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Lesson Plans Created by TeachNet Adaptor Grants

Rainforest Adventures

Name: Angela Ajasin
School: P. S. 35
Address: 261 East 163rd Street
City: Bronx, NY, 10451
Original Project: Rainforest Adventures
Author: Alice Hom
URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/IMSL/ps6/rainfunit.htm

How did you modify this unit for use in your own classroom?: The original project was designed for 3rd – 5th grade students. Therefore, I had to make modifications for my bi-lingual special education class. 1) Activities were modified to meet each student’s level. 2) Since the students’ proficiency in English is limited, their written responses were done in Spanish. 3) After researching their favorite animals, the students performed a role-playing activity. Each student pretended to be his or her favorite animal. 4) Students also used this research information to write letters to humans from the perspective of their favorite animals.

List your primary instructional objectives for your students.

  The students will be able to identify the different layers of a rainforest
  The students will gain knowledge about the vegetation and the types of animals that live in the rainforest.
  The students will pretend to be their favorite rainforest animal in a role-play activity.
  The students will write letters from the perspective of their favorite animal.

What role did technology play in this curriculum unit?: 1) Students watched the video, "The Magic School Bus in the Rainforest" to learn more about the rain forest. You can access this video via PowerMediaPlus.com, if you are a member. 2) Students accessed BBC Bitesize to learn about common features of rainforest areas and how they work as an ecosystem. BBC Bitesize address is http://bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/ecosystems/3rainforestirev1.shtml 3) The class visited the Rainforest Alliance website to read the Spanish version of Brothers of the Rainforest. Website address: http://rainforest-alliance.org/programs/education/teachers/curriculum/resources/index.html#Second

How did you assess and evaluate student performance?: 1) Students were assessed through observation of their work and verbal contributions. 2) Informal assessment was conducted as the students visited "BBC Bitesize". 3) Students had to demonstrate they had an understanding of the different elements of their rain forest in their final products.

Please tell us briefly about your background & teaching experience: Ms. Ajasin is a bilingual special education teacher at P.S. 35. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Bilingual Special Education from City College of the City University of New York.

What are your recommendations for other teachers interested in adapting this unit?: 1) The rainforests are full of different kinds of trees, flowers, and animals that do not live in anywhere else in the world. All students should have the opportunity to learn about the wonders of the rain forest. 2) If you are teaching bilingual students, you may want to visit the Rainforest Alliance website to read the Spanish version of Brothers of the Rainforest and other stories.

Samples of Student Projects

  Watching the video "The Magic School Bus in the Rain Forest"
  Students’ illustrations of the rain forest and the letters they wrote from the animals’ perspective.
  Students’ rainforest collage


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