This was our first topic that we have studied in depth and it worked pretty well.
We started with a trip to the zoo to see a rainforest exhibit and a few of the animals that might make this type of forest their home. We completed our study at the end of the week with a presentation, which the boys did for our friends...
I started the week with an introduction to what a rainforest is.
There are plenty of websites to get information from and I used printable activities, videos and books to help.
Some of the websites we used -
I did a search for Rainforest lesson plans and came up with plenty.
J also did a search to see what he could find on the net.
We also went to the library to search the catalogue and found some colourful books...
I introduced new vocabulary to both boys (habitat, emergents, epiphytes, systems and cycles, carbon dioxide and oxygen, global warming, decompose, etc etc).
I used some worksheets...
The layers of the rainforest are important so we did a few worksheets on these and J did extra vocabulary and a summary of what he had learned so far.
A colour in sheet introduced the equator and rainforest geography. We then used an Atlas and puzzle to find other countries that have rainforests.
Next it was a rainforest weather study.
One way to include maths in our topic was to use a bar graph and a line graph to compare rainfall and temp in two different countries.
I also used a venn diagram to explain how some animals are found in all the levels while others just in one.
The Jenga blocks (idea from rainforest alliance) were used to explain how the rainforest system operates as a whole and each part has a role to play in keeping the system stable. This worked well to explain the relationships to a 7 and 4 year old!
We discussed food chains, water cycle, plant propagation by parrots and all sorts of things that popped up along the way, and got a maiden hair fern to look after because we couldn't find any mini plants for a terrarium.
The boys now know why we need rainforests, they know where oxygen comes from, many foods from the cupboard originated in a rainforest, some medicines too.
There are so many amazing plants and animals living in the rainforests. Some plants live on air and some animals such as the Orangutan and Cassowary need to be looked after or we may loose them and we need to look after the forests too.
We discussed products that come from farms on cleared forest area, exotic timber items and carbon pollution.
There is so much you can learn about rainforests, however we are just 7 and 4 so we did watercolour paintings of moth orchids and a butterfly for art.
And for craft we made this diorama...
At the end the boys gave a talk about rainforests to some friends and made a display table and then we had a lunch together.
Overall the boys had fun and are knowledgable about some things that I think are important.
Next special study will be oceans/reefs.