Monday, March 5, 2012

On to the Rainforest

"Animal Adventures" is our current reading series theme. Last week we read a selection from this theme titled Red-Eyed Tree Frog  by Joy Cowley.

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,
hardly moves,
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. Click on the picture below to find the packet in my shop. 

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!


  1. Your blog is adorable! Love your ideas and would like to give you the Liebster Blog award. Looking forward to following you. Please stopy my blog to grab your award! Happy blogging!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing primary books. Since I don't teach the little ones, I lose track of the latest good books for my grandchildren; so, I am your newest follower.

    On my blog, I often integrate math and literature, something that is much easier these days. Come and visit me sometime and stick around to become a follower.


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