Marie Curie Math & Science Center
Curriculum Design

Lisa Koppelman
Congers Elementary School/Clarkstown Central School District
Group 3A
Conservation of the Rainforest/Grade 3

 Commencement Content Standards

  •  Information Systems

Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

  •  Mathematics:

Students will understand mathematics and become mathematically confident by communicating and reasoning mathematically, by applying mathematics in real world settings, and by solving problems through the integrated study of number systems, geometry, algebra, data analysis, probability, and trigonometry.

  •  Science:

Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Benchmark Standards: Elementary
Content Standards

  •  Information technology is used to retrieve, process, and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning.
  • Students use mathematical operations and relationships among them to understand mathematics.
  • Students use mathematical modeling/multiple representation to provide a means of presenting, interpreting, communicating, and connecting mathematical information and relationships.
  • Students use measurement in both metric and English measures to provide a major link between the abstractions of mathematics and the real world in order to describe and compare objects and data.
  • Human decisions and activities have had a profound impact on the physical and living environment.

Performance Standards

  • Students will use a variety of equipment and software packages to enter, process, display, and communicate information in different forms using text, tables, pictures, and sound.
  • Students will add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers.
  • Students will construct tables, charts, and graphs to display and analyze real world data
  • Students will select appropriate standard and nonstandard measurement tools in measurement activities.
  • Students will describe how living things, including humans, depend upon the living and nonliving environment for their survival.
  • Students will describe the effects of environmental changes on human and other populations.

Content Standards

  • Students will identify and define the causes of deforestation.
  • Students will research resources found in the rainforest.
  • Students will apply their knowledge of deforestation to answer a response sheet.
  • Students will identify the valuable medicinal resources found in the rainforest.
  • Students will apply technology skills to access websites on the internet.
  • Students will apply their knowledge of conservation in order to create a poster and a conservation slogan.
  • Students will apply their write a friendly letter including both facts and opinions regarding the destruction of the rainforest.
  • Students will apply measurement skills in order to bake and prepare foods for a fundraiser.
  • Students will apply computation skills in order to make change at the fundraiser.
  • Students will create a bar graph depicting the money raised at the fundraiser.

 Performance Standards

  • Students will work with a partner to define the key terms of deforestation.
  • Students will list resources found in the rainforest, as well as look for rainforest products found in their own homes.
  • Students will independently answer a response sheet regarding the threats to the rainforest.
  • Students will also write a paragraph about the title of the viewed video "You Can't Grow home Again"
  • Students will write a story pretending that they are botanists, and have found a new breakthrough medicine.
  • Students will use a computer program to digitally create an illustration of their discovery.
  • Students will create a conservation poster that will be assessed according to the rubric.
  • Students will use the friendly letter format to write a letter to a U.S. politician. This letter will include 2 paragraphs, one introducing themselves, and one stating the reason why they are writing.
  • Students will use measurement tools in order to prepare foods for the fundraiser.
  • Students will make change at the fundraiser.
  • Students will create a bar graph using a computer program.

Day I -Begin the study of conservation of the rainforest by introducing key terms of deforestation.

Grouping-Whole group/pairs
Time-45 minutes

Props-p.45 How Are Rainforests Threatened?(Carson-Dellosa Publications CD-7326), pages 46-49, vocabulary worksheet, chart paper, markers, popsicle sticks, tape and pencils.


  • The teacher should begin the lesson by posing the question, "How are Rainforests Threatened?" The teacher should discuss responses with students and explain that the class will now begin studying the deforestation of rainforests, why we need to help preserve the rainforest, and ways in which we can support the conservation of the rainforest.
  • The teacher should then hand out page 46 to each student and read and discuss the information. As the teacher progresses through the reading he/she should list the key terms on chart paper (Slash and bum agriculture, logging, cattle ranching, unwise development schemes, and illegal wildlife trading).
  • Next, the teacher should read aloud pages 47, 47, and 49 only numbers 2. 4, 6, 8, and 10, while holding up a "stick puppet" of each figure. (These should be made prior to the lesson from the cut outs on page 49)
  • Preceding the reading, the teacher should refer back to the essential question of "How are rainforests being destroyed?" Students should work with a partner to define each term on the worksheet.
  • As closure to the lesson, the students should share their definitions.

 Day 2- This lesson introduces the various resources that the rainforest provides.
Grouping-Whole class/pairs

Time-45 minutes

Props-Copies of Issue #1 12 December 1990 of 3 *2 *1 Contact "Saving the Rainforests: A Buming Problem" (I copy per student or pair of students), pencils, paper, copies of "Rainforest Products" reproducible sheet, chart-paper, and markers.


