DESIGN Christina Barnard
Congers Elementary School/Clarkstown Central School District
Group 3 A Animal Life In The Rain Forest/Grade 3
Commencement Content Standards
Systems: Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information
using appropriate technologies.
Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident
by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics
in real-world sett'mgs, and by solving problems through the integrated
study of nwnber systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability,
Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and
theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and
recognize the historical developmental of ideas in science.
Benchmark Standards: Elementary
Information technology is used to retrieve, process,
and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning
Students use mathematical reasoning to analyze mathematical
situations, make conjectures, gather evidence, and construct an argument
Students use mathematical operations and relationships
among them to understand mathematics
Students use mathematical modeling/multiple representations
to provide means of presenting, interpreting, communicating, and connecting
mathematical information and relationships
Individual organisms and species change over time
Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment
Students will be able to use a variety of software
packages to enter, process, display, and communicate information in
different forms using text, tables, pictures, and sound
Students will use models, facts, and relationships
to draw conclusions about mathematics and explain their thinking
Students will justify their answers and solution processes
Students will use logical reasoning to reach simple
Students will develop strategies for selecting the
appropriate computational and operational methods in problem-solving
Students will use construct tables, charts, and graphs
to display and analyze real-world data
Students will use multiple representations (simulations,
manipulative materials, pictures, and diagrams) as tools to explain
the operation of everyday procedures
Students will describe how the structures of plants
and animals compliment the environment of the plant or animal
Students will observe that differences within a species
may give individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing
Students will describe how plants and animals, including
humans, depend upon each other and the nonliving environment
Standards And Performance Measures For This Unit
Students will identify animals that live in the rain
Students will identify the different forms of life
that exist in the different layers of the rain forest.
Students will be able to describe why there are different
forms of life in each layer of the rain forest.
Students will be able to define and use appropriate
vocabulary (adaptations, camouflage, biodiversity, extinct, endangered).
Students will describe adaptations in the rain forest.
Students will identify the characteristics of insects.
Students will gain an understanding of the ways insects
are classified. Students will identify and describe reasons why animals
are in danger of becoming extinct.
Students will use appropriate technology to create
a final report on one animal that lives in the rain forest.
Performance Measures (see scoring rubric)
Students will record and communicate their investigation of animals
of the rain forest using appropriate technology. They will do this at
least to the, standard level.
communicated thoughts and showed organization
structure and sequence of ideas including beginning, middle and
||I showed some
signs of structure and sequencing
||I lacked sequencing
I used a variety of details to support the topic
and details are understandable, appropiate, and support the topic
relevant materials but lacks coherence and development of ideas
||Little or no
||I used vivid
and descriptive language (adjectivies, similies) and appropiate
||I used effective
and descriptive language
||I did not always
use descriptive language
||I did not use
correct or appropiate language
used appropiate capitalization, punctuation, spelling and complete
||I usually used
appropiate capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and complete sentences
used appropiate capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and complete
used appropiate capitilzation, punctuation, spelling, and complete
and attractive with no errors
is neat and easy to read with few errors
is hard to read with many errors
lacks neatness and accuracy
1: Begin the study of animal life in the rain forest with a KWL chart
whole class or small groups
TIME- 40 minutes for the initial lesson; ongoing throughout the unit
PROPS- large chart paper, easel, markers, trade book*- Cherry, L. (1992)
The Great Kapok Tree. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
teacher should begin this lesson by posing the first question to the
students, "What do you think you know about animal life in the
rain forest?" This is a brainstorming activity. It is important
to tell the students that you will accept all responses at this point.
Throughout the unit the class will investigate their responses to
see if they were correct or incorrect.
ask the second question, "What do you want to know about animals
life in the rain forest?" Record all students' questions. Encourage
students to think about aspects such as food, homes, enemies, etc.
the teacher should read aloud the book, The Great Kapok Tree. During
the reading, focus the students' attention on the animals and their
relationship with the Kapok Tree.
the reading, begin to record students' responses to the third question,
"What have we learned about animal life in the rain forest?"
activity should be ongoing throughout the unit. As the class discovers
new facts about animals they should be added to the list.
should also be encouraged to try to find answers to their questions
about animal life.
trade book that deals with animal life in the rain forest may be substituted
for The Great Kapok Tree.
