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King of the Rainforest

Details and descriptions of rainforest scenes come alive in narrative stories, poems, and plays and in original oil pastel illustrations.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Invite students, working in small groups, to research the rainforest. What lives there? What colors are abundant? What kinds of adventures might take place in the rain forest? Students may wish to generate a list of additional focus questions for this inquiry. Organize students into small groups for this activity and provide them with a variety of text and electronic resources to view.
    2. When research is complete, students choose the style of narrative they will write about the rainforest. If it's a short story, ask students to develop a story map, including main character, beginning, middle, and end. Poets choose a form for poems. Playwrights prepare a story line before working on the dialogue. Students write their final work with Crayola® Metallic Colored Pencils.
    3. Student groups illustrate their writing with Crayola Oil Pastels on colored construction paper, which will enable them to create interesting background effects. Bring out the physical details of characters, setting, action, or other specific images. Blend pastels by rubbing with a fingertip or paper towel. Add details by using pastel over pastel.
    4. Provide time in the school day for each group of students to present their drawings to small groups of classmates. Encourage them to include research facts in their talks about the rainforest.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting or plot.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.

    SCI: Develop and use models to compare how living things depend on their surroundings to meet their needs in the places they live.

    SCI: Design a solution to a problem caused when a habitat changes and some of the plants and animals may no longer be able to live there.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Explore causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as pollution and endangered species.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme by Marianne Berkes; The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry; A Rainforest Habitat by Molly Aloian; If I Ran the Rain Forest: All About Tropical Rain Forests by Bonnie Worth; Tropical Rainforests by Seymour Simon

    Students collaborate in small groups to compose shared stories, poems, and/or plays. Set aside class time for each group to present its work to the whole class. Videotape the presentations if possible and post the files on a class computer for future viewing.

    Students research the rich habitat of the rainforest. Students work together to replicate the habitat in the classroom. Once the habitat is on display, students create animal models to insert into the habitat. Include animals that are currently on the endangered species list as well as those who are on the watch list. From time to time, remove the endangered species from the scene. Ask students to discuss the change alters the habitat. This can also be done with endangered plants.

    Students draw a map of the world and outline countries' borders. Students locate rainforests around the world and mark their locations on the map.


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