WHAT TO TEACH? STEP BY STEP 3 WEEK RAINFOREST THEME UNIT STUDY
Kids just love learning about nature and animals! So we dedicated some weeks to learn all about the rainforest animals. ere’s a summary of What to teach? Step by Step 3 Week Rain forest them Unit Study.
Week 1 was dedicated to Exploring Rainforests. So we began by working on a big art project that would aid our learning over the next few weeks. We brought the Rainforest alive in our homeschool!
Week 2 was all about the animals of the Rainforest. We found out about the different kinds of animals that lived there through videos, non-fiction books and Rain forest fact books. We added further to our display this week.
Week 3 moved on to some stories related to the Rainforest, including ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and ‘Elmer’ and as our final week we recapped everything we learnt.
Rainforest Theme Unit Study!
DAY 1: We started by looking at books on Rainforests. We looked at the trees and some layers. We then went straight into the big art display. We put up IKEA roll paper (3 widths high) on our display wall and began hand printing leaves. We kept referring back to our Rainforest book looking over the layers of the rainforest as the art display slowly came into place. See pictures below for more.
DAY 2: We painted, cut around large leaves that would form the understory layer of the rainforest. As we continued with our art display, we naturally learnt all about the layers of the rainforest. The girls had stood on chairs to paint the canopy and emergent layer as seen above, that they realised themselves how tall the trees must be! The looked at how bananas and pineapples grew and even learnt that chocolate actually comes from the rainforest!
DAY 3: As the rainforest display starting to come into shape, we turned to look at the weather in the rainforest today. Quite simply I told the girls it rains alot, that’s why its called a rainforest! So we did a bit of science today by looking at the life cycle of water through a simple experiment. All you need is a clear glass, water, shaving foam, pippettes and food colouring. We filled the glass with 3/4 cup of water and squirted on the shaving foam. We then mixed a little water with food colouring in another cup and used the pippettes to squeeze coloured water onto the clouds (shaving foam). Eventually, you should be able to see little coloured droplets fall into the water inside. You can easily explain that the cloud is full of raindroplets that are ready to fall when they cloud gets heavy. You can get the instructions to the full experiment here.
Day 4: We spent today looking back at our books on the Rainforest and watching A trip to the Rainforest and imagining what it would be like to visit the rainforest! The children loved this story and watched it a few times!
DAY 1: We began by looking at the animals in the rainforest and became familiar with these through the lovely Make your own Rainforest book. This book was perfect as it gave us a small pop up rainforest perfect for our small world play! I also downloaded Twinkl’s Rainforest Explorer Role Play pack, which provided me with everything I needed to complete our Rainforest display area. More on this later.
DAY 2: We read the story of Rumble in the Jungle and became familiar with some of the animals found near rainforests. We used Rainforest Fact cards to find out and discover more about the rainforest. All the while we added whatever we learnt about the rainforest animals to our Rainforest display and role play area. We selected pictures from the Rainforest Role play pack and the girls labelled each animal.
DAY 3: We made our final touches to the Rainforest display and role play area using resources from Twinkl’s Rainforest Role Play pack, including explorer badges, title, labels, spotting the animals of the rainforest sheet and much more! And we went to the rainforest, kitted up with our sun hats and binoculars. We just had to turn off the AC to start feeling the humidity of the rainforest. I played from rainforest sounds and we all sat on the rainforest floor to have a picnic and find the animals of the rainforest. It’s lovely doing a pretend journey to somewhere with our girls as they really get into role. The girls did some art drawing their favourite animal.
DAY 4: We briefly visited the rainforest again, and then on our return we wrote out postcards to our grandmas. The girls had so much to say about their adventure to their role play rainforest! This is what makes learning so much fun. They wrote naturally without feeling lost for ideas and what to write and even delivered their postcards to their grandmas. Post card template and animal spotting from Twinkl’s Rainforest Role Play pack.
DAY 1: We looked at the story of Elmer this week. We themed all our learning based on Elmer to include the younger children too. We talked a lot about how he was feeling and how its ok to be or look different. We celebrated Elmer day too by following up by creating our own Elmer designs in Art using the template below.
DAY 2: We used the Elmer addition sheet to practise our adding in Maths today and because it was about Elmer, the girls enjoyed maths even more! I always find cross curriculum learning to be so much more fun, that’s why I was glad I found the sheet on Twinkl.
DAY 3: We watched videos on Youtube from Amazon Rainforest and chose our favourite animals. Ammarah’s was the macaw parrot and her friend’s the spider monkey. I told them to imagine that they were an animal in the rainforest. They wrote about their favourite animals. You download your own rainforest theme borders from Twinkl here.
DAY 4: We focussed some more on the macaw parrots today and used colourful feathers and a parrot template to decorate a parrot craft and look at the beautiful colours close up!
All in all, this was a much loved theme by my girls. I think the imaginative, interactive and role play aspect added further to their love for the rainforest! Since our study on the rainforest (back in May) we have managed to visit ZSL London Zoo and Kew Gardens where the girls got to experience the rainforest some more. We even managed to see an upside sloth, an emperor butterfly, snakes, lizards and more! So it’s always handy to be able to visit one of these places after or during the project if you are based in the UK.
DID YOU ENJOY THIS UNIT STUDY? CHECK OUT ALL OUR HOMESCHOOLING THEMES HERE. You can adapt to teach these for your 4- 6 year olds!
*We have been given a 7 months free subscription to access Twinkl resources – all comments, views and recommendations are my own and resources are selected based on our homeschool learning.
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