On Tuesday I shared the biomes pin map that the kids and I used. We looked not only at where the desert, tundra and grassland regions were, but took note of the rain forest regions of the world. Next I brought out the rain forest plant cards I had made several years ago. Although our main goal was to look at a history of chocolate to go along with our study of the Aztecs, we also learned about other spices and plants that are grown in the rain forest regions. In this global world, plants may have originated in one region but can be grown in similar climates elsewhere.
I gathered whatever foods and spices we had on hand to show the diverse set of plants we use in our kitchens regularly. (We almost always have two bunches of bananas on hand, but I hadn’t made it to the store and we only had this lame half-banana left from breakfast!! Guess I could have used a bit more advanced planning! I could also have bought ginger root or cane sugar, but didn’t.) I distributed the plant cards for everyone and we took turns reading the card, showing everyone and smelling/tasting each food. The kids then placed the card (and the food/product if we had one) on our continent cards.
The kids really enjoyed smelling and tasting everything because spices like allspice, nutmeg and ginger have such rich smells. They were fascinated by the bitter taste of unsweetened cocoa powder and chomped on the peppercorn. Yikes! Spicy! They were happiest when we got to sugar!
If you are interested learning about rain forest plants feel free to use the cards I made. These are now on the blog, but you need to download each file separately.
We also read The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest . (affiliate link) It’s a beautiful story about the rain forest. We highly recommend it!
You might be interested in these related Montessori posts:
- World Animal Montessori 3-Part Cards
- World Biomes Pin Map – If you’re studying animal habitats such as deserts, grasslands, forest, chaparral, tundra, etc.
These worksheets go over the 4 Major Earth Systems (will be free in mid-Nov. 2015):
- geosphere (land & layers of the Earth),
- biosphere (areas where life on Earth exists & includes a study of the various habitats, ecosystems, biomes, etc.),
- hydrosphere (Earth’s water including the oceans)
Biosphere Coming soon: