If only I had a Magic School Bus like my inspiration teacher, the Friz…
I love to take my children to the world of the Amazon rain forest and Brazil each year – no passports required. Using many library books, my books and posters, and web links to videos, pages and Skype, 2nd grade travels for a few weeks.
Pictured here is our layers of the rain forest lesson. It starts with a read aloud book about the layers of the rain forest and what lives there. Afterwards we watch a video or explore a website as a class. It is important to model research skills/techniques to little ones!! Then, it is group work time.
In groups of 3 or 4, I send children off with one layer as their assignment. Equipped with books and a website approved and e-mailed by me, children take notes on facts about their layer. Afterwords, the class looks at a 4 page long poster. I tell them it is a puzzle that fits together when they are each done decorating their page.
At the end, the posters are presented to the class, hung for the duration of our unit and showcased at the “open room” when parents get to explore rain forest learning that has happened.
“Rain Forest Secrets”, written and illustrated by Arthur Dorros
“Rain Forests”, written by Richard C. Vogt (inSiders series)
“Rain Forests”, written by Shirley W. Gray (First Reports series)
“Life in a Rain Forest Ecosystem”, written by Janey Levy
Video: (Virtual Field Trip)