Welcome to Mrs. Shover's Third Grade Rainforest Thematic Unit!

We will be spending a week learning about the South American Rainforest. Our classroom will have a rainforest library complete with a tent and plenty of books about the rainforest. As we complete each of the different projects, the students will design a mural outside of the classroom representing the different layers of the rainforest. Each project will have a home on the mural. To finish up the unit, we will take a trip to the Glenn Oaks Zoo in Peoria!
Language Arts
Read The Kapok Tree together in class. The students will do a worksheet along with the story.

Show the class the storybird website. Have each of them play around on the website in order for them to get comfortable.
Finish reading The Kapok Tree in class. The class work on another worksheet.

Break students up into pairs. Each pair will be assign either: Animals, People, or Plants. They will begin collecting facts and start writing the story birds.
Read The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry and Mark J. Plotkin. Do the worksheet that follows along with the story.
Break up into our assigned pairs and work on the storybirds.
´╗┐Finish Storybirds. Trade storybirds with another pair of students and complete worksheet.

We will be going to the zoo today. Each student will be assigned an animal to collect information about it from the signs that are posted about their animal.
´╗┐Compare the rainfall in South America's rainforest with the rainfall in Illinois. How much more rain does the rainforest get? Are there any rainforests in North America? If so, compare the totals. We will visit our school's library and use the reference section to collect information on rainfall averages. Also the Amazon Interactive website provides an excellent visual.
We will use geometric shapes to build rainforest animals for our mural.
Using the website on South American recipes we will endeavore to measure correctly the ingredients to a recipe we can all agree upon. Remember we must be accurate in our measurements!
Today we will be going to the catering classroom. We will be following the recipes for Fried Plantains and Habanero Salsa. We use our measuring skills we practiced yesterday and apply them to these recipes. The Fried Plantains we will try in the classroom, but the salsa will be sent home to enjoy with your families!
Each student will have to find the height and weight of the animal and compare it to their own height and weight.
Social Studies
Using the internet and the reference section of the library to learn about kids your age living in the Amazon rainforest. You will write a daily journal about the discoveries you have made.
Record in your rainforest journal the different animals, insects, or landforms we don't see in Illinois.
In your journal compare the South American recipes to some of your favorite foods. Do you think that the children of South America would like to try some of your favorite foods? What do you think their favorite recipe would be?
In your journal tell me your favorites things about the Amazon rainforest. Would you want to live there? Why or why not? Be sure to give supporting details.
They will have to be able to give the location of their animal.
Make a strata of the Rainforest for a mural. Using Zoom Rainforest Enchanted Learning as a references, we will create the emergents, canopy, understory, and forest floor
Break up into four groups of five. We will begin working on a rainforest terranium. Go to computer room to look up the following website:
Make sure to take notes you'll need to build your own rainforest.
Build terranium following notes you took yesterday. One person in the group must be recording all observations and the procedures that are taken. Once finished place on windowsill. Be ready to make observations tomorrow!
Go to computer room and refer back to terranium website:
and answer all questions on the website on a loose leaf notebook page. Return to classroom and turn in your groups answers and the observations from yesterday.
Once back to the classroom, each student will orally tell the class about their animal using their questionaire.
Our focus for the week is to work on our critical thinking skills while doing a fun learning experience. These skills include: memorizing definitions and concepts, learning historical events and explanations, performing measurements, collecting evidence, doing factual research, and writing essays.

Students can use any of the books or websites below for research or for their own enjoyment!


The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry

Life in the Rainforest: Plants, Animals, and People by Melvin and Gilda Berger

One Day in the Tropical Rain Forest by Jean Craighead George

Rainforest Wildlife by Antonia Cunningham

The Shaman's Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry and Mark J. Plotkin