Rain Forest Activities for 3rd Grade

Rain Forest theme ideas:

* I absolutely LOVE when it comes time to do the rain forest unit in my class!  My students and I get so excited about learning!  I take either recycled brown bags from the grocery store or brown butcher paper and roll it up to make vines and I hang them from the ceiling -I poke holes in the paper and string fishing wire and attach that to paper clips then slide the paper clips through the plastic framing of the ceiling tiles.  If your school has motion detectors as part of their security system, you can avoid swinging vines  by simply attaching the vines close to the ceiling and not using so much fishing wire that they hang and are able to swing when the air conditioner kicks on.  I also use green construction paper and cut leaves out and attach those to the vines as well as silk flowers from the Dollar Store to make the vines look more realistic.  This really helps to transform the room and engages the students in anything rain forest related!

* I also use the same brown paper and staple it to a bulletin board to make the trunk of a tree.  First I ball it up to wrinkle it and cut it out in a long rectangular shape.  Then, I staple along one side all the way up- just one staple every few inches is perfect.  Then, to attach the other side, I “fluff” the paper to make it 3D and roll the edges under and try to hide the staple as best as possible.  Then, I cut out green butcher paper to make it look like leaves and attach that to the top.  I use brown paper grocery bags and roll them up to make small vines to attach to the tree and I label them “lianas.”  I also label the different layers of the rain forest.  Then, I have my students color some of the different animals of the rain forest and label the pictures with the animal names and in which layer(s) you can find them and I attach them to the appropriate layers of the tree.  This makes a great visual for the students to refer back to when learning about the layers of the rain forest and which animals live there.  

* I have also changed my “Classroom Helpers” sign to say “Hopping Helpers” and I used the die-cut machine to cut out little frogs with the students names on them and have the frogs sitting on lily pads that say the job titles.  

* You could change the class schedule sign to say “Get into the swing of things” or “Swinging through our schedule” and have a little monkey swinging on a vine as the graphic.

 Click on the links below for worksheets to use and other activities to try during your Rain Forest unit!

The Strange Sloth- Reading Comprehension worksheet.  This is also a great worksheet to use to practice identifying author’s purpose!