The Rainforest Theme
By: Annie, Denise, Kim, & Sara

leaf Kindergarten Methods and Materials 453leaf
April 27, 2004

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Reference     Goals and Objectives     Theme Schedule     Lesson Plans     Online Activities

There are many great sites on the web for teachers to find out information about Rainforests.
 Below are links to a few that we used to prepare for this unit.

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Goals and Objectives:
To expand children’s knowledge of rainforests, including its animals, plants, geography, and issues of conservation.

Children should be able to describe where rainforests are located.
Children should be able to identify a variety of rainforest plants and animals.
Children should be able to describe rainforest climate.
Children should learn the importance of conserving the world’s rainforests.

                        1.       Language Arts
                                    a.    Develop vocabulary related to rainforests
                                    b.    Identify beginning letters of some rainforest animals
                        2.    Math
                                    a.    Create, read, and use graphs
                                    b.    Use tools of measurement
                        3.    Science
                                    a.    Observe processes of transpiration, condensation, and precipitation
                                    b.    Describe physical properties of rubber
                                    c.    Understand the concept of a food chain
                                    d.    Identify plants and animals of the rainforest
                                    e.    Learn about ecosystems
                        4.    Social Studies
                                    a.    Practice mapping skills
                                    b.    Learn about different cultures
                                    c.    Describe the importance of conservation
                        5.    Music/Movement
                                    a.    Improve gross motor skills
                                    b.    Observe how monkeys move
                                    c.    Listen to music made by people of the rainforest and the sounds of a rainstorm
                        6.    Visual Arts
                                    a.    Develop fine motor skills by making rainsticks and food chain mobiles
                                    b.    Enhance artistic creativity through drawing and other artistic means.

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Theme Schedule:

Content Areas
4-Layers of the
Rainforest Song
Where the Forest Meets the Sea
By Jeannie Baker
Earth Day
The Rainforest

What fruits grow
in the rainforest?

Why is the
rainforest so wet?
Flowers &
Food Chain
What products come
from the rainforest?

Social Studies
Where are the

What musical instruments
are played in the rainforest?
Language Arts
Rainforest Alphabet

The Great
Kapok Tree
Air Quality
Safari Review


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Lesson Plans:
Books to display in area all week:

Baker, Jeannie. Where the Forest Meets the Sea. New York: Greewillow Books, 1987.

Banks, Joan. Song of La Selva. Norwalk, CT: Trudy Corporation, 1998.

Cherry, Lynne. The Great Kapok Tree. New York: Voyager Books Harcourt, Inc., 1990.

Cowley, Joy.  Red-Eyed Tree Frog.  Scholastic: New York, 1999.

Greenaway, Theresa. Eyewitness Books: Jungle. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.

Jeunesse, Gallimard & Mettler, Rene. The Rainforest (A First Discovery Book). Italy: Scholastic, Inc., 1994.

Jordan, Martin and Tanis. Amazon Alphabet. New York: Kingfisher, 1996.

Knight, Tim. Journey into the Rainforest. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Lee, Justin. How to Draw Animals of the Rain Forest. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2002.

Mutel, Cornelia F. & Rodgers, Mary M. Our Endangered Planet: Tropical Rainforests. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Company, 1991.

Nightwatch: Nightlife in the Tropical Rainforest. New York: Reader’s Digest Children’s Books, 1990.

Ross, Kathy. Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Rainforests. Brookfield, CT: The Millbrook Press, Inc., 1997.

Seuss, Dr. The Lorax. New York: Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P., 1971.

Earth Day Song!

(To the Tune of "If you are happy and you know it")
If you love our world, clap your hands (clap, clap)Earth
If you love our world, clap your hands (clap, clap)
If you love our world, really love our great big world; If you love our world, clap your hands! (clap, clap)

If you love our world, plant new trees (new trees!)
If you love our world, plant new trees (new trees!)
If you love our world, plant new trees for birds and bees; If you love our world, plant new trees! (new trees!)

If you love our world, recycle (!)
If you love our world, recycle (recycle!)
If you love our world, then recycle and reuse; If you love our world, recycle! (recycle!)

If you love our world do your part (do your part!)
If you love our world do your part (do your part!)
If you love our world, really love our great big world; If you love our world, BE SMART! (be smart!!)


The Rainforest Poem

By Lauren

What is a rainforest?
I bet you'd like to know.
It's a place where animals live,
And plants and trees grow.

It's got birds, amphibians, and mammals,
Reptiles, insects, and fish.
There are many kinds of fruits,
Which make a lovely dish.

There are millions and millions of species,
Of animals, plants, and trees.
But they're all disappearing,
They need your help, please!

The trees are all being cut,
Only seven percent remain.
What have we done to our world?
We must be completely insane.