lesson introduces the students to the many ways animals have adapted to
life in the rain forest.
class or small group (reading ability should be taken into consideration
when grouping students)
TIME- 20-30 minutes
PROPS-copies of the reproducible page Animals of the Rain Forest
teacher should begin the lesson by discussing animals and what they
need to survive (food, protection). The terms adaptation and
camouflage should be introduced to the students. The teacher
should make sure the students have an understanding of these concepts
students should read about the animals and complete the cloze activities
on the bottom of each page.
bring closure to the lesson, the teacher should ask the students what
they can add to the third column of the KWL chart which focuses on
video lesson provides the students with an understanding of the importance
of the rain forest to the world as well as the threats that have made
it an endangered ecosystem. The video is long and should be broken up
into parts. The following parts are recommended:
1: introduction and discussion of the term biodiversity
2: animals (included in lesson on day 4)
3: insects ('included 'in lesson on day 6)
4: destruction of rain forests (may be shown in connection with a
lesson focusing on preservation of the rain forest)
TIME- 45 minutes (20-25 minutes for viewing of part 1, 20 minutes for
PROPS- 3-2-1 Contact You Can't Grow Home Again (Children's Television
Workshop; Sunburst Communications), 1 pound packages of Skittles candies
for each cooperative group, 2 small muffin tins for each group, labels,
Prior to viewing part I of the video, the teacher should lead a discussion
of what the students already know about animal life 'in the rain forest.
Tell the students to look for animals in the video and listen for
their names as they watch the video.
the tape and let it run through the entire first part of the video.
the students have watched the first part, review terms such as biodiversity,
extinction, and endangered species. Brainstorm a list of animals the
children saw while watching the tape.
the students into cooperative groups of 3-5 students.
group should be given a bag of skittles. Skittles come in five colors.
Each color represents a different animal species. Groups should sort
their animals into the sections of the muffin tin. Using the labels
and the markers, groups should label each section of the muffin tin
with a name -of an animal recalled from the video. The students should
also record the number of animals that are in each section.
direct the students to pour their animals back into the bag and shake
them up. Then randomly spread the animals into the sections of the
muffin tin with each part representing an acre of the rain forest.
The goal of this part of the activity is to show the children that
there may be many different species spread out all over the rain forest.
If one species is in one acre and that acre is destroyed then that
particular species win be extinct.
the students have completed the activity, the teacher should ask questions
such as... "What can you say about the animals in your muffin
tin?" Try to lead students to the realization that there are
many different species of animals but there may not be a large number
of each species. This is the reason why so many animals of the rain
forest are endangered or extinct.
bring closure to this lesson, the teacher should ask the question,
"What have you learned today?" Responses can be recorded
on the KWL chart.
This lesson incorporates the video introduced in day 3. It also serves
as the beginning of the research the students will do on a rain forest
animal. The students should begin their research following this introduction
and they should be given time (45-60 minutes each day for approximately
five days) to research their animals. This research report will be the
culminating activity for the unit. It will be scored using the scoring
class, pairs, individual; Teachers may wish to assign two children to
the same animal so that they can assist one another in researching the
TIME- 60-90 minutes (20 minutes for part 2 of the video, the remainder
of the time should be spent explaining the research report and allowing
the students the time to begin their research.
PROPS- video, research packets, bag, slips of paper with the names of
animals, copies of the research packets, research material (nonfiction
trade books, CD ROM applications such as The San Diego Zoo Presents
the Animals: A True Multimedia Experience, Software Toolworks, Inc.
1992, internet websites such as http:llwww.sierraclub.org/policy/538.htm)
teacher should begin the lesson with a class discussion focusing on
what the students already know about animals of the rain forest.
the students should watch part 2 of the video.
the video, the teacher should ask the students to name all the animals
they can remember that live in the rain forest,
the students should be directed to pick a slip of paper out of the
the teacher should explain the research packets. **Lessons on notetaking
should precede this activity.
students should then be given time to begin their research. It is
important to set up schedules for the students to use computers.
must be allowed for the students to gather their information, write
rough drafts, peer edit, conference with the teacher, and prepare
a final report. The final report may be hand written or prepared through
the use of technology such as the word processor u g programs such
as PowerPoint, or Hyperstudio.
reports should be shared.
activity is an extension of the research report. In this activity the
students will create three-dimensional models of the animals they are
researching. Prior to this activity, a bulletin board showing the layers
of the rain forest should be displayed or created with the students.
