This week we continue our study of the Amazon rainforest and the plants and animals that make the rainforest their home. Some of the books I include as read alouds are:
Tropical Rainforests by Symour Simon
Exploring the Rain Forest by Mattias Klum and Hans Odoo
Revealed Rainforest by Jen Green
24 Hours Rain Forest by Fleur Star
The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell (song/poem with facts about the rainforest)
Once I start talking about rainforest animals, a certain excitement looms in the air. Children love learning about animals in general, but rainforest animals especially fascinate them. Who wouldn't get excited about jaguars, macaws, boas, toucans, katydids, tree frogs, orangutans, howler monkeys, and the capybara?
A multitude of rainforest animal books are available to peak children's interests. A few I use are:
Jaguars by Jason Cooper
Sloths by Melissa Stewart
Orangutans by Susan Kueffner
Orangutans Up Close by Carmen Bredeson (Zoom In on Animals series)
And once I describe the life of a sloth, and they find out that the sloth:
lives its entire life high up in the trees,
grows algae in its fur,
and looks like it's smiling all the time,
(among other unimaginable things) . . .
Oh my goodness! That's all it takes. They want to learn everything there is to learn about a sloth. It's usually their favorite rainforest animal, with the boa coming in a close second.
I place a collection of multileveled non-fiction books at a center. These are books that the children can read to themselves. A few include:
Find It in a Rain Forest by Dee Phillips
Meet the Howlers! by April Pulley Sayre
Jaguars by Helen Frost
Capybara by Anita Ganeri
Really Big Cats by Allan Fowler
I created a packet of worksheets for students to record the facts they learn about the different animals.
The children illustrate the facts they have learned and share their knowledge to two friends. Sharing their work is important to these budding authors. They love an audience for their writing.
So, on to the rainforest.
P.S. I had a student one year who would tell me that her mother would take her to the rainforest each day after school. How cute!