The animals live in the forest,
Over one million kinds.
When the trees go, so do they,
So don't just act as if your blind.

We need the trees for oxygen,
And the animals need it too.
The rainforest provides many products we need,
With many things to study and do.

We have to take care of the forests,
'Cause half the world's creatures live there.
So write a letter or talk to your friends,
To show you really care!

4 Layers of the Rainforest

Topic of Lesson:
Grade Level:  K-2
Students will gain knowledge of the layers of the Rainforest.
                                    Students will explore music.

Teacher Background:  The teacher should be knowledgeable of the different layers of the rainforest.  The teacher should be able to explain the different types of layers in detail.

Preparation:  The teacher should set up a chart that can be used for the children’s ideas to be written on.

  A large piece of paper.

    1. Begin by telling children that they will be making a KWL chart.  Explain that KWL means, what we know about the rainforest, what we want to know about the rainforest, and what we learned about the rainforest.
    2. Ask the children to help fill in the chart.
    3. Explain the 4 layers of the rainforest to the children.  The layers are forest floor, understory, canopy, emergent.
    4. Teach the children the song “Layers of the Rainforest.”

Tune:  "If you’re happy and you know it"

There are four layers in the rainforest.


There are four layers in the rainforest.


Forest floor, understory, canopy, emergent.

(as you sing the names of the layers first crouch down, then stand up and bend over a bit, then stand and put your arms over your head like an umbrella, then stand on toes and reach up high)

There are four layers in the rainforest.


Accommodations:  With children that have hearing problems the children could be taught the song in sign language and still do the actions along with it.

Assessment:  The KWL chart enables the teacher to know what exactly she/he needs to touch on that the children don’t already know.

Extension:  The children could make up songs about the animals of the rainforest also.

Where are the Rainforests?

Topic of Lesson: Social Studies Mapping and Equator Activity

Grade Level: K

Concepts/Objectives:  Students will learn where the rainforests are located on Earth and what the equator is by creating a replica of the earth out of balloons (or Styrofoam balls) and coloring a map of the world’s rainforests.

Teacher Background: Teacher should know where the rainforests are located.

Preparation: Make copies of blank world maps (with only the outline of countries).  

Materials: Globe, blank maps, markers, blue balloons or Styrofoam balls, green and blue paint (only if using Styrofoam balls), string, tape (balloons) or pins (Styrofoam)


Procedures: Talk about where the rainforests are. Are the in ND? Are they in the U.S.? Use a globe to show the equator, and explain that the rainforests are close to the equator, in South and Central America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Mapping: Students should color the parts of their map where the rainforests are. Teacher should first model this. Label the equator on the map.

Equator activity: Each student should blow up a blue balloon and tie it. Use green or brown markers to color some land (the North Pole is at the tied end). To demonstrate the concept of the equator, tape string around the middle of the balloon. Hang the balloons from the ceiling with string tied to the balloon knots for a classroom decoration!

If using Styrofoam balls, first paint them blue and green for land and water, then pin a string around the equator.

Accommodations: Work with partners if there are students who are visually impaired. Use a textured globe and let them feel the areas that rainforest are located.

Assessment: Observe the map-making and be sure students are coloring their rainforest areas close to the equator.

Extensions: Learn about the specific continents of the rainforest (Africa, Australia, Asia, and South/Central America). 

Technology: none


Why is the rainforest so wet?

Topic of Lesson: Science (Climate)- Make a Rainforest in a Bottle

Grade Level: K

Concepts/Objectives: In small groups, students will make mini rainforests. They will observe the processes of transpiration, condensation, and precipitation. This will help them understand how rainforests create their own wet climates.

Teacher Background: Transpiration=water returned to the air from the plants. Condensation=water droplets forming in the bottle
Precipitation=drops of water falling from the bottle to the soil.
Rainforests regulate the dispersal of water on earth. They soak up the moisture from the rain and release it into the air as clouds. The clouds then travel hundreds of miles to release the water (as raindrops) to drier areas. Of course forests couldn’t survive without the sun, which is the source of all energy on earth.

Preparation: Teacher needs to collect 2 Liter soda bottles and obtain seeds.

Materials: Clear 2 Liter soda bottles (enough for each group to have one), stones or gravel, potting soil, scoopers, seeds (grass or herbs work well, could use tropical plant seeds), water, 1/3 cup measurers

Procedures: Ask students if they know why rainforests are so wet. Then explain that they are going to make terrariums, or their own rainforests in a bottle. Get in small groups.
1. Have students place a layer of stones on the bottom of the soda bottle.
2. Add a two to three inch layer of potting soil on top of the rocks.
3. Add a variety of seeds.
4. Sprinkle a little more soil over the seeds.
5. Add about 1/3 cup of water and place the cap on the bottle.
6. Put the rainforest bottles in a warm, sunny place.
7. When the plants begin to grow, observe the processes of transpiration, condensation, and precipitation.

