Lesson Plan

Compare School Environment to the Rain forest

Students learn about tropical rain forests and compare the plants and animals there to plants and animals around school.
Jennifer A.
Classroom teacher
Montclaire Elementary School
Los Altos, CA
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My Grades 2
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning, Math, Science, Social Studies, Health & Wellness
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Students will be able to identify plants and animals that live in the school environment. They will compare and contrast characteristics of those plants and animals with the plants and animals in a tropical rain forest.

English Language Arts
Grades 1 - 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Show the PBS Kids: Plum Landing intro jungle video, which is about 4 minutes. Have a discussion and create a WeKWL chart about what students know about tropical rain forests, specifically focusing on the plants and animals there. Continue to add to the WeKWL chart throughout the lesson.

2 Direct Instruction

Use Nearpod to teach students about the rain forest and read aloud Magic School Bus: In the Rain Forest by Eva Moore.

3 Guided Practice

Give students about half hour to learn about plants and animals in the rainforest by reading books in the Epic app.  A search for "rainforest" brings up several books that are appropriate for this age range. Remind students to specifically focus on plants and animals and remind them to add new knowledge to the class WeKWL.

To learn more about rain forest plants and animals, give students 15 minutes to play the Jungle Rangers activity on the PBS website. They will not complete Jungle Rangers in this amount of time, but it will give them a chance to learn about rain forest animal adaptations and camouflage and plant seed dispersal and pollination as well as layers of the rain forest.

Pair share and then have a whole class discussion about similarities and differences between rain forest plants and animals and the plants and animals that live around the school.

4 Independent Practice

Have students use the Plum's Photo Hunt app to take pictures of plants and animals around the school using the photo missions portion of the app. For this lesson I limited my students to taking pictures of animal life, trees and flowers, animal habitats, and insects and spiders. For each photo they took they used the field journal section of the app to write a complete sentence caption describing the photo.

As an added challenge students could add more to the caption comparing or contrasting the plant or animal to a plant or animal they learned about in the rain forest.

5 Wrap-up

Activity: Presenting

Students presented their field journals to the class using air server. If they did not include compare/contrast comments in their field journal they added this information as they shared their photos with the class.