PrintThree to Five Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • become familiar with a list of rainforest terms.
  • research articles on the Internet to answer questions regarding the characteristics of a tropical rainforest.
  • share the findings of their research.
  • take notes from team presentations.
  • explore some of the problems being experienced in tropical rainforests and determine what, if anything, is being done about these problems.
  • Notebook Paper
  • One piece of large white construction paper per team of four learners
  • Poster Board, one per team of four learners
  • Research Packet
  • Rainforest Packet Cover (Handout One)
  • Scientists (Handout Two)
  • Research Interests??? (Handout Three) one per team
  • Research Interests!!! (Handout Four) four per learner
  • Collage Scoring Guide (Handout Five)
  • On-line computer access for each learner (or downloaded rainforest information or books on rainforests)


  1. Anticipatory Set: Cut out a small section of a rainforest photograph, duplicate one for each learner and hand them the sheet of paper bearing this section of rainforest photo. Ask learners to take out their notebook paper and write down what they think the whole picture might be. Have each learner share what they think the picture is.

  2. Distribute a stapled packet containing all of the Handouts One-Four to each learner (Ask them that whenever they have time they are to work on designing the cover to their packet- Rainforests - Handout One).

  3. Have the learners turn to Scientists (Handout Two) in their research packet. Using direct instruction, go over the definitions, taken from a dictionary, for each “job”. After each definition is shared, allow learners to write the definition in their own words and answer any questions they might have. Continue this process through each the four categories of scientists.

  4. Utilizing Research Interests? (Handout Three), have each learner record why they think each of these scientists might be interested in rainforests, based on what job each scientist does. (see Handout Two).

  5. Involving the learners in a whole group discussion, have them share what they wrote on their Research Interests? (Handout Three) worksheet. Determine some of the more common responses and then challenge the learners toanswer the question: "Is what you think might motivate a group of scientists to be interested in rainforests in fact what is of interest to these scientists?"

  6. Have the learners count off by fours and using on-line computers, have the ones’ find out what they can about anthropologists and rainforests, the twos- botanist and the rainforest, the threes- environmentalists and the rainforest, and the fours- zoologists and the rainforest.

  7. Ask the learners that they will be using the computer to find out what it is about the rainforest that might interest their assigned group of scientists. Remind them that since they will become “experts” in their scientific field they are to do their best to discover all the possibilities based on what they are able to find from their research.

  8. Distribute a stapled packet containing all of the to each learner (Instruct them that whenever they have time they are to work on designing the cover to their packet).

  9. Tell them to start by doing an Internet search on their topic. (Examples: anthropologists and the rainforest, botanists and the rain forest, environmentalists and the rainforest, zoologists and the rainforest, people of the rainforest, indigenous people of the rainforest, life in the rainforest, etc.) Some suggested sites are:

    1. https://rainforests.mongabay.com/
    2. https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/protect-water-and-land/?vu=r.v_rainforests
    3. https://rainforestfoundation.org/
  10. Once all research teams have had enough time to collect their research and identify some of the common areas of interest have them record their team’s findings under the appropriate heading on Research Interests!!! (Handout Four). (This will probably take at least one complete class period.)

  11. Have the members of the research teams return to their “core” teams and share the research with their team. Each “core” team member should then record a summary/the highlights of the information shared by the ‘expert’ under the appropriate heading on Research Interests!!! (Handout Four).

  12. Have the learners turn to the Collage Scoring Guide (Handout Five) and give each ‘core’ team a sheet of poster board. Using direct instruction go over the details of creating a collage. You may opt to invite the art teacher to the class to review instructions on how to put together a collage.

  13. Review the Collage Scoring Guide (Handout Five). Ask learners to read the rubric columns and answer any questions that they may have relative to it.

  14. Distribute a poster board to each of the ‘core’ teams and have them divide the poster board into quadrants (four equal sections). Be sure they measure so that each section is equal. Have them draw the divisions and work as a team to create a collage representing the value of the rainforest for each of the scientists discussed. Learners may use downloaded pictures, magazine pictures, words, phrases, drawings, etc. to complete their collage. The collage in Quadrant One should somewhere feature the word anthropologist and rainforest plus the pictures, drawings, etc that represent/symbolize the interest in the rainforest of that particular scientist. The same holds true for Quadrant Two (Biologist), Quadrant Three (Environmentalist), and Quadrant Four (Zoologist). (The collages will be used again in Lesson Three).

  15. Display these collages when complete. Each collage should feature the names of the learners involved in the collage construction and a fifty-word team response to this question: What role might these scientists play in preserving the rainforests?


The successful completion of the Research Packet, the extent and depth of involvement in individual and group discussion and activities as well as the established rubric for the development of a collage form the basis of learner assessment for this lesson.