Accommodations: For students who are visually impaired, make a section of your classroom into a giant rainforest terrarium. “The Classroom Jungle” instructions can be found at

Assessment: Discuss the science concepts students just learned. Then, have them draw pictures describing transpiration, condensation, and precipitation.

Extensions: Create “The Classroom Jungle” described at the website listed under accommodations
Technology: none

Rain Forest Alphabet

Topic of Lesson:  Language Arts/Art

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Concept/Objectives: The children will become more familiar with all the different types of animals living in the rainforest.

Teacher Background:  The teacher should be reading books and looking at websites to get a general knowledge on the variety of animals that live in the rainforest.

Preparation:  Pictures should be printed out or posters bought, to hang around the room to get the children asking questions about the animals.  If you have an alphabet up in the room, you can change the pictures to represent animals of the rainforest.  The website has a glossary that can be used with an animal for every letter.

Materials:  Drawing Utensils, Glitter, Feathers, and Different Types of Papers.

Procedure:  1.   Read the book Amazon Alphabet By Martin and Tanis Jordan.

2.      Assign each child a letter.  It may be best to draw out of a hat.

3.      Have them use this book and other rainforest books in the classroom to find an animal they would like to draw.

a.      Tell them that the pictures do not have to look exactly the same and that they are allowed to be as creative and imaginative as they like.

b.      Many rainforest animals are vibrantly colored or glisten like glitter.  Allow children to use things like glitter, feathers, and other art supplies to really make their pictures unique.

c.       Have the children write the name of the animal below it.

d.      Below the name have the children write the first letter in capital and small letters.

4.      Hang the pictures up in the classroom as the beginning of your rainforest room.

5.      Refer back to them throughout the week.

snakeAccommodations:  Some children will not be able to make pictures because of physical ailments.  The teacher can have them work with a buddy to describe what they would like to do.  If the resources are available, there are computer programs that have special hardware that can be used by people with disabilities.  They could then use these to create a picture on the computer.

Assessment:  The teacher can assess if the children know the letters of the alphabet.  In addition, the teacher can observe the children’s fine motor skills.

Extension: The pictures can be used when the students go on a safari in the classroom near the end of the unit.  They can talk about the animals they spot in the rainforest.

Technology:  Links can be set up to appropriate rainforest sites so that they are easily accessible for children.  Here they can see pictures of rainforest animals they may want to create.

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Flowers and Leaves of the Rainforest

Topic of the Lesson Plan:  Science

Grade Level:  K-1


-         Students will have a better awareness of the flowers and leaves of the rainforest.

-         Students will have the opportunity to learn about how they breath and how trees are beneficial to their health.

Teacher Background:  The teacher must know about the flowers and leaves of the rainforest and overall vegetation. 

Preparation:  The teacher should cut out pictures from magazines or print pictures off the internet of flowers and plants in the rain forest.

Materials:  Pictures of flowers and plants.


  1. Show students pictures of flowers and trees that are in books, have been cut out, or have been printed off the internet.
  2. Discuss with the children the importance of trees and how they produce oxygen so that we may breath.
  3. Teach the children the definition of oxygen (the air we breathe).
  4. Discuss with the children that the more trees there are, the more oxygen we have.  Let the children know that when we cut down trees, we have less oxygen.  Let the children know that they must not be wasteful because we won’t have a lot of trees left if we keep cutting them down.  Talk about how much of the world is covered with rainforests and how much of the rainforests are cut down everyday.

Accommodations:  For children with a vision impairment, the teacher could put different leaves and flowers in a bag and have the child feel the texture of the items.  The teacher could also label the places on the map where rainforests are present with thumb tacks so that it is safe for the child but also so that the child has the chance to see how many rainforests there actually are.

Assessment:  The teacher could ask the children to shout out the different types of flowers and leaves when they are shown to the class to see if the children are actually learning.  The teacher could also ask if it makes a difference if we cut down the trees in our backyard or if it is only rainforests that matter when we cut down the trees.  This way the teacher can fully know if the children understand the concept of oxygen.

Extensions:  The teacher could have all of the children plant a class tree as a way of promoting growth of trees and giving people ‘more oxygen.’

What Fruits Grow in the Rainforest?

Topic of Lesson: Math/Social Studies Activity- Graphing Favorite Rainforest Fruits

Grade Level: K

Concepts/Objectives: Students will practice graphing and learn about the fruits of the rainforest. They will be introduced to many rainforest fruits and make a class graph of their favorites.

Teacher Background: Teacher should be familiar with the fruits that grow in rainforests.

Some possible fruits: Mango, guava, papaya, coconut, avocado, banana, breadfruit, durian, grapefruit, jackfruit, lemon, lime, mangosteen, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, plantain, rambutan, tangerine.

