Thematic Units - Mini Unit

Mini Unit

1. I had the room decorated with greenery here and there.Sitting in the greenery, were various rainforest animals.

2. "The Reading Rainforest" I set up a tent in a corner of the room and used crepe paper to twist around the tent to look like vines. For the opening of the tent, I bought some material with rainforest animals and made curtains. I put a humidifier inside the tent, allowing it to be on for a while before the children were allowed to enter. This gave them the 'wet' feeling of a rainforest. (*Caution: Don't leave the humidifier on too long as the inside of the tent will actually have puddles in it!) Outside the tent, there was a tray of various rainforest books.

Lessons
Each day I covered a different topic with an art project which we used to create a mural on the wall outside our room.

MONDAY
We discussed the layers of the rainforest and of what each layer consisted. Our project for the day was to draw a picture of the layer in which we would like to live. This was the first layer of our mural.

TUESDAY
I had a representative from the zoo come into our classroom with some rainforest animals. We were able to see a gecko and a parrot (those were the only animals from the rainforest that could be taken from the zoo). The kids loved it and so did I! We discussed the animals that lived in each layer which we had discussed on Monday. I used various animal pictures from books, reading about the different animals and why they lived in the layer that they did. Our project was to draw and color our favorite animal to add to the correct layer on our mural.

WEDNESDAY
Today we discussed the products that come from the rainforest, focusing on foods. After learning about different foods and looking at pictures of them in their natural state, we had a tasting party of foods. We included coconut, star fruit, mangoes, pineapples and bananas. Most had never tasted anything other than the banana, so it was interesting! Afterwards, I gave them each a small package of gum. Then, we drew pictures of our favorite rainforest product and added it to our mural.

THURSDAY
Today we talked about the importance of rainforest. I used the trade book, The Great Kapok Tree, as the main part of the lesson. I also used a video showing the beauty of the rainforests, as well as the animals that inhabit it. I found an organization that allows you to "purchase" an acre of a rainforest for $45. The class brought money to donate and we were able to purchase our acre in the name of the class. Today, we drew pictures of our favorite part of the rainforest, whether it was the animals, plants or foods. There were quite a variety of pictures.

FRIDAY
Today we continued our lesson for saving the rainforest by creating posters with a "Save the Rainforest" theme. These were displayed outside our room around our mural. Afterwards, we had a "Rainforest Banana Split Party". Everything that we included was from the rainforest: the banana, the vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and coconut.

Submitted by: Holley

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