  • The teacher should introduce the lesson by reviewing the topics covered in the previous class. (How are rainforests threatened?)
  • The teacher should ask students "Why should we care about the rainforests? The teacher should write this question on chart paper and present it to the class.
  • After that, the teacher should distribute the copies of 3 * 2* 1 Contact to the students. The teacher should introduce and write these terms on chart paper (Co2-carbon dioxide, pest and nature reserve). The teacher/class should define and discus these terms prior to the reading.
  • Next, the teacher should read aloud pages 6- 1 0, stopping to discuss points of interest. The teacher should focus on the resources discussed in the article.
  • In pairs, students should re-read the article and list as many resources as they can that are found in the rainforest. Students should also answer the question "What are some people doing to help save the rainforest?"
  • As closure to the lesson, students should share their lists with the class.
  • As an extension, or homework assignment, students should complete the Rainforests Products sheet.

Day 3- This lesson provides students with the experience of actually "viewing" deforestation.
Grouping-Whole class

Time-50 minutes

Props- chart paper, markers, pencils, Think About Threats to the Rainforest worksheet, and 3 *2 *I Contact- You Can't Grow Home Again (Children's Television Workshop; Sunburst Communications).


  • Prior to the viewing of the video the teacher should review key terms discuss in the previous lessons (Co2, slash burning also known as cut burning, etc.)
  • The teacher should then play Part 4 of the video "Why Are People Cutting Down the Rainforest?"
  • The teacher should stop at various points of the video to discuss climate, the ozone layer, Co2, as well as the fact that 1/2of the world's species of animals are found in the rainforest. The teacher should also emphasize that when the rainforest is destroyed, some species become extinct. There are species becoming extinct that have not even been discovered yet.
  • After viewing the video the class may discuss points of interest. (Children will find the idea of eating iguana quite interesting) Then students should complete the assessment sheet "Think About Threats to the Rainforest"
  • As another assessment have each child write a paragraph explaining what the title of the video means:'You Can't Grow Home Again.

 Days 4-5
This lesson introduces the many medicinal resources the rainforest has to offer. It also provides students with the opportunity to become botanists. Students will also use a Creative Writer Program to illustrate their" new discovery. "

Grouping-Whole Class/Individual
Time: Two 50-minute sessions

Props- copies of the reproducible page 34 "Medicine", the cassette "Forest rain" by Dean Evenson, paper, the herb Uno De Gato, which can be purchased at a health food store, a word processing program, as well as the Creative Writer program where students can draw/create images on the computer.


  • The teacher should begin the lesson by reviewing the different resources that the rainforest provides. Then the teacher should introduce the topic of medicinal herbs and plants by showing them Uno de Gato and discussing its uses as a healing herb.
  • Next, read aloud page 34 and discuss the benefits of other herbs that are found in the rainforest. There are iodine plants, and numerous others that have not even been discovered yet. They are found in South America and are known to cure many ailments.
  • Then discuss the term botanist. Tell the students that they are to imagine that they are walking through the thick, humid, and noisy Amazon Rainforest. They are botanists in search of a cure for a specific disease. Each student may refer to himself/herself as Dr. . The assignment is to write a story describing a new medicinal plant that is a science breakthrough. It is a long awaited cure for a disease. The students must use descriptive language to describe what he/she hears, feels, smells, tastes etc. Students should use a word processing program for their rough draft, and utilize the spelling and grammar check, as well as the thesaurus. At this time the teacher should play the audiocassette to help students with guided imagery


Day 5- Students will use the Creative Writer program to illustrate their new discoveries. Students may use any digital medium they choose. (paint brush, spray paint etc.)

Day 6- This lesson allows students to explore various environmental conservation organizations on the Internet.

Grouping- Pairs
Time-50 minutes

Props- On-line access, computers for each pair of students, paper, and pencils.