Preparation: Bring in many rainforest fruits for children’s snack (this may take some effort, depending on the area of the world you are teaching in)

Materials: several different rainforest fruits, construction paper, markers/crayons

Procedure: Have each student try each fruit. Ask them to draw a picture of their favorite one on the construction paper and write the name of it with invented spelling. On the board, make rows of the different fruits. Tell students to put their picture in the respective row. After all students have finished, discuss the different qualities of the graph. Which was the favorite fruit? Which was the least favorite? Which row of pictures is the longest? Etc.

Accommodations: Discuss the graph in depth with students who are visually impaired and cannot see it. Maybe use actual fruit and put them rows on a desk so he/she can feel the graph.

Assessment: Observe whether or not students are able to recognize/name fruits of the rainforest and are able to read the picture graph.

Extension: “Is there a Rainforest in your Kitchen?” list- Take home and have families help identify rainforest foods at home.

Technology: none

  Is there a Rainforest in your Kitchen?


Many people are surprised to learn how many food items we use today originally come form rainforests. With an adult’s permission or assistance check your kitchen at home to see how many of the following items you have. Check them off as you go.

Fruits & Vegetables

Spices & Flavors

Other Foods












Brazil nuts






Cashew nuts






Chicle (gum)








Heart of palm


Chili pepper


Coconut oil


















Lime oil












Palm oil


Passion fruit






























 How many of the items listed above did you find in your kitchen at home?

Are you surprised at how many items in your kitchen come from rainforests?

 What is your favorite way to eat three of the items?



3. Is%20there%20a%20Jungle%20in%20your%20Kitchen?


 Topic of Lesson – Science: Reducing Trash!

 Grade Level – Kindergarten

 Concepts / Objectives – To help the children to be aware of the amount of trash we make everyday and to teach them ways to reduce that amount.

 Teacher Background – The teacher would have to have an idea of the kind and amount of trash they have in their room and ways to reduce it such as reusing objects and recycling.

 Preparation – In the morning, the trash would have to be emptied and have a clear trash bag placed into it. A list/chart made for the types of trash and ways to reduce it would be nice too.

Material – A clear plastic trash bag, gloves, boxes, and trash!

Procedure – Start off the morning by telling them that at the end of the day, they will be going through the trash to study what type of trash they have and how they can reduce it. Have the kids make predictions about the kind of trash they are going to find and how they could reduce it. You could also talk about land fills and how they are getting to full so it is important to make as little trash as possible. Also,you could talk about how by saving paper, you’re saving rain forests. At the endof the day, wearing gloves, go through the trash and have the kids help you sort the trash inot piles of things you could recycle and reuse and put them into boxes. Set up those boxes so that there are always places to take things that can be recycled or reused.

Accomodations – For children who are visually impaired, Braille signs above the boxes would help and for children with physical disabilities, having the boxes at a level   where everyone can reach would be great as well.

Assessments – Observe how well the kids use the reuse and recycle bins.

Extensions – You could take the children on a class field trip to the local recycling plant.

Technology – You could study the recycling machines.


The Great Kapok Tree

Topic – Science – Ecosystems

Grade Level – Kindergarten

Concepts/ Objectives – To teach the students the importance of keeping a balance of types of living things in the rainforest.

Teacher Background – The teacher would need to be familiar with the book The Great Kapok Tree and basic information about the rainforest ecosystem.

Preparation – The teacher would need to get the book “The Great Kapok Tree” and yarn, note cards, string, and markers. The teacher would also need to have a list of elements of the rainforest ecosystem: (Kapok Tree, tree frogs, Boa Constrictor, Dee, Monkeys, Toucan, Macaw, Tree Porcupines, Jaguar, Anteaters, and sloths)

KapokMaterials – Book, yarn, note cards, string, and markers

Procedures – First have the children discuss what ecosystems and food chains are. Next, have them make name tags for themselves with the name of an animal or plant of the food chain. Have the students form a circle. Next,    have the student that represents the Kapok tree stand in the middle holding strings in the middle for each of the outside children. Next, each child should then grab a string and walk around the tree simulating the web of dependence of food chains. Afterwards, “cut down the tree” (cut the strings) and discuss the effect of deforestation on the forests.

Accommodations – For children with visual impairments, they could be paired up with other students to help them get their string and to help them to understand what it looks like.

Assessment – Observe large motor and socializing skills

Extensions – The kids could make a web hanging or painting to hang in their room.

Technology – The kids could draw the web on a computer program like Kid Pix

Kapok Tree: Making Trees

Topic of Lesson: Reading and Art

Grade Level:  K-1


-  Students will understand the four layers of the rainforest.

-  Students will gain understanding of trees in the rainforest (size, shape, height, animals that live inside)

Teacher Background:  Teacher must know about the layers of the rainforest.  Teacher must also be aware of the different types of vegetation in the rainforest.

