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This lesson plan is on the “Layers of the Rain Forest”


Science, Social Studies  


K, 1  

Title – Layers of the Rainforest
By – Tricia Badillo
Subject – Science, Social Studies
Grade Level – K-1
This lesson teaches children the 4 layers of the rainforest.
poster board
sponges or paintbrushes or vegetables!
(using vegetables to paint with really gets their attention!)
brown, green, white paint
Rainforest literature such as “The Great Kapok Tree”

Sing the following song that will familiarize each child with the names of the layers of the rainforest:
Tune: “If you’re happy and you know it”

There are four layers in the rainforest.
There are four layers in the rainforest.
Forest floor, understory, canopy, emergent
There are four layers in the rainforest.

Now that the children know the names and you have sung the song several times, pull out the posterboard.

Starting at the bottom of the board, using a potato or a sponge, paint a brown layer across the bottom and discuss properties of the forest floor – it is dark, damp, full of many dead leaves and vines, spongy, etc.

Then using cauliflower dipped in brownish/green paint, paint the understory layer above the forest floor while discussing what you would see in the understory – many vines, dense vegetation, not much light, etc.

Next use a stalk of broccoli dipped in green to illustrate the canopy layer. Its specifics include many green leaves and branches, the most leaves – much of the rain is stopped by the thick foliage, etc.

Lastly, using a stalk of celery dipped in green, paint a few very tall trees for the emergent layer pointing out that not many trees get to this layer because it takes so long for them to grow. This layer is very sunny because it is the very top!

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