SUBJECT: Geography
TOPIC: Amazon Rainforest
GRADE LEVEL: Lower Elementary (1st)
CREATORS: Kearen Fleming, Annie McClendon, Yasso Yasso, Amy Bjork, Rachel Eriksen
 

Day 1 Introduce the rain forest unit using the Opening Lesson Plan
Day 2 Have students make terrariums using the Science Lesson Plan
Day 3 Multicultural Lesson Plan
Day 4 Math Lesson Plan 
Day 5 Use activities from Other Activities to be Used Throughout the Unit
Day 6 Field trip day
Day 7 Language Arts Lesson Plan
Day 8 Social Studies Lesson Plan 
Day 9 Use activities from Other Activities to be Used Throughout the Unit 
Day 10 Close the rain forest unit using the Closing Lesson Plan

Amazon Rainforest Unit Goals


 

Skills Students Need

Lesson Plan Day 1: Opening Lesson Plan

Social Studies Standards

Strand: Geographic Perspective

Benchmark: Describe the ways in which their environment has been changed by people and the ways their lives are affected by the environment. Describe how people use the environment.


 

Objectives


 

Rationale

Using a KWL chart as an opener keeps students on task to what they are going to learn. It also lets the teacher know what the students want to learn. This is important because students are involved in the planning of the unit.


 

Content

KWL

Knowledge of the Rain Forest


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Have music of the Rain forest playing in the background.
  2. Show students the book Inside the Amazing Amazon by Don Lessem.
  3. On the board have a KWL chart with What We Know, What We Want To Know, What We Learned.
  4. Ask students what they know about the rain forest. List responses under the first column.
  5. Discuss student responses.
  6. Ask students what they want to know about the rain forest. List these responses under the second column. Discuss responses.
  7. Tell students what they will be learning about the rain forest.
  8. After the unit is over, remember to revisit the KWL chart to fill in the last column.

 

Evaluation

Students will be evaluated at the end of the unit by being able to tell what they learned about the rain forest. What they learned should be included in what they want to know about the rain forest. 
 

Lesson Plan Day 2: Science

Social Studies Standards

Strand: Geographic Perspective

Benchmarks: Describe the natural characteristics of places and explain some basic cause for those characteristics.


 

Objectives


 

Rationale

This lesson is designed to show students how rain forests create their own wet climates.


 

Content

Transpiration: Water returned to the air via the plants.

Condensation: Water droplets on the plastic bag.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Read the book Nature's Green Umbrella: Tropical Rain Forests by Gail Gibbons.
  2. Have students place a layer of stones on the bottom of a soda bottle.
  3. Add a two to three inch layer of potting soil on top of the rocks.
  4. Plant a few plant cuttings making sure all roots are covered.
  5. Water the plants until the soil is moist.
  6. Demonstrate to students how to cover one of their plant cuttings, from the base to the top, with a plastic bag. Use a bag tie to secure the bag at the stem.
  7. Place the bottles in a warm, sunlit area.
  8. After several hours, have students make observations about their bottles.
  9. Explain the processes of transpiration, condensation, and precipitation.
  10. Observe what happens in the bottle everyday during the unit.

 

Evaluation

From the experiment and their observations, students will have an understanding of how the rain forest works in our environment. 
 

Lesson Plan Day 3:: Multicultural Lesson Plan

Social Studies Standards

Strand: Geographic Perspective

Benchmarks: Describe the natural characteristics of places and explain some basic cause for those characteristics.


 

Objectives


 

Rationale

Rain forests are important to people all over the world. Many varieties of foods and other products come from rain forests. Students need to be aware of these foods and products.


 

Content

Different cultures around the world.

Varieties of foods and products from the rain forest.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Read the book Amazon Boy by Ted Lewin.
  2. In several paper lunch bags, place items from the rain forest.
  3. Code the bags so only the teacher knows the contents.
  4. Fold and staple the top of each bag closed.
  5. Introduce one bag at a time and provide the students with clues to its contents.
  6. Ask students to lift, pinch, or smell the bags and share their findings.
  7. After all the contents of the bags have been identified, remove from the bags and place on display for students to ask questions.
  8. Assign homework sheet for students to find their own rain forest products at home.

 

Evaluation

Students will be able to identify many products that come from the rain forest. This will be done in the classroom and as a homework assignment. 
 

Lesson Plan Day 4: Math

Social Studies Standards

Strand: Geographic Perspective

Benchmarks: Describe the natural characteristics of places and explain some basic causes for those characteristics.


 

Objectives


 

Rationale

This lesson is designed to integrate math, by graphing, into the rain forest unit. Students will practice graphing skills while having fun!


 

Content

Graphs and rain forest foods


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Bring in rain forest fruits such as mango, guava, papaya, and coconut.
  2. Have each student try each of the different fruits.
  3. Ask each student to draw a picture of their favorite one.
  4. On the board, make rows of the different fruits.
  5. Tell students to put their picture in the respective row.
  6. After all students have finished, discuss the different qualities of the picture graph.
  7. Ask students: Which was the favorite fruit? Which was the least favorite? And so on.
  8. Pass out a Rain Forest Facts math sheet.
  9. Work on the sheet as a class.

 

Evaluation

Students will be evaluated by being able to read the picture graph of rain forest fruits. They will also be able to recognize fruits of the rain forest. 
 

Lesson Plan Day 7: Language Arts

Social Studies Standards

Strand: Civic Perspective

Benchmarks: Describe ways that individual influence each other.


 

Objectives


 

Rationale

This lesson is designed to have children become aware of the importance of saving the rain forest.


 

Content

The rain forest is very important to our environment. Understanding why it is important can alert others about how it can be protected.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Read the book It Zwibble and the Hunt for the Rain Forest Treasure by WereRoss and WerEnko. Discuss what has happened to the rain forest and to the animals in the rain forest.
  2. Ask students how they think we could help to save the rain forest. Write suggestions down for students to see.
  3. Hand out a post card to each student.
  4. Explain that we are going to write a post card to our senator to help save the rain forest.
  5. Students can design the front of their post cards by drawing pictures of trees, animals, or something else that represents the rain forest.
  6. They will then write their messages. They could write it from their own perspective or from the perspective of a tree or animal in the rain forest.
  7. Have students share their post cards with the class.
  8. Mail them to the senator.

 

Evaluation

Students will be able to use ideas learned from the rain forest unit to write a post card to our senator. They will be able to tell their senator how and why we can save the rain forest. 
 

Lesson Plan Day 8: Social Studies

Social Studies Standards

Strand: Geographic Perspective

Benchmarks: Describe the natural characteristics of places and explain some basic cause for those characteristics.


 

Objectives


 

Rationale

Rain forests are important to people all over the world. Many varieties of foods and other products come from rain forests. Students need to be aware of these foods and products.


 

Content

Different cultures around the world.

Varieties of foods and products from the rain forest.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Explain to the students that they will silently hunt for items in the rain forest by only using their noses. They will have a "smell" that they are trying to find with their "parent smell."
  2. Ask six students, one for each item, to stand in the corners of the room and hold the "parent smell."
  3. Distribute the rest of the canisters and allow the students to begin the search.
  4. Ask each group if they can identify their smell.

 

Evaluation

For a satisfactory performance, students will match up their smell by only using their noses.


 

Lesson Plan Day 10: Closing Lesson

Social Studies Standards

Strand: Geographic Perspective

Benchmark: Describe the ways in which their environment has been changed by people, and the ways their lives are affected by the environment. Describe how people use the environment.


 

Objectives


 

Rationale

Doing a play based on a book about the rain forest will bring closure to the unit.


 

Content

Knowledge of the rain forest


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Assign parts for each child: the Kapok tree, the man, the animals, and possibly a narrator.
  2. Send home a copy of the students' speaking parts so they can practice at home.
  3. In class work on the costumes, creating the props, and practicing each character's acting part. Using the illustrations from the book, students can discuss, plan, and modify the costumes and props.
  4. Conduct several dress rehearsals.
  5. Invite parents, other classes, and/or the school for the performance.

 

Evaluation

Students will be informally evaluated on their effort, participation, and cooperation in the preparation for the play and its presentation. 
 

Other Activities to be Used Throughout the Unit

  1. Hand out copies of rain forest animals to each student. Discuss the layers of the rain forest and how animals live in different layers. Have students cut out animals and glue them in the proper layer. They can color animals and forest.
  2. Make rain forest trail mix or any of the environmental desserts for a snack.
  3. Create bookmarks and buttons with the class. Decorate them and wear them to show support for saving the rain forest.
  4. Make rain forest pop-up puppets.
  5. Make a Venn Diagram comparing the three-toed sloth with the bengal tiger.
  6. Students will create a stand-up display showing the layers that make up the rain forest.
  7. Divide the class into groups and have them make posters to make the school more aware of saving the rain forest. Have each group create a slogan and then design a poster around the slogan. Hang the posters around the school.
  8. Discuss the pictures in The Great Kapok Tree. Explain the "Art of Henri Rousseau" and have students make their own paintings.
  9. Play Save the Great Kapok Tree in groups of two.

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