Preparation:    The teacher should have “The Great Kapok Tree” available to read to the class.  The teacher should also set out many different colors of construction paper along with string, twigs, and markers or crayons.


-  The book “The Great Kapok Tree”

-  Construction Paper

-  Markers/Crayons

-  Scissors

-  Twigs

-  String


  1. Read the book “The Great Kapok Tree” telling the children to pay close attention to the story.
  2. Ask the students about the size of the tree, how long it took to grow, all the animals that depend on the tree, etc.  Lead a class discussion about the book.
  3. Have each child create their own Kapok Tree with the provided construction paper and other supplies that are on the table.
  4. Hang the students trees on the wall.

Accommodations:  For children with special needs, for the activity have them feel bark from a tree and find other items that would have the same texture as the animals that live inside the tree.

Assessment:  By looking at the trees that the children made, the teacher should be able to check if the children are picking up all of the information that is provided.

Extension:  Decorate a wall that represents the rainforest.  Hang the children’s trees on the rainforest wall.

Food Chain Mobile

Topic of Lesson:  Science/Art

Grade Level: Kindergartenfrog

Concept/Objectives: The children will gain an understanding of the food chain in the rainforest.

Teacher Background:  The teacher should know the meaning of predator and prey.  They should also be familiar with groups of rainforest animals that fall into those two categories.

Preparation:  The teacher will need to make the hanging part of the food chain mobile out of paper towel rollers and yarn.  This will require the punching of holes with a knife and that is why it should be done by the teacher. Also, the teacher could make a poster of the food chain for the classroom using the website

Materials:  Predator and Prey Book, Paper Towel Rollers, Yarn or String, Drawing Utensils, Paper, Predator/Prey Poster.

Procedure:     1.   Begin by reading the book Red Eyed Tree Frogs by Joy Cowley.

2.      Discuss the food chain in relation to this particular book.

a.       The snake wants to eat the frog that is why the frog jumps away.  The frog eats the moth because that is its food.

3.      Then discuss your poster and talk about other rainforest animals that fall under the categories but are not pictured.

4.      Tell them that they are going to make their own rainforest food chain mobile to hang in the classroom.

a.       Ask the children to draw, color, or find in a magazine a picture of an insect.

b.      Then ask the children to think about an animal that would eat that insect and again either draw, color, or find a picture of it.

c.       Then ask the children to think about an animal that would it that prey.  Again have them draw, color, or find a picture.

5.      Have the children cut out their picture from their paper or magazine.

6.      Allow them to use a single-hole bunch to bunch a hole at the top of every picture.

7.      Tie the animals to the mobile with the yarn that should already be in place.  The children can do this with help from other students or the teacher.

a.       Tie the predator to the shortest piece of yarn on one edge.

b.      Tie the prey to the next shortest piece of yarn in the middle of the roll.

c.       Tie the insect to the longest piece of yarn on the other side.

8.      When this is done, hang them around the room and discuss them with students.

a.       Ask why they chose the animal they did.

b.      Ask about what they think the insects may eat.

c.       Any appropriate question that comes to mind can be asked.

Accommodations:  Some children may be uncomfortable thinking about a frog being eaten by a snake or similar.  If this is the case, the assignment can be modified to have the predator be the frog, followed by an insect, and then a plant from the rainforest.  Some children will not be able to make pictures because of physical ailments.  The teacher can have them work with a buddy to describe what they would like to do.  If the resources are available, there are computer programs that have special hardware that can be used by people with disabilities.  They could then use these to create a picture on the computer.

Assessment:  A teacher can observe the children’s fine motor skills while working with the drawing utensils.  Also, the teacher will be able to assess the children’s general understanding of the food chain of animals.

Extension: The mobiles can be used to help transform the classroom into a pseudo-rainforest. These mobiles can be used again when the children do a safari through the classroom on one of the last days of the rainforest unit.  They can say things like “I see a frog eating a fly in the rainforest.”

Technology:  Links can be set up to appropriate rainforest sites so that they are easily accessible for children.  Here they can see pictures of rainforest animals to help them create their own food chain mobile.

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What products come from the rainforest?

Topic of Lesson: Science- Making Rubber

Grade Level: K

Concepts/Objectives: Students will make their own rubber ball and be able to describe the properties of rubber. They will practice using measuring tools to reinforce concepts of measurement such as the tablespoon. They will be able to list things rubber is used for.

Teacher Background: Rubber comes from rubber trees grown in tropical rainforests. Natural latex oozes out of the tree when it is cut. Rubber trappers collect the latex in cups. Rubber is an extractive resource, which means that rubber can be removed without damaging the forest. Other products that can be removed from the forest without damaging it include ylang-ylang flowers (used to make perfume), wicker, rattan, palm oil, cashews, and Brazil nuts.

