How it works
Tropical rain forests are fascinating places which captivate the
learning interests of all children. This interdisciplinary unit introduces students
to the geographic locations of the world's rain forests, the diversity of plants and animals and their importance to the ecosystem, the products and
resources found in rain forests, and the ways people can help to preserve and protect these environments. Through visits to the zoos in Manhattan
and the Bronx, students will have the opportunity to compare and contrast the Congo African rain forest with the South American rain forest. Activities will include making rain forest terrariums and studying
growth of plant life in a simulated humid environment; learning about food chains; creating the different layers of the rain forest; and classifying
the living creatures in each layer.
With Internet access, students will research the various animals and
plant life found in the two kinds of rain forest and develop mini-presentations using HyperStudio and Inspiration. Visits will
be captured through digital photos and scanned into their multimedia projects.
Standards addressed by this unit:
The NYS Science Education Standards which apply to the lessons include:
1. Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and
engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.
2. Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information
using appropriate technologies.
3. Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles,
and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment.
4. Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics,
science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.
Software materials used:
Video programs on Rain Forests
150 students from five 3rd grade classes of mixed ability levels were
involved in this project. They worked with the science and computer teachers in developing their research projects. Students worked in small
cooperative groups in many of the activities and during their research.
Learning about the rain forests was very motivating, fun, and
interactive for the students. Visits to the zoos were exciting as well as educational. Access to the various
Internet websites on rain forests helped tremendously as children researched their animals and plants and
participated in some of the activities on-line. They also enjoyed working with peers on creating their multimedia projects.
Access to the Internet is important. Mini-lessons on using HyperStudio
are important before they begin their projects. Note-taking skills can be taught. Creativity is encouraged.
Alice Hom has been at P.S. 6 for 18 years, teaching in the Resource
Room, kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd grades. Recently, she has served as the Math
staff facilitator. She is the recipient of past IMPACT II Adaptor and Developer grants. In
addition, she is a National Teacher Policy Institute MetLife Fellow.
Estimated class periods to complete: 10 or more
Subject areas: Science
Beginning grade level: 3
Ending grade level: 5