Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rainforest Photo Dump

At the end of every year we transform our classroom into a rainforest. It's perfect for the last 2 or 3 weeks of school when they are already acting like wild animals. This always keeps them (more) engaged for the remainder of the year. 

One of the favorite activities is making trees for  our rainforest. First, we watch a Powerpoint about different rainforest trees. Then I break them into groups to create these trees. I give them a picture so they can try to make them look "real". I wish I would've made labels for the trees though. The big one in this first picture really is big! I had to get a ladder to hang it. You can't see it in this picture but they made buttress roots too. 

They colored butterflies and lizards during art. Our  art teacher also makes these beautiful birds with the kids. They mix their own bright colors and they turn out so pretty! 

In this picture you can see the snakes they make during art too. 


We also hang vines around the room. From those vines, the kids hang stuffed animals that live in the rainforest. It really is a jungle in my room! It's a good think I do it at the end of the year because otherwise it would make me crazy to have all this stuff hanging everywhere. 

Last year I bought this unit from Kerri at Teacher Bits and Bobs. I never got a chance to use it last year, but this year I went nuts with all of the adorable activities! If you are thinking of doing a rainforest unit, you have to get this. These adorable sloths come from her unit. There are so many other fabulous animal crafts in this unit. She is amazing!! If you really want to be impressed, check out her post on her rainforest unit here.  

And this is from Kerri's unit. LOVE this:


My students each get their own rainforest folder where they keep track of all their work.

I made some rainforest centers for them to work on a few years back but last year I added this wonderful clip art to go with it. Here are pictures of a few of the centers:

 Syllable Word  Puzzles: Making words by matching two and three syllable words

sentence match

 Suffix Sort

 Sentence Scrambler

Super Sentence

Real and nonsense word sort

I'm working on adding a few more and putting it all together with a rainforest menu like my monthly literacy centers. This is not for sure what the menu will look like but it'll be close to it. I'm still figuring out what I want to include. Most of the centers are already made but I have a few that I have yet to make. We'll see how it turns out!

At the end of the unit, we have a rainforest party with rainforest food. 

I'm officially out for summer! I have the longest list of projects for this summer so hopefully I'll be super productive at nap times and at night. :) I hope you are all enjoying your summers so far!

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  1. What a great way to end your year!
    I absolutely love your idea of having different rainforest foods to sample! I am stealing that idea for next year!
    Thanks for sharing and WooHoo for starting your summer!

  2. Wow! It looks like your kids had an amazing time while doing some great learning and reviewing! What a fun way to end the year!
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  3. I agree with Juli Marciniak, above, but must say that you left out my favorite tropical rainforest food: Coffea arabica beans. I guess maybe you didn't want a bunch of first graders hyped on caffeine... :)