Preparation: Order liquid latex well ahead of time from:
Tri-ess, 1-800-274-6910, fax 1-818-848-3521,
Order code M450, 32 ounces (enough to make 50 balls) $13

Materials: liquid latex, paper cups, water, vinegar, food coloring, tablespoon measurers, Popsicle sticks or coffee stirrers, plastic sandwich bags

First have students brainstorm about what products might come from the rainforest. If they do not say rubber, give them clues. Then ask what they know about rubber. What is it used for? What is made of rubber? What is rubber like? Now they are ready to make their own rubber balls.
1. Measure 1 tablespoon of latex into a paper cup. Dip the end of your finger in the latex and experience how it feels.
2. Measure 1 tablespoon of water and stir it into the latex with your stick.
3. Add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring (be careful not to overdo it).
4. Stir the mixture.
5. Observe closely as you add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and stir. What happened?
6. Rinse your rubber ball at the sink to remove extra latex and vinegar. You may wish to dry the ball with a paper towel.
7. Observe and describe your new rubber ball. What happens when you drop it or gently toss it against the wall?

Accommodations: Make sure you find out if any students are allergic to latex, and if they are, have a partner make them a ball. Assist students who are visually impaired in making their rubber ball, but allow them to feel the texture of the latex.

Assessment: Note what observations the students are able to make about the properties of rubber. Ask questions like “What other things are made with rubber?” or “What changes happened when you added vinegar to the water/latex mixture?”

Extensions: Do a lesson on other products that come from the rainforest. See attached list of products.  

Technology: Teacher could take digital pictures of students during each step of the process and they could make a chronological set of “directions to make a rubber ball” on the computer.

Tropical Forest Products in Daily Use


Teak, Mahogany, Rosewood, Balsa, Sandalwood (doors, doorframes, windowsills, flooring, sub flooring, paneling, veneer, cabinetry, joinery, dressing drawers, drawing boards, salad bowls, toys, garden furniture, packing cases, insulation, plywood, general construction)


Rattan (furniture, wickerwork, baskets, chair seats)
Bamboo (furniture, baskets)
Jute (rope, burlap)
Kapok (insulation, soundproofing, life jackets)
Kenaf (rope, burlap)
Raffia (rope, cord, baskets)
Ramie (fabric, fishing lines)

Avocado, Banana, Breadfruit, Coconut, Durian, Grapefruit, Guava, Jackfruit, Lemon, Lime, Mango, Mangosteen, Orange, Papaya, Passion fruit, Pineapple, Plantain, Rambutan, Tangerine

Allspice, Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cayenne, Chile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Mace, Nutmeg, Paprika, Sesame seeds, Turmeric, Vanilla

Other Foods
Brazil nuts, Cascarilla oil (vermouth), Cashews, Chayote, Chocolate, Coconut oil, Cola, Cucumbers, Heart of Palm, Macadamia nuts, Manioc, Okra, Peanuts, Peppers, Sugar Cane, Sweet Potatoes, Tapioca

House Plants
Anthurium, Croton, Dieffenbachia, Dracaena, Fiddle-leaf fig, Mother-in-law's Tongue, Parlor Ivy, Philodendron, Rubber Tree plant, Schleffera, Silver Vase Bromeliad, Spathiphyllum, Swiss Cheese plant, Zebra plant

Curare (muscle relaxant)
Diosgenin (birth control pills, sex hormones, steroids, asthma and arthritis treatment)
Quassia (insecticide)
Quinine (malaria and pneumonia treatment)
Reserpine (sedative, tranquilizer)
Strophantus (heart disease treatment)
Strychnine (emetic, stimulant)
Tuba root (insecticide)

Balsam of Tulu (confectionery, shampoo, soap, cough drops)
Bay (perfume)
Camphor (perfume, soap, disinfectant, detergent)
Cascarilla (confectionery, beverages)
Eucalyptus (perfume, cough drops)
Guaiac (perfume)
Palm (shampoo, detergent)
Patchouli (perfume)
Rosewood (perfume, cosmetics, flavoring)
Sandalwood (perfume)
Star Anise (perfume, confectionery, beverages, cough drops)
Ylang-ylang (perfume)

Gums & Resins
Chicle (chewing gum)
Copaiba (perfume, fuel)
Copal (paint, varnish)
Gutta percha (golf balls)
Rubber tree latex (crepe-soled shoes, rain boots, coats)
Tung oil (wood finishing)

Air Quality!

Topic of Lesson – Science : Air pollution

Grade Level – Kindergarten

Concepts / Objectives – To help the children to learn about air pollution and ways we can help to decrease it.

Teacher Background – The teacher would have to be familiar with types / causes  of air pollution and different things the kids can do to help.

