Rain Forest


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Rain Forest

Here are suggested books and website links, along with songs, poems, and activities I've used in my classroom.  Feel free to use anything you find on this page in your own class, and please be sure to put the author's name on any poems or songs that you reproduce.  If you have any terrific songs, poems, or website links, send them to me at kinderkorner@aol.com and I'll add them.

A Literature Unit for The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry by Lynn DiDominicis (Teacher Created Materials, 1998)  This is a wonderful workbook for teachers using The Great Kapok tree in a Rainforest unit.  48 pages and 20% off teacher's supply store prices.

The Great Kapok Tree : A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest  by Lynne Cherry (1990)  I bought this book the year it came out, and first used it in a second grade classroom.  I've used it every year since, with kinderkids through junior highs.  It's always one of the childrens' favorites, for both the story and the gorgeous pictures.  Lynne Cherry visited the Amazonian rain forest to gather drawings for the book. Highly Recommended.

The Shaman's Apprentice : A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest  by Lynne Cherry and Mark J. Plotkin (1998) Another outstanding and beautiful book from Lynne Cherry about the importance of the rain forest and the interdependance of all living things.  Read the reviews and descriptions on Amazon.com's site, I can't begin to compete with what they had to say!  Highly recommended.

The Rainstick : A Fable by Sandra Chisholm Robinson, Peter Grosshauser (1994) The card catalog description says:  "A boy embarks on a quest to bring back the sound of rain to his West African village. Includes a discussion of how rainsticks are used today and instructions for making a rainstick."  My class loves this book, and we always have a wonderful time making our rainsticks!

Nature's Green Umbrella:  Tropical Rain Forests by Gail Gibbons (paperback, 1997)   A lovely and inexpensive book from popular children's author Gail Gibbons.  Horn Book says:  "A simple look at the tropical rain forests of the world includes a basic description of the rain-forest ecosystem, an explanation of the layers of plant and animal life, and a plea for protecting the endangered areas. Gibbons depicts the plants and animals in her characteristic watercolor and ink illustrations and frames each page with vines and flowers."

  A Walk in the Rainforest by Kristin Joy Pratt (1992)  Another wonderful and inexpensive book I got as soon as it was published -- and one of my students' all-time favorites -- with loads of factual information about life in the rainforest.  We use this book to help us write animal reports.  "A Walk in the Rainforest" provides a colorful, stimulating way to learn about the exotic animals and plants of the rainforest. Presented in alphabet style format, each page consists of an original, full-color illustration, together with a paragraph of intriguing facts about the lifestyle and habitat of the plant or animal.

Here Is the Tropical Rain Forest by Madeleine Dunphy and Michael Rothman (paperback edition, 1997)  An outstanding and inexpensive picture book, filled with rhythm, rhyme, and repetition of text -- great for building phonemic awareness while teaching about the interconnectedness of life in the rainforest.  Book Lists's 1994 review of the hardcover edition says:  "Ages 5-7. Both pictures and language are worthy of note in a text that employs a "this is the house that Jack built" format to link plants, animals, and climate. The frog, for example, who bathes in the rain, is protected by the bromeliad, which is held by the tree, and so on. The words read aloud with a distinct rhythm, and Rothman's artwork, in a palette of subdued greens and browns, shows readers the connectedness of the plants and animals, rather than showing flashy animal species in a Hollywood spotlight."

The Most Beautiful Roof in the World : Exploring the Rainforest Canopy by Kathryn Lasky, Christopher G. Knight (1997)  Midwest Book Review says:  "Ages 6-12 will appreciate this exploration of the rainforest canopy, following scientist Meg Lowman as she climbs through the canopy to chart its wildlife. Fine color photos capture the drama and animals of the canopy in this excellent and engrossing survey of the wonders of the canopy's unique world."

How Monkeys Make Chocolate : Foods and Medicines from the Rainforests by Adrian Forsyth (Firefly Books, 1998)  This informative books looks  like a glossy magazine article, and is filled with anecdotes from the author's personal observations in the rainforest.  The publisher, Firefly Books, says:   "How Monkeys Make Chocolate" is a terrific book that will take kids right into the heart of the rainforest. Wonderfully written and illustrated with full-color photographs on every page, children will not want to put it down.  They will learn what makes chocolate bars so bitter and sweet, and  where we get chewing gum and aspirin.  Take your kids on a journey to the wondrous world of rainforests. Let them learn the cost of clear-cutting means the loss of cancer cures like the rosy periwinkle plant. It is native only to the island of Madagascar's rainforests; and produces chemicals that have helped increase the survival rate for childhood leukemia from 10% to 95%"  This is a must-have book in your rainforest collection.

Bats, Bugs, and Biodiversity : Adventures in the Amazonian Rain Forest by Susan E. Goodman, Michael J. Doolittle  (1995) A photo-essay written by 7th and 8th grade students who travelled to the Amazon Rain Forest.  Though written for older children, this is another gorgeous book that will capture your students' attention through photographs and first-hand experience.

Into the Rainforest : One Book Makes Hundreds of Pictures of Rainforest Life (The Ecosystems Xplorer) by Nicholas Harris, Eric Robson (1996) A spiral-bound, lift-the-flap book that fascinates children of all ages.  Highly recommended.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild About Rainforests by Kathy Ross, Sharon Lane Holm (1997) 20 simple crafts for your rainforest unit.

Exploring the Rain Forest : Science Activities for Kids by Anthony D. Fredericks, Shawn Berlute-Shea (1998)  The author says:  "I had the opportunity to visit a rainforest and see firsthand some of the amazing animal and plant life that lived there. I learned about the incredible poison dart frog - one of the most poisonous animals in the world. I discovered a strangler fig - which does just what its name suggests - it strangles other plants. And I came face to face with flora and fauna of every size, shape, and description. There was so much to learn about this fantastic ecosystem! This was one of the most delightful books I've worked on and I hope readers will find that excitement on every page."

Rain Forest Links

ZOOM Rainforest

My bookstore pages have lots of information on how I use various materials in my classroom, and on activities you can do with your students.  The thematic pages are complete unit resources, with lots of poems, songs, and links on each page.  Make yourself comfortable and take a look around!

Choose from the categories below.
Underlined subjects are links, the other ones are coming soon!

Reproducible Books for Emergent Readers
Pocket Chart Resources
Songs and Poems
Books for Teachers
Marvelous Math Books
Down on the Farm
Going Buggy!
Literature for Math
What's In A Name?
Monthly Themes
Family Math
Back to School
Rain Forest
Literacy Centers
Guided Reading
Writer's Workshop
Spring Has Sprung!
Come Into Our Garden
A Camping We Will Go!
Under the Sea
Snowmen & Mittens
Bears Everywhere
I Love My ABC's
A Rainbow of Colors
Special Books for Special People
reading for pleasure

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