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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 email@example.com and I'll add them.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
for Kids Who Are Wild About Rainforests by Kathy Ross, Sharon Lane
Holm (1997) 20 simple crafts for your rainforest unit.
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
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!
|Literature for Math||
|Under the Sea||
Books for Special People
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