Preparation – The teacher would have to have information for the kids about air pollution and would need to have the materials ready.

Materials – Labels, colored markers, five jar lids, white card board, and magnifying glasses.

Procedure –

1. Write numbers one through five on the labels and place the labels on the jars.

2. Place the jar lids on the cardboard and trace around the lids. Then number these circles with the numbers on the lids.

3. Take the lids and cardboard outside. Place them in a flat, open area.

4. At the end of the first day, have the kids remove the first lid, starting at           number one. Repeat this for the next five days, taking one lid away a day. Have the students compare the circles as they remove the lids. What observations do they make?

 5. At the end of the fifth day, take away the fifth lid and look at the circles. Have the children look at the difference in the circles and have them look at and draw the dirt particles they see with their magnifyig glasses. Discuss how carpooling, not using aerosol cans, and other simple acts can help clean up the air.

Accomodations – For a student with visual impairments, you could have the other children describe what they find and also use the most high powered magnifying glass available.

Assessment – Observe observation and recording skills.

Extensions – Have someone come in form the EPA or a local factory to talk about air pollution and what is being done to help.

Technology – You could study the different processes used by factories to clean the air.


Monkey Movement

 Topic of Lesson:  Social Studies/Physical Education/SocializationMonkey

 Grade Level: Kindergarten

 Concept/Objectives: The students will be do gross motor activity while learning about monkeys and their habitat.  It will also teach cooperation and encourage children to develop coping strategies.

 Teacher Background:  The teacher should become familiar with monkeys that live in the rainforest.  The teacher should be aware of the meanings of facial expressions and gestures monkeys do. In addition, the teacher should be able to explain about trees being cut down in the rainforest.

 Preparation:  The teacher will need to find a book(s) about monkeys to read to the class.  Also, larger pictures should be printed off of different monkeys doing different expressions and gestures. 

 Materials:  Monkey Books, Print-offs of Monkeys, Chairs, Rainforest Music, Stereo.


  1. Read the monkey book to the children or show them the pictures of monkeys
    1. Explain the meaning of different facial expressions and gestures.
    2. Explain also about monkeys feeding, sleeping, and grooming habits.
  2. After the discussion, cluster 5 to 7 chairs in the middle of the gym or classroom.
    1. This is to represent the trees were the monkeys reside.
    2. The children will be the monkeys.
  3. Music or sounds of the rainforest should be playing as the children do this activity.
  4. Have the children use their bodies as if they were monkeys, using the gestures and expressions they have just learned.
    1. They can gather food.
    2. Leap out as if leaping from branch to branch.
    3. Pretend to groom as monkeys do.
    4. Etc.
  5. Have the children do these activities while the music or sound is playing.
    1. When the music stops, the monkeys (children) return to their treetop homes (chairs).
    2. The entire group of children (10-14) must find space on or under the chairs.
  6. When the music begins again, the children again move about as monkeys do.
    1. The teacher removes one tree (chair) to represent trees being cut down for building materials, clearing for fields, and fuel. 
    2. The teacher can reinforce earlier discussion of the destruction of the rainforest by saying something like, “I am taking one tree away to build a house.”
  7. After each stop the teacher removes one chair.
    1. Each time the monkey’s return home, the conditions become more crowded.  
  8. Finally, there are only two chairs left and the children need to figure out what to do.         

Accommodations:  If a child has a physical disability which does not allow them to take part in something that has this much movement, they can stay in the treetop home (chairs) and make facial expressions or gestures.  Another option is having them work with a buddy who could help them from place to place.  For deaf children, a motion could be used to symbolize the stop of the music.  For blind children, they could have a buddy who could help them move about the room and not hurt themselves.

Assessment: The teacher can observe the children's gross motor skills and socialization with other children.

 Extension: This activity can be done throughout the Rainforest Unit.  The children can add on to the scenario.  Many children will try and find a way to scare the people away who take their trees.  Also, each child could be given a chair and a cloth to use to create their own habitat.  They could then decide whether they want to live alone or with a group.  The development of scenarios can be based on what the children have learned and observed about monkeys and the rainforest.

Technology:  Technology is not used in this activity. 


Suggested Books to use: Pop-Up: Amazing Monkeys by National Geographic Society

      Canopy Crossing: A story of an Atlantic Rainforest  by Ann Whitehead Nagda

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Rain Forest Erosion

Topic of Lesson – Science : Environmental Education

Grade Level – Kindergarten

Concepts/Objectives – To help the kids recognize the process of erosion and the importance of plants in helping to stop erosion and also to practice

Teacher Background – The teacher would have to know the basic facts about erosion and the effects of plants on erosion.

Materials – Bins, soil and water, graduated cylinders, 5 trays (One with grass, one with just dirt, and two empty), paper towels, and rubber bands.

