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Discussion, Ecosystems, Vocabulary


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Social Studies, Biology, English Language Arts


105 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Trees in the Rainforest (All About the Rainforest #2)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 27, 2024
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In this lesson, students will learn about trees in the rainforest.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students identify the main idea and details of The Great Kapok Tree and state why the trees in the rainforest are important.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students name the layers of the rainforest and explain trees’ role in the carbon cycle.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students understand the impacts of deforestation and discuss ways to limit the effects of deforestation.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson features fun books, videos, poems, and songs to help students learn all about the importance of trees.

  • There are multiple activities that can be done as a whole group, in small groups, or independently through stations.

  • Students have the opportunity to strengthen their writing skills and explore concepts through art.

  • Scaffolding is provided throughout the lesson.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 2 of 3 in our K-2nd grade All About the Rainforest unit. 

  • Teachers will need to source a hard copy of the book The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry from their local or school library. The e-book is also available on Open Library. Open Library is a good source for finding e-books and for locating copies of print books available at local libraries.

  • If choosing to use the station activities, teachers may need to source materials. 

  • Teachers may need to take some time to familiarize themselves with the concepts of deforestation, the carbon cycle, and rainforests' role in slowing global warming.


  • This lesson is designed to be taught over at least 2 days. It may be helpful to teach the Inquire section during ELA, the Investigate section during science, and the Inspire section for writing. This lesson can be spread out over more than 2 days if necessary.

  • Teacher may choose to teach the lessons, use the station activities, or both.

  • Teacher may substitute station activities that are relevant to the content being learned in the classroom.

  • There are many built-in opportunities to scaffold and differentiate the lesson and activities.

Scientist Notes

Students will gain knowledge of what constitutes a rainforest, where rainforests are found globally, how they affect the carbon cycle, and how to safeguard them from deterioration and unrelenting logging. The lesson has passed our science review process after being thoroughly fact-checked.


Primary Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.K-2 Identify ways to take action to help address local, regional, and global problems.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 1 - Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
      • VA:Cr1.1.Ka Engage in exploration and imaginative play with materials.
      • VA:Cr1.1.1a Engage collaboratively in exploration and imaginative play with materials.
      • VA:Cr1.2.2a Make art or design with various materials and tools to explore personal interests, questions, and curiosity.


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