Exploring the Rainforest

Name: Diana Pyatigorsky                                                          

Subject: English Language Arts with Arts Integration

Lesson Title: Exploring the Rainforest

Grade: First


  • A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt Paper
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils

Pre-assessment of Students Knowledge & Skills: (A) Students have been immersed in a unit on animal diversity and habitat. Students have explored several habitats and have strong knowledge of the animals that live there but are lacking in-depth knowledge of the animals in the rainforest.

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

Content-Specific Standard(s):

English Language Arts

SL.1.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.1.4. Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

SL.1.5. Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings


Standard 1: Animal Diversity

Identify, describe, and compare the diverse habitats of animals and their relationship with their habitat.

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.

Objectives: Students will list and explain the components of the rainforest.

Students will work together to create their own artistic version of the rain forest.


a)      Introduction and motivation. 5 min:

“Students, we have traveled to the rainforest and learned about what we may find there. Today we are going to search for the animals that live in the rainforest and then create our own version of the rainforest.”

Read Aloud of A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt

b) Activities/Steps –

Direct instruction 15 min: Teacher discusses the many layers of the rain forest and a list of animals that live in each layer of the forest. Students will brainstorm what each layer is like and what its purpose may be. Also talk about what types of plants and animals might be found in each layer.

Work Time 20 min: Students will be divided into groups of four and each assigned a layer of the rainforest. Some groups will be working on the same layer, but on different parts of that layer. In their groups, students will recreate their layer of the rain forest including different types of plants and animals that would appear in their layer. Students will also label and describe the layers on index cards. As a class, students will name their rain forest once it has been presented.

Closure 10 min: Students will present their rainforest layer drawings to the class.

Assessment: 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

Student Work: Illustration Rubric

Illustration Concept






Uses 4 or more colors Uses 2 to 3 colors Uses 0 or 1 color No use of color


4 or more things outlined 2 to 3 things outlined 0 or 1 thing outlined No use of outlines


Both ground and sky Either sky or ground No background No background


4 or more additional details 2 to 3 additional details 0 or 1 additional detail No details

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