Plants of the Rainforest

Name: Diana Pyatigorsky                                                

Subject: Science

Lesson Title: Plants of the Rainforest

Grade: Fifth


  • Kids Discover Rainforest magazine
  • Scholastic Rainforest magazine
  • Plants of the Rainforest
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils

Pre-assessment of Students Knowledge & Skills: (A) Students have been immersed in a unit on the rainforest. Students have explored the animals in the rainforest but are lacking in-depth knowledge of the plants in the rainforest.

(B)Students were able to accurately describe the diverse plant population in the rainforest. They completed a K-W-L Chart on and used several resources to develop knowledge.

Content-Specific Standard(s):

English Language Arts

Key Idea: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Gather and use information for research purposes; demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning.

RI.5.7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.


Standard 7: Observe, identify and record the component of a rainforest ecosystem.

The Arts

Standard 1: Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts (dance, music, theater, and visual arts) and participate in various roles in the arts.


Students will research and identify the plants of the rain forest, their importance and function.


Introduction: Teacher will initiate a discussion of plants that have special features that are important to life around the world. Students will brainstorm what they know about plants and discuss their importance to human and animal survival.

Students will read the Plants of the Rainforest article.

Direct instruction 15 min: Teacher will lead a discussion on the Plants in the Rainforest article, including the details of their importance. Teacher will model picking out and plant to research, using resources and gathering information about the plant. Teacher will model creating a description and illustration of the chosen plant and its importance to life.

Work Time 20 min: Teacher puts on soft rainforest music.

Students will divide into pairs or small groups to choose one rain forest plant to research. Students will use their resources, (books, magazine, and articles) to gather information on their plant and its importance. Students will complete a report including an illustration for the animal as well as a written description of the plant and its features.

Closure 10 min: Students will present their plant reports to the class.

Assessment: Students will be assessed by their ability to complete their plant report.

Teacher will assess understanding during conference time and during the share. Ask follow up questions if students are not confident with their explanations. Students will be assessed for their activity participation, their participation as audience members and their working material. Student project work will be reviewed against the rubric below.

Diversity: This lesson continues the work of opening a window into different modalities of learning such as Collaborative and Flexible grouping, scaffolding, varied time allowance, multiple intelligences, varied demonstrations, simulations, use of visuals and role play.


“A hands-on activity supports students who struggle with verbal skills” (Cornett, 2011). Using visual and tactile skills, students that struggle with writing are able to use the images to show that they understand the content. This lesson also supports concreteness of the topic with the use of pictures, labels and names.


Plants of the Rainforest

More than two thirds of the world’s plant species are found in the rainforests. Rain forests are home to half of the 5-10 million species of plants in the world. Many rainforest plants are very useful. Plants provide shelter and food for rainforest animals. Rainforests are usually found in the tropics and they receive from 4-8 meters of rain per year, five times the rainfall of some states in the U.S. Use a meter stick to visually demonstrate this amount. The rainforest houses two thirds of all plants in the world which keep the air around the world clean by producing oxygen and using up carbon dioxide.  Food such as pineapple, banana, grapefruit, avocado and coconut come from the rainforest, as well as many spices like chocolate, vanilla, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and paprika. Chicle, (chewing gum) as well as bamboo, rubber and balsa wood also come from the rainforest. Plants are used as a vital ingredient in many medicines; such as cancer,. Furthermore, many plants in the rain forest have yet to be identified and studied, so we don’t yet know their potential value. Discuss why public awareness of rain-forest plants is important to the continuation of their existence.


Rainforest Project Rubric

  4 3 2 1 Score
Content Contains accurate and clearly explained factual information about the Rainforest Contains accurate, factual information about the Rainforest Contains mostly accurate information about the Rainforest Contains  many inaccuracies about the Rainforest  
Mechanics Correct spelling and grammar Mostly correct spelling and grammar Some mistakes in spelling and grammar Many mistakes in spelling and grammar  
Presentation Neat, creative enticing display Neat display Sloppily compiled Sloppily compiled with missing information  
Plant Sketch Sketches are accurate, artfully rendered, and informative. Sketches are accurate and well-drawn. Sketches are accurate and somewhat well-drawn. Sketches do not seem to be accurate and more time could have been spent drawing them  
Identified uses of the assigned plants Three uses of assigned plants and a fact for each were identified. Three uses of assigned plants and a fact for each were identified in at least two of the three examples. Less than three uses of assigned plants and a fact for each were identified in at least two of the three examples. There were not three uses and a fact identified for all assigned plants.  




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