Teachers may wish to use the attached activity sheet that includes directions
for creating a class mural.
TME- 45 minutes
PROPS- large construction paper, crayons, scissors, stuffing, pictures
of rain forest animals
should be given time and freedom to create models of their animals
using reference material.
all the students have completed their models, they should be required
to place the animals in the correct layer of the rain forest require
This lesson incorporates the use of part 3 of the video shown on days
3 and 4. In this activity the students will be introduced to the many
different insects that live in the rain forest.
TIME- 50-60 minutes (15 minutes for the video, 35-45 minutes for the
PROPS- video, Entomologists in Action worksheet, clay (optional)
to this lesson, the teacher should make sure students know the characteristics
of Insects (six legs, two antennae, four wings-if it has wings,
three body parts-head, thorax, abdomen, two eyes)
the video direct the students attention to the ways different species
are classified and the characteristics that distinguish one species
from another species such as the shape of the wings, feet, etc.
Discuss the way the people in the video analyzed the katydid they
found in the rain forest.
the video, discuss what the students learned about the classification
of animals-insects, in particular.
out the Entymologists in Action worksheets and allow the students
time to make believe they are entymologists and create their own
may illustrate their insects or create three dimensional models
out of clay.
should be shared.
wish to do a study of the life cycle of the butterfly as they study
the rain forest**
This activity incorporates the skill of letter writing. Teachers may wish
to break it up into two days because the students will need to write a
rough draft, proofread and edit, and write a final draft before it is
mailed. Students may write final drafts on rain forest stationery or use
a word processor.
PROPS- copies of the rain forest stationery, word processors
TIME- 60-90 minutes
with a discussion of rain forest animals and what it means to be an
extinct or endangered species. Remind the students that every year
millions of acres of rainforest are destroyed. Because of this, many
animals are left without food or homes.
students write a letter to the Center for Action for Endangered Species
(I 75 Main Street, Ayer, AL4, 01432). In the letter, direct students
to explain why they are interested in the preservation of the rain
forest. Students should also request a complete list of the restrictions
and laws placed on endangered and threatened animals.
for the responses and share the information
This activity incorporates the use of poetry. This activity provides
a meaningful connection between language arts and science/social studies
PROPS- Samples of various forms of poetry, books of poetry, markers,
TIME- 30-40 minutes
to this activity, the teacher should begin reading and writing various
fonns of poetry with the students.
the students are familiar with poetry, have them choose a type of
. poem from the list and write a poem about the rain forest.
should be encouraged to illustrate their poems and/or use the computer
to organize their poetry into a book.
Types of Poetry
Teachers must know the correct form that is used for each type of
poem (number of lines, syllables)
(originated in Japan)
Poetry (see below)
(originated in Korea)
Oh what vibrant colors!
Up in the hollow trees they sleep.
Central and South
America is where they live,
Nibbling on a piece of fruit.
9- This activity focuses on math. It incorporates the use of problem
GROUPING- whole class, pairs, individual
PROPS- chart paper, markers, writing paper or math logs/notebooks, scale
TIME- 45-55 minutes
teacher should write the following word problem on chart paper: A
gorilla can weigh 300 pounds (136 kilograms). Use this information
to solve the following problems.
many students will it take to equal the weight of one gorilla?
students and record the information. Have students work with a partner
to find a combination that comes close to 300 pounds.
them to find the fewest number of students possible.
the students time to work and explain the way they figured out their
answers-verbally and/or in written form.
students use information they have learned about the animals they
researched to write original word problems. Students should ask classmates
to solve their problems.
Have students select a rain forest animal and find out the amount of
food consumed by the animal in one day. Add or multiply to determine
how much is consumed 'm a week, month,, or year.
This activity requires the students to include a large number of rain
forest animals and the movements they might make as they travel through
the rain forest.
groups of 3-5 students
PROPS- copies of the activity sheets, A Walk through the Rainforest,
on the rain forest, a thesaurus for each group
TIME- 45-60 minutes
by having the students find a rain forest animal for each letter of
the students work cooperatively complete the activity sheet. Encourage
the groups to be creative in choosing words to describe each animal's
the groups have completed their activity sheets share/compare each