Procedures – 1) Discuss what erosion is

                      2) Predict how the plants will affect erosion

                      3) Tilt both the dirt and dirt with grass trays up on the science books. Place the empty trays under the low end of these two trays.

                      4) Have the children tape and hold the paper towels to the bottom edge of the tray with the dirt and the one with dirt and grass.

                      5) Pour water in the top of the trays, filtering all of the dirt into the paper towels and letting the water run into the lower trays.

                      6) Discuss the effect of the plants and connect it to cutting down the rainforests.

Accommodations – For student with physical limitations, have them do whatever part of the project that would be the easiest. If their fine motor skills are developed, they can do the recording. If they’re better at large motor, they can pour the water.

Assessments – Observe fine and large motor skills and measuring skills.

Extensions – You could visit a local lake or river and look at natural forms of erosion.

Technology – N/A

What musical instruments are played by people of the rainforest?

Topic of Lesson: Culture/Art/Music Activity- Make a Rainstick

Grade Level: K

Concepts/Objectives: Students will come to appreciate the sounds of the rainforest by creating their own rainsticks. They will improve fine motor coordination during this art/music/rainforest culture activity.

Teacher Background: Be familiar with how to make a rainstick.

Preparation: Make a sample rainstick. If possible, obtain some rainforest music to play while students are creating their rainsticks.

Materials: CD of rainforest music, cardboard tubes (from paper towels or wrapping paper), straight pins, popcorn or seeds for filling, masking tape, materials for decorating (fabric, paint, colored tape, paper mache, etc.)


1) Insert pins or nails into the side of the tube in a spiral pattern. Cover the nail or pin heads with tape to keep them in place.

Insert Pins...

2) Close off one end by taping on a circular piece of cardboard.


3) Pour in filling (Try different ingredients for different sounds)

4) Close off the other end of the tube.

5) Decorate the outside of the tube with colored tape, fabric, markers, paint or paper mache.

Accommodations: For students who are visually impaired or are not able to use their hands, have them work with a partner to create a rainstick.

Assessment: After the project, discuss what a rainstick sounds like. Observe students making them and watch for improvement of fine motor skills when pushing in the pins and decorating.

Extensions: Learn about other musical instruments of the rainforest, such as the water drums. African rainforest people beat the water with cupped hands to make music.

Technology: have students listen to other rainforest instruments on computer at this website:

Rain Forest Safa

Topic of Lesson:  Social Studies/Language ArtsFlower

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Concept/Objectives: The objective of this activity is to review and reflect over what has been done and learned during the rainforest unit.  Also, to see if there is more interest here or if a new unit should be introduced.

  Teacher Background:  When this activity is done, the teacher, and children, should be quite knowledgeable about the rainforest.  The teacher should be able to identify certain animals and plants that have been discussed.  Also, the teacher should be able to answer some basic questions the children have, or know where to find the answer.

Preparation:  The teacher will need to collect 2 toilet paper rolls for every child in her classroom.  The teacher will have also had to continuously put up the children’s rainforest projects to create a classroom rainforest.

 Materials:  Toilet paper rolls, Tempera Paint, Yarn, Scissors.

           1.   This activity is done at the end of the unit.

2.      Review different animals and key points of the rainforest with the children.

3.      Read any of the children’s favorite books from the week.

4.      Make safari binoculars with the children.

a.      Give each child 2 toilet paper rolls.

b.      Have the children paint the rolls in a color the child likes

c.       Once they are dry, glue the two together.

d.      Have the teacher poke holes in either side to pull yarn through.

e.      Give each child yarn to tie around, so they can wear it around their neck.

5.      Put rainforest music or sounds on in the classroom.

6.      Have the children pretend the entire classroom is the rainforest and that they are on a safari.

a.      If desired, some children can behave as monkeys from the monkey movement activity done earlier in the week.

b.      Have the children talk about what they see in the classroom rainforest.

                                                                                                 i.      Animals

                                                                                               ii.      Plants

c.       Have the children discuss anything they know about the rainforest that comes about on the ‘safari’.

  Accommodations:  If a child can not move around freely due to a physical disability, a buddy can be assigned to help them out.  If a student is blind, the teacher can talk to the child and ask them about the sounds or music being played.  The teacher could point out different animals, such as birds and monkeys.

SlothAssessment: The teacher can observe what the children have learned about rainforest.  This can be used to assess the overall successfulness of the unit.

 Extension: If the children show an increased interest in the rainforest after this activity, the unit can be continued.

 Technology:  No technology is used with this activity.

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Online Activities:
mud frog
Help a frog get acrossed the pond by clicking on the highest numbers:  Computer

Listen to Sounds of the Rainforest:
These two sites are friendly to use and have several games and stories that have to do with animals,
many of them from the rainforest:
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