical Rainforest" travel to the "Canopy of Computers". Here the students will use the Internet and websites that deal with the rainforest to further their understanding of the layers of the rainforest. When all computer instruction is over, the students will complete a word search puzzle.
The word search will be printed out and completed at this time in the lesson. (21 minutes)

5. After the word search is finished, I will have the students visit a website called Zoom Rainforest. The students will complete a computer generated worksheet about the layers of the rainforest. The worksheet can be located at: http://www.LittleExplorers.com/subjects/rainforest/classroom/strata.shtml
All of the written assignments will be collected in a folder that will be decorated by the students. This will be their very own Rainforest Portfolio to remember their trip to the rainforest. The portfolio will be turned in at the end of the unit. (6 minutes)

6. The students will now travel to the "Creative Station" and work on their art project of the day. Now, I will have the students draw their favorite animal or plant that they saw on the websites. I will provide examples of animals that live in the different layers of the rainforest for the students if they forget what the plant or animal looks like. When the students are finished with their drawing, they will hang the drawing on "The Radical Rainforest" tent and display their work. (15 minutes)

7. The lesson is over at this point. The class will board the canoe and travel back to the class. The students will be dismissed at this time. (3 minutes)