In this lesson, students learn about the rainforest as an animal habitat.
Step 1 - Inquire: Students participate in a read aloud of Jan Brett’s The Umbrella.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students research a rainforest animal and share what they have learned.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students discover how a habitat provides for the creatures who live there and explore the impact of human activities on animal habitats.
Jan Brett’s The Umbrella is a well-known and beloved children’s book. Students will be drawn in by the beautiful illustrations and fun use of the Spanish language.
Jan Brett’s website has a lot of fun additional activities such as these:
This lesson should be taught in parts and over multiple days. A potential schedule might look like this:
Inquire - during ELA
Investigate - during small group ELA and station time over multiple days
Inspire - during Science
This is lesson 3 of 3 in our K-2nd grade All About the Rainforest unit.
Teachers will need to source a hard copy of the book The Umbrella by Jan Brett from their local or school library. It will also be helpful to have the previous lessons’ books (Zonia’s Rainforest and The Great Kapok Tree) on hand. The e-book version of The Umbrella is also available on Open Library. Open Library is a good source to find e-books and locations to find the book in the teacher’s area.
To view some of the books in the Animal Menu, teachers will need a free Epic! account.
If choosing to use the station activities, teachers may need to gather materials.
There are two different options for the read aloud that focus on Kindergarten/First Grade and Second Grade skills respectively.
The final project has multiple options:
Teacher-Assisted Small Group Research: the teacher may assist students in reading about and researching their chosen animal
Small Group Research: students may group up to read about, learn, and teach each other about the animal
Independent Research: students independently choose, research, and write about the animal
There are many opportunities for teachers to alter the lesson to teach skills that are specific to their classroom. For example, the teacher may choose to focus on story elements or story sequencing instead of comparing characters in the Inquire section.
Additional Epic! resources that can be included throughout the lesson include:
This lesson gives students a basic understanding of the rainforest's splendor while allowing them to investigate the living things that are common there and how human impact has damaged and endangered those fauna. All of the supporting resources and lesson content has passed our science review process.