  • The teacher should begin the lesson by discussing the idea of having a fund-raiser to raise money to help the rainforest. (Monies can be donated to various organizations, such as The Rainforest Alliance or Adopt An Acre Program)
  • Then the teacher should lead a "brainstorming discussion" of the different ideas that the students may have in regards to a fundraiser. After that, the teacher should introduce the idea of going on-line to research other fund-raising ideas by environmental organizations. In addition to researching fund-raising ideas, the students should also be researching conservation tips.(What can we do to help save the rainforest?)The teacher may chose to briefly review note-taking skills at this time. Students will be accessing websites to search for fundraising ideas in order to raise money for the rainforest.
  • The students should then be paired, and should begin accessing various websites such as:

The Rainforest Action Network:

The Rainforests Links:

Project Smart 96- Cyber Rainforest:

The Rainforest Alliance:

Rainforest Products (Fundraising)

The teacher should compile a list of fund-raising ideas attained by the students, and the class should vote on the top 3 fundraisers

Day 7- During this lesson students will create posters and greeting cards that have a "rainforest message "

Time-50 minutes

Props-posterboard, construction paper, markers, colored pencils, and crayons.


  • The teacher should begin this lesson by reviewing information that was attained on the internet in regards to "What we can do to help save the rainforest?"
  • At this time the teacher should focus the class discussion on ideas students have in regards to rainforest conservation. Students may brainstorm a list of ideas and include any slogans or sayings that they might have read or created themselves.
  • Next, the teacher should introduce the poster project. Students will create a poster that sends a message of how or why one should help save the rainforest. The poster must include a slogan and an illustration. Students will not be assessed on his/her artistic ability, but creativity and information.
  • Students should have an array of materials available to work with.
  • After the poster is complete, students may create greeting cards with a 6 4rainforest message" that can be sold at the fundraiser.
  • Students will be assessed based on the following rubric:

Rainforest Poster Rubric  





My message was clear and included useful information My message was clear included some useful information My message was unclear and did not include useful information
Illustration My picture illustrated my slogan clearly My picture illustrated my slogan somewhat clearly My picture did not illustrate my slogan clearly

Day 8- Students will write letters to various politicians stating why they should help the rainforest.

Time-50 minutes

Props-Paper, pencils, and a word processing program.


  • To begin the lesson the teacher should review reasons why we should save the rainforest. (Post charts and or posters from previous lessons)
  • The teacher should introduce the names of various politicians that may have the power to help save the rainforest. The teacher should display the name and address of the politician of choice.

The Honorable _____________. U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510


  • Students will be writing a "friendly letter" using the friendly letter format. In the first paragraph students must introduce themselves. In the second paragraph the students must explain why they are writing the letter. The letter must include at least 3 facts and 3 opinions about the rainforest.
  • Students should type their letters on the word processing program and use spell check and the thesaurus as part of the editing process.
  • Students should share letters with their classmates, and mail to the appropriate address.


Day 9- Students will prepare for the fundraiser by creating food that is made with rainforest products.

Grouping-small groups of 4-5
Time-1 hour

Props-p.37 "Why Care About Rainforests?" recipe sheet, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, dried pineapple, banana chips, chocolate chips, coconut, plastic sandwich baggies, margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking soda, cookie sheets, paper cups, guava juice, pineapple juice, and any other rainforest recipes you may have. (You may need parent volunteers for this project)


  • Assign students to small, supervised groups. Have each group bake a desired amount of rainforest cookies to sell at the fundraiser. *Follow the attached recipe*
  • Be sure to bake enough so that your students have the opportunity to have a cookie.
  • Have another small group prepare rainforest trail mix bags with the nuts, coconut, banana, pineapple, and chocolate chips. Prepare the mix in the sandwich bags.
  • Assign another group of students to pour the tropical juice in the small cups.
  • You will need to choose an area for your fundraiser. You may want to advertise the fundraiser by hanging signs in the hallway or teachers' room. Some other fund-raisers you may want to use are Human-l-tees, an environmental fundraising company. 1-800-A-PLANET
  • Set up the fundraiser with the cookies, trail mix, juice, greeting cards, posters, and any other fund-raising items your class has chosen. (Be sure to let people know what you are raising $ for).  

Day 10- During this lesson students will graph the amount of money sold at the fundraiser to see which product sold the most.

Time-50 minutes

Props-Information gathered from the fundraiser, (the amount of money each product raised-you will need a copy for each child), a bar graph, and Microsoft Graph program.


  • The teacher should share the amount of money raised by the fundraiser with the class. At this time the teacher should hand out the listing of the products sold and amount of money raised. The class should discuss which product was most successful.
  • The teacher should then review the definition of a bar graph. He/She should have one hand for a visual prop.
  • Next the teacher should pair the students heterogeneously. Discuss the Microsoft Graph program and have each pair of students create a bar graph to show the amount of money raised at the fundraiser. Each pair will work together to create I graph.
  • Students should share their graphs and use the graph to discuss the results of the fundraiser


St. Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340, Sparkill NY 10976-1050