Coming to Terms

6, 7, 8

Researching from the perspective of one type of scientist, youth become experts on the attributes of a tropical rainforest as well as the threats to its health and impact on the globe. Youth work in teams of four to make a collage poster and presentation.

PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Sessions plus time to research and make a poster presentation

The learner will:

  • research the characteristics of a tropical rainforest and the threats to the rainforests.
  • present the findings of their research and take notes on other presentations.
  • Internet access
  • Poster Board, shared with a team of four learners
  • copies of handouts


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Discuss the word perspective. With the diverse group of people in the room, there are many ways of seeing the world, a problem, or the way something is interpreted. We learn and grow and show kindness when we value the perspective of others. Discuss times they have observed a difference in perspective. 

    Note: there is a John Saxe story of the way six blind people view an elephant without listening to the perspectives of others. "The Blind Men and the Elephant"


  2. Have the learners look at the Scientists handout. Say, each of these scientists is interested in rainforests for a different reason. Using direct instruction, go over the definitions taken from a dictionary for each “job.” Learners write the descriptions in their own words and ask for clarifications, as needed. 

    On the handout Research Interests, have each learner record why they think each of these scientists might be interested in rainforests, based on the job each scientist does.

  3. Have the learners work in teams of four to conduct research on rainforests and make a team poster and presentation. They assign each person in their group a number from one to four to determine which role they'll take on in their research of the rainforest. For example, if I am a 1, I'll read about rainforests and write about them from the perspective of an anthropologist. 

    1. anthropologist
    2. botanist
    3. environmentalist
    4. zoologist
  4. Over several days they conduct research and plan a presentation to make to the rest of the group. They research from their perspective, and come together to make a joint poster and presentation, each person taking a role. Note: anthropologists from different groups may confer to get support for their positions. 

  5. The presentation must include descriptions and values of a rainforest, as well as threats and attributes as would be seen uniquely by the four roles. Here are some links to get started:

  6. The poster will be made like a collage of the four perspectives. They may divide the poster into four quadrants or more creatively mix the perspectives. Follow the Collage Scoring Guide handout for guidance.

  7. They may use downloaded pictures, magazine pictures, words, phrases, drawings, and charts to complete their collage. The roles of the scientists must be incorporated into the designs. For example, the word anthropologist is mingled with rainforest pictures and words that represent the perspective of that particular scientist. 

  8. Each team presents their poster, and each member of the four-person team presents a fifty-word presentation on the role their scientist plays in preserving the rainforest.

    The others take notes on each group's presentation. 


As an exit ticket, each person writes one sentence about each team's presentation.