Beacon Lesson Plan Library

A Visit to the Rain Forest

Carole Gooden
St. Lucie County Schools

Description

Students listen to [The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest] to learn the names of animals and people found in the Amazon Rain Forest. They play a card game to arrange the animals in the sequence that they appeared in the story.

Objectives

The student listens for specific details and information (including but not limited to logical sequence and flow of events, story elements, concluding events).

Materials

-A copy of [The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest] by Lynne Cherry, 1990, San Diego, Harcourt Brace and Company

-Index cards with pictures and names of all the animals in the book for the sequencing card game (Boa Constrictor, Bees, Monkeys, Toucan, Macaw, Cock-of-the-Rock, Tree Frog, Jaguar, Tree Porcupine, Anteater, Three-toed Sloth, Yanomamo Child)

-Bulletin board display showing the regions of a rain forest (optional)

-A globe or world map (optional)

-Puppets of rain forest animals (optional)

Preparations

1. Obtain a copy of the book [The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest] by Lynne Cherry to read aloud.

2. Prepare a set of twelve index cards, each with a picture and the name of one animal or person in the story, for each group of three or four students.

Procedures

1. Introduce the book by looking at the picture on the cover. Discuss what is happening. A man with an ax is looking at the great tree while animals are looking on. What is each thinking about?

2. Talk about the title of the book. Have students ever seen a kapok tree or heard of kapok fillings used in sleeping bags and sports equipment?

3. Open the cover of the book and notice the end papers that show a world map with rain forest areas shown in green.

4. Look at the inset showing the layers of the rain forest with the various animals found in each layer.

5. Point out the animals that are pictured around the edges of the end papers and have the students guess if they think they will all be mentioned in the story.

6. Read the story to the class.

7. Play the sequencing card game as follows:
(a) Children work together in a group of three to four students. Each group will have a deck of the twelve animal cards. One child passes out three or four animal cards to each student.
(b) The player to the left begins play. The player puts down one of the cards on the table.
(c) Each student, in turn, places one card down in the correct order to complete the sequence.
(d) The game is complete when all the cards have been placed on the table.

8. The teacher will circulate around the room to observe the progress of the students and to offer assistance where necessary.

Assessments

The students, working cooperatively in small groups, will arrange a series of twelve index cards with the name and picture of one animal or person on each card in the correct sequence that they appeared in the story.

The teacher will formatively assess by observing the students during the playing of the sequencing card game.

Formative assessment includes:
- Listening carefully for specific details and information
- Following directions
- Sequencing
- Taking turns
- Working with others

Extensions

The following activities could be used to apply the information obtained in the story to science, social studies, and to extend the language arts lesson.

1. Using a world map or globe determine the locations of rain forests throughout the world. Discuss what characteristics these regions have in common.

2. Discuss the characteristics of the different layers of a rain forest and determine in which layer each animal lives that speaks to the woodcutter.

3. Discuss the argument that each animal makes for saving the tree. All trees are part of ecosystems, and kapok trees are part of the rain forest ecosystem.

4. Instruct the students to look around the room and then make a class list of the things that come from trees. Have the students indicate if we could live without these things.

5. Discuss alternatives to using tree products.

6. Discuss the dedication on the reverse of the title page. What did Chico Mendes do that cost him his life? Did his life and death have any other effects besides the writing of this book? Where could you find out? Discuss the sources that could supply this information.

7. Each student then chooses one animal that lives in the rain forest and writes a paragraph describing it and explaining the layer of the rain forest in which it lives. A picture or drawing of the animal should be included.

8. Use SiteMaker to publish each student's paragraph on the Internet. (Optional)

9. Invite several students to read their paragraphs to the class.

10. Combine the paragraphs and pictures to make a class book. The students will work cooperatively to determine the title of the book and design the cover. The class book will include the following components: Cover, Title Page, Acknowledgement, Table of Contents, and Chapter Titles.



The following suggested criteria can be used to assess the paragraphs used to make the class book:

Commendable:
-written in paragraph form and has at least ten sentences
-includes the name of the animal
-includes information on the group it belongs to, size, color, diet, enemies, six other facts
-includes information on the layer of the rain forest in which the animal lives
-includes a picture or drawing
-has no spelling errors

Acceptable:
-written in paragraph form and has at least six sentences
-includes the name of the animal
-includes information on the group it belongs to, diet, color, four other facts
-includes information on the layer of the rain forest in which the animal lives
-includes a picture or drawing
-has some spelling errors

See Teacher:
-not written in paragraph form and/or has less than six sentences
-does not include the name of the animal
-does not include information on the group it belongs to or its diet
-no information on the layer of the rain forest in which the animal lives
-no illustration
-has many spelling errors

Web Links

Web supplement for A Visit To The Rain Forest
Gander Academyís Tropical Rainforest Theme Page

Web supplement for A Visit To The Rain Forest
Letís Go!: Around The World

Web supplement for A Visit To The Rain Forest
All About Rainforests

Web supplement for A Visit To The Rain Forest
Biography.com

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