Today I wanted to share a fun activity we did about rain forest plants.
As many of you know, we are doing a large biology unit on biomes, ecosystems, biological interactions, animal relationships, and so forth. At the end of last semester we went over basic animal characteristics — the 5 vertebrate groups, the main invertebrate groups, and some fun activities for my youngest daughter — spiders vs. insects, domesticated vs. wild animals and animal tracks. You can find more details here at this post: Animal Unit When we returned from break, we began talking about the major biomes. We’ve covered this material before (several years ago), so they had little trouble coming up with the major biomes.
I had the kids choose a biome and had them do research and give a 3 to 5 minute speech on what they learned. They loved that (which took me a bit by surprise)! LD did deserts, DD did hers on the savanna, and ED did rain forests. DD wrote out speech cards and practiced her speech no less than 10 times!
ED chose to do her research/speech on rain forests. After they gave their presentations, I got things ready for a fun activity on rain forest plants. I pulled out the rain forest Montessori cards I had made some years back and also made sure I had all of the materials on hand. I had to make a point of getting sugar cane, ginger (root), and things like that.
For this activity I put the following items on a tray: ginger, nutmeg, rubber inner tube, cinnamon, sugar cane, ginger (root), banana, allspice, vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
1) The kids had to close their eyes while I held up the item and let them smell each one. Then I covered the tray and had them take their best guess as to what they smelled. (We did this one-by-one.)
2) After we went through all the items, I uncovered the tray and they changed whatