Rainforest Journal

Name: Diana Pyatigorsky                                                                 

Subject: English Language Arts

Lesson Title:  Rainforest Journal

Grade: Fourth


  • Scholastic Kids, Rainforests
  • Kids Discover, Rainforests
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Paper

Pre-assessment of Students Knowledge & Skills: (A) Students have been immersed in a unit on environments and natural resources. Students have explored many different environments and have strong knowledge of the animals and plants in those environments but are lacking in knowledge of 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

Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding Students will listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language that follows the accepted conventions of the English language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.


Standard 4: Students will understand the different physical settings and living environments of organisms.

Social Studies

Standard 3:
Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s surface.

Objectives: Students will use their resources to investigate the rainforest environment.

Students will complete a journal entry on “My personal walk through the rainforest.


a)      Introduction and motivation. 5 min:

“Students, we have explored many different environments and have discussed the animals, plants and natural resources that we would find there. Today we are going to investigate the rainforest environment and then document our journey through the rainforest using our five senses: see, hear, smell, fee and taste.”

b) Activities/Steps –

Direct instruction 15 min: Teacher leads discussion on the rainforest. The rainforest houses two thirds of all land based animals and plants, keeps the air around the world clean by producing oxygen and using up carbon dioxide, gives the world ½ of its medicine; provides the world with an abundance of fruit and vegetables.

Work Time 20 min: Teacher will put on Rainforest music. Students will use their resources to investigate and research the rainforest environment. Students will chart the animals, plants and natural resources that can be found in the rainforest. Using their new knowledge and resources, students will make a journal entry using their five senses to describe their walk through the rainforest.

Closure 10 min: Students will present their rainforest journal entry 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.


Rainforest Journal Entry 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  
Chart/Graph Contains a clear title. Clearly demonstrates mastery of subject knowledge. Has accurately completed checklist Contains a title. Demonstrates subject knowledge. Has somewhat accurately completed checklist Contains an unclear title. Demonstrates little mastery of subject knowledge. Has completed checklist Contains no title. Does not demonstrate mastery of subject knowledge. Has not completed checklist  
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  



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