Lesson Plan

Rain Forest

How is the Rain Forest Changing?
Cora C.
Classroom teacher
PS 45Q
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • Explain the relationship between living things  (environment, habitat, animals, etc) of the rain forest.
  • Discuss how the rain forest is changing, what is causing the changes, the effects of the rain forest change.
  • Create an engaging and informative concept map showing their learning.
  • Create a multimedia report discussing how the rain forest environment is changing.



English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 4 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Show What You Know - Concept Map

Individual, Partner, or Group activity

  1. Have students show their prior knowledge by using the Concept Map feature for the Tropical Rainforest video on BrainPop.
  2. Give them some time to play with the features on the site, and then organize everything they know as a concept map.  Do not let them watch the video, that step comes later.
  3. When they are finished, they will submit to you for review.

Use the Concept Map feature for the Tropical Rainforest video.

One class period

Student Instructions

Use the Concept Map feature to show what you already know about Tropical Rainforest.  Once you have shown everything you know, submit to your teacher.

Do NOT watch the video until your teacher tells you to.

2 Teach - Rain Forest Food Chains

Whole Group  - Two Parts

Part 1

Show Tropical Rain Forest video on BrainPop to students.

Pause periodically to discuss new information.  Students may take notes  
Have students complete the worksheets in the "Activities" section of the video

You may print out the worksheets OR students may complete the worksheets online after watching and submit to you for review (individual, pair or groups)

Part 2

Read the book Rain Forest Food Chains, and discuss with class.

Focus on:

  • Vocabulary
  • Parts of the food chain
    • Producer, Primary Consumer, Secondary Consumer, Decomposer
  • Parts of the rain forest
    • Canopy, Understory, Forest Floor
  • Locations of rain forest
    • Amazon, Congo, Pacific Islands, etc
  • Benefits of the rain forest
  • Human effects 

If you do not have access to this book, you may use other resources that cover these topics

Two - six class periods

Student Instructions

Watch the Tropical Rain Forest video with your class.  Take  notes while you watch, and complete the assigned worksheets.

Read along with teacher, take notes on what new information you have learned

3 Explore - Tropical Rain Forest

Individual, pair, or small group

Allow students time to explore the FYI,  Q&A, and related topics section of the Tropical Rain Forest video on BrainPop.  


  • Encourage them to also watch and take notes on the Earth System video  *** If you have a school account, they can send notes directly to you through BrainPop

One Class Period

Student Instructions

Explore the FYI,  Q&A, and related topics section of the Tropical Rain Forest video on BrainPop.  

4 Show What You've Learned - Concept Map

Individual, Partner, or Group Activity

  1. Have students return to their original concept maps, and revise them to include everything they've learned.
  2. Have them pay close attention to the relationships between environments and living things in the rain forest, as well as human impact
  3. Have students send you the completed  concept map for review

One to two class periods

Student Instructions

Go back to the concept map you created at the beginning of the unit.  Update your map to include everything you have learned about Rain Forests.  Make sure to pay close attention to the relationship between living things and the environment.

5 Wrap Up - Create a Digital Presentation!

Individual, Partner, or Group Activity

  1. Have students plan and write an essay discussing how the rain forest is changing.  Have students focus on
    • ​living things in the rain forest
    • relationships between living things and the environment
    • the impact of humans to the rain forest.
  2. Have students use this essay to create a quick story board to plan their digital presentation
  3. Create!  Have students use the story board to create the digital presentation of their choice!
    • ​Educreations App - Quick movie with pictures
    • iMovie - More in depth movie for advanced students
    • Tellagami - Use an avatar to dictate your essay
    • Comic Life - create a comic to tell your story

**** Students using Tellagami do not need to create a storyboard

Three - Four Class Periods

Student Instructions
  1. Write an essay discussing how the rain forest is changing
  2. Use your essay to create a quick story board for your digital presentation
  3. Use your story board to help guide you through your 

6 ESL Extension

  1. With your BrainPop ESL account, play the Endangered Species video (L3U1L1).  Stop periodically to discuss what it means to be endangered, what species are becoming endangered, and why different species are becoming endangered.
  2. After watching the video, play the vocabulary video so students can make deeper connections, through images and graphics, to the vocabulary words.  If time is an issue, skip to the desired vocabulary words.
  3. Have students read the READ IT article on rain forests, to learn more about endangered species.  If it is not accessible to them, use your computers settings, or create a podcast of you reading it, to allow them to hear the passage as they follow along word for word. They may then take the short quiz at the bottom of the passage AND/OR the quiz connected to the video.
  4. Students can then move onto the Grammar activity attached to the video to support their language growth.
Student Instructions

Watch the Endangered Species video and discuss what you've learned, with your teacher. Read and/or listen to the Rain Forest article, and take the quiz at the end.  Complete the grammar activity.