Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mini Lesson

Mini Lesson: Rainforest Grade 2-3

Topic: South America Rainforest - Geography and Ecosystem
Essential Question (for this lesson):
What is the Amazon Rainforest?
Rationale and Context:
The geography of South America is important in the overall conceptual understanding of rainforest ecology. More specifically, the geological placement of the Amazon Rainforest has affected the diversity of the ecosystem. After this connection between location and diversity is made, students will be able to study how all of the species interact with each other across the four layers of the Rainforest.  

Focus Question:
What and where is the South America Amazon Rainforest?

Learning Objectives:
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Collaborate with peers to conceptualize scenery in a guided drama experience

Language Objectives (2 or 3)
  • South American geography
  • Rainforest Layers
    • Forest Floor
    • Understory
    • Canopy
    • Emergent
  • Predator
  • Prey

Learning Plan:
  1. Lesson Overview (1 min)
  2. Morning Greeting (2 min)
Students will go around the room saying good morning and a fact they know about the Amazon Rainforest.  We will make a concept map on the board as this is in progress.
  1. Geography (4 min)
We will focus in on where South America is on the map and where its rainforests are located in relation to the continent itself.  We will do this by displaying a map on the screen that highlights the specific areas.
  1. Amazon Rainforest Layers (8 min)
  • Animals (4 min)
    • Forest Floor - Giant Anteaters, Leaf-Cutting Ants, Caimans, Anacondas
    • Understory - Insects, Jaguars, Leopards
    • Canopy - Snakes, Toucans, Tree Frogs
    • Emergent - Eagles, Monkeys, Butterflies
  • Plants (4 min)
    • Forest Floor - Leaf Litter, Roots Soil
    • Understory - Shrubs, Small Trees
    • Canopy - Trees, Fruits/Seeds
    • Emergent - Great Kapok Tree
  1. Activity (8 min)
The students will split up into four small groups and each group will be given a layer of the rainforest.  Each group will create a tableau by creating a scene from their specific layer.  They will have two animals (predator and prey), a plant, and one other character of their choice.  The groups will have a few minutes to create a short story displaying each animal’s role in the real rainforest and then will show it to the class.
  1. Closing Discussion (3 min)
In their small groups that they were in to perform, the students will discuss one thing that they learned throughout the lesson about the rainforest layers.  Each group will get to tell the class their findings about the rainforest.


To assess the students’ learning, we will use a have a performance and have a checklist.  The students will split into four groups and each group will be assigned a different layer of the rainforest.  Through these groups, the students will act out their layer of the rainforest, showing how the animals and plants might react or think in the real rainforest.  We will use a checklist to make sure they have one predator, one prey, one plant, and one animal of their choice while also playing the correct role they are given.  

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