Unit Overview

Content Area:  Science
Unit Title: The Rain Forest
Target Course/Grade Level: Age 8-11, Self Contained Classroom             
Name: Pam Reilly
School: Durand Academy
Date: August 12, 2010

Unit Summary
This unit will stress the importance of the rainforest to humans, animals, plant life, and medicine.  The unit will be introduced and reinforced through a variety of content areas and projects/hands-on activities.  Topics covered will include the structure of the rainforest as a habitat, animals that live there, plant life and local cultures.  The location of rainforests and their role in maintaining Earth’s climate will also be explored.  Several trips to community programs and museums will further reinforce student knowledge.

Primary interdisciplinary connections
Social Studies, Math, LAL, Art

21st century themes
Global Awareness, Civic Literacy

Unit Rationale
More than half the species of animals & plants reside in tropical rainforests.  Many plants and animals are still being discovered in these areas.  Students need to become informed about the importance of the rainforests, both as learners and future adults.  As they become aware of the consequences of deforestation, students will, hopefully, become advocates and supporters of the rainforest.

Learning Targets

Standards Key Ideas and Details
Students’ ability levels vary greatly in classroom.  Gr. 2-3 Standards address most important concepts and skills in the classroom.

Content Statements
RL, RI Gr. 2 Students will ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in text.

RL Gr. 2 Students will describe the overall structure of a story, including how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

RI Gr. 2-3 Students will read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension. (a. Read on-level text with purpose and understanding; c. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding.)

RI Gr. 3 Students will determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrase in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
RF Gr. 1 Student will demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print. (a. Recognize the distinguishing features of a sentence; i.e., capitalization, ending punctuation)

W. Gr. 2 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations)

Unit Essential Questions

 

Unit Enduring Understandings

 

Unit Learning Targets
Students will...

Evidence of Learning

Summative Assessment (30-40 days)
End of Unit Test (fiction text)
End of Unit Test (informational text)

Equipment Needed
SMARTBoard, Document Camera, Computers with internet access; Word Wall; terrariums, plant pots, Art and Cooking Supplies

Teacher Resources
SMARTNotebook:  Rainforest_Layers; Copycat Magazine:  The Rainforest; Habitats (Evan-Moor); (TCM) The Jungle:  Thematic Units; (Castaldo, Nancy F.) Rainforests: An Activity Guide; (Mailbox) Mammals; DVD (videos):  National Geographic:  Really Wild Animals:  Totally Tropical Rainforest; IMAX Presents – Tropical Rainforest; Bugs – A Rainforest Adventure; Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest.

Formative Assessments

Lesson Plans
Lesson 1
“Best of the Bunch” (Writing Activity – Student is “Top Banana” for the Day)
1 hour per day

Lesson 2
Rainforests of the World
1 hour per day

Lesson 3
Making Mini-Rainforests (Terrariums)
1 hour per day

Lesson 4
Identifying 4 Layers of the Rainforest; Guided Reading Lesson:  Afternoon on the Amazon
1.5 hours per day

Lesson 5
Common Items Found in the Rainforest – Making Choco-Banana Treats Guided Reading Lesson:  Afternoon on the Amazon
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 6
Identifying the Characteristics of Insects- “What is a Butterfly?” Guided Reading Lesson: Afternoon on the Amazon
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 7
Life Cycle of the Butterfly Guided Reading Lesson:  Afternoon on the Amazon
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 8
Field Trip to Academy of Natural Sciences:  Butterfly! Exhibit
6 hours per day (full day trip)

Lesson 9
Snake Man” School Presentation Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 10
Labeling Parts of Butterfly; Dragonfly TV (pbs.org) Examines Butterfly Wings Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 11
Art:  Making Stained Glass Butterflies Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 12
Bromeliads & Orchids (Tropical Plants) Making a Pineapple Plant, Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 13
Field Trip to Longwood Gardens (Tropical Plants) Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)
6 hours per day (full-day field trip)

Lesson 14
Deforestation Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)          
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 15
Living in the Rainforest (Cultures of the Tropical Rainforest) Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)        
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 16
Jungle Stats (Students measure, weigh, add, etc. comparing results to rainforest animals; i.e., weigh themselves (groups of 3, then compare to the weight of a gorilla) Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)         
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 17
Characteristics of Apes/Monkeys Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)   
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 18
New World vs. Old World Monkeys Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)          
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 19
Compile Animal Cards to make “Jungle Journal” Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)   
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 20
Plants and Medicines Found in the Rainforest Guided Reading Lesson (continuation of above)        
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

 

Lesson 21
Presentation of “Jungle Journal” Books (video each presentation with Flip video camera) Finish Afternoon on the Amazon         
2 hours per day (1 hour content; 1 hour reading)

Lesson 22
Culminating Activity:  Presentation on Rainforest at the Rainforest Café (Atlantic City)        
6 hours per day (full-day field trip)

 

Teacher Notes

 

Curriculum Development Resources
Click the links below to access additional resources used to design this unit:
http://www.newton’sapple.com
http://www.abcteach.com/WordWall
“Did you Know? Fact Cards http://www.abcteach.com/dyk_rainforest.pdf
Jungle Journal Animal Note cards & Facts Copycat Magazine:  The Rainforest
http://www.teachers.net/lessons/post/Afternoon on the Amazon
http://www.supernaturaladventures.com
http://www.nationalgeographic
http://www.pbs.org/teachers
http://cybersleuth-kids.com/sleuth/Science
http://tooter4kids.com/Rainforest/animals
http://rainforests.mongobay.com
http://www.enchantedlearning.com
http://passporttoknowledge.com
http://www.gcava.org/EVAN
http://youtube.com

Lesson Plan 1
Content Area: Science
Grade: SC Class ages 8-11
Lesson Title: Identifying the Four Layers of the Rainforest
Timeframe: 2 hours/days

Lesson Components

21st Century Themes
X Global Awareness: Students read and navigate websites describing rainforests
Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy: Students will study the reasons that deforestation occurs and which companies benefit from harvesting the rainforests.
Health Literacy 

21st Century Skills
Creativity and Innovation
x Media Literacy: Students use computer, internet access, and text to develop comprehension           regarding rainforests.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
ICT Literacy
x Communication and Collaboration: Students work in groups to complete activities and answer       questions
x Information Literacy: Students navigate websites and read fiction text for information about           rainforests
Life and Career Skills
Interdisciplinary Connections: Computer Literacy, Language Arts Literacy
Integration of Technology: SmartBoard, Computer Website “Rainforest Alliance”, “Did you             Know?” cards; worksheets, Cue Cards, Kerproof website
Equipment & materials needed: Afternoon on the Amazon (Magic Tree House #6 by Mary Pope     Osborne); Copycat Magazine: The Rainforest; Cue Cards website, 5 selected sentences from fiction text listed above; Kerproof website; http://www.rainforestalliance.org; SMARTBoard Lesson Rainforest_Layer

Goals/Objectives/CPIs
Students will (with 80% mastery):

Learning Activities/Instructional Strategies

**If this lesson occurs on a Monday, first have students take out the science journals and observe their “mini-rainforest”; noting changes in plants and amount of precipitation in terrarium.

      The other stations will include a guided reading lesson from Afternoon on the Amazon (see Teacher    Notes for tiered teaching) Students are directed to read Chapter 3, using silent and oral reading.  Background developed by discussing SMARTBoard lesson, and having students name rainforest layers.  Students set purpose for reading by making predictions based on preceding chapter.  Students answer comprehension questions posed by teacher, using literal, inferential, and critical reading questions.  As a mini-lesson after comprehension, students will be given 5 sentences randomly selected from Chapter 3.  Teacher models labeling the first sentence, identifying nouns, verbs, and for some students, adjectives.
3rd group of students use computer to navigate interactive website from the Rainforest Alliance.  The game they will play is called “Jewels of the Earth.”

 

Formative Assessment Tasks

 

Universal Design for Learning Options

Multiple Means of Representation

Multiple Means of Action & Expression

Multiple Means of Engagement

Resources
Multiple Means of Representation
LetterPop (Perception)
 (1.1 Options that customize display of information)
Windows XP: ShowSounds
 1.2 Options that provide alternatives for auditory information)
Learning Through Listening
 (1.3 Options that provide alternatives for visual information)
Language & Symbols
Shahi (Language & Symbols)
 (2.1 Options that define vocabulary and syntax; 2.5 Options that define vocabulary and symbols) great visual dictionary!
Interactives: Elements of a Story
 (2.2 Options that clarify syntax and structure; 3.2 Options that highlight critical features, big ideas, and relationships) Auditory & Visual
TumbleBooks Library
 (2.3 & 2.4 Options for decoding text or mathematical notation; Options that promote cross linguistic understanding.
 Comprehension
Digging for Answers
 (3.1 Options that provide or activate background knowledge)
UDL Editions
(3.3 Options that guide information processing.)
CueCard (Comprehension)
(3.4 Options that support memory and transfer)
Multiple Means of Action & Expression
Physical Activity
OnScreen for Windows (Physical Activity & Expression)
 (4.1 Options in the mode of physical response; 4.3 Options for accessing tools and assistive technologies; 5.2 Options in the tools for composition and problem solving.)
 TechMatrix
 (4.2 Options in the means of navigation)
Expressive Skills and Fluency
Kerproof Teacher's Page (Expressive Skills and Fluency)
 (5.1 Options in the media for communication)
BBC Science and Nature: Solar System Jigsaw
 (5.3 Options in the scaffold for practice and performance; 8.2 Options that vary levels of challenge and support)
Executive Functions
Goal Setting Worksheets
(Love this! 6.1 Options that guide effective goal setting; 9.1 Options the guide personal goal-setting and expectations.)
The Learning Toolbox (Executive Functions)
(6.3 Options that facilitate managing information & resources)
Create-a-Graph
(6.4 Options that enhance capacity for monitoring progress)
Multiple Means of Engagement
Recruiting Interest
Book Adventure
 (7.1 Options that increase individual choice and autonomy)
WildCam (Recruiting Interest)
 (7.2 Options that enhance relevance, value, and authenticity)
Classroom Distractions: How can we avoid them?
 (7.3 Options that reduce threats and distractions)
Sustaining Effort & Persistence
Student-generated "Rewards Chart"
(Option 8.1 Options that heighten salience of goals and objectives)
Skype
(8.3 Options that foster collaboration & communication)
Interview with Carol Dweck
 (8.4 Options that increase mastery oriented feedback.
Self-Regulation
386 Coping Skills Strategies Lesson Plans Reviewed by Teachers
(9.2 Options that scaffold coping skills and strategies)

Knowing How You Learn
 (9.3 Options that develop self-assessment and reflection