Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Learning about the rainforest is not only interesting, but it is also exciting. You will find yourself enjoying the rainforest lesson ideas below just as much as your homeschooler does! Feel free to customize and personalize the ideas below to tailor your individual homeschool needs.
Reading and Activities
1. The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
Before reading ask your child to predict what he or she thinks the story may be about. What do they think the man with the ax may do?
Also, in the story there is a sequence of animals that speak to the woodcutter. Which layers do they come from? List the different reasons each animal gives for saving the tree, and discuss the importance of these reasons.
2. A Rainforest Habitat by Molly Aloian
Complete a "KWL" chart for this book. First, ask your homeschooler what he or she already knows about the rainforest, and note that on your chart. Next, list what things your child would like to learn about the rainforest. When you are done reading, list what your child has learned from this informative book.
Create a Mock Rainforest Environment
Varied stones, clean and dry
A clean empty soda bottle (plastic), with the bottom cut off
1 small bag of potting soil
1.Instruct students to place a layer of stones on the bottom of an empty soda bottle soda bottle.
2.Next, add a two to three inch layer of potting soil on top of the rocks.
Plant a few plant cuttings making sure all roots are covered.
3.Water the plants until the soil is completely moist.
4.Cover one of the plant cuttings, from the base to the top, with a plastic bag. Use a bag tie to secure the bag at the stem.
5.Place the bottle in a warm, sunlit area.
6.After several hours have your child make observations about their bottle. What has happened to the sealed plant? What has happened to the rest of the area?
7.Explain transpiration, condensation, and precipitation, as related to the plant cuttings. Discuss how this occurs naturally in the rainforest habitat.
8.Observe and record what happens in the bottle daily for one week and have your child write or draw their obeservations. Don't forget to form a conclusion!
Find the rainforest areas around the world on a world map. Visit the PBS Rainforest site link to learn more about the culture and customs of this diverse location.
Make a Rainforest Fruit Salad as a snack using fruits found in this habitat, like mango, guava, papaya, and coconut.
Music and Art
While listening to "Echoes of Nature" have your child paint a watercolor picture of what they "see" in their mind's eye. You can also have your homeschooler use fingerpaints, oil pastels or even crayons.
Enjoy the 100 piece puzzle by Melissa and Doug as a challenging culmination to your unit. This sturdy puzzle is brilliant in color and has a natural depition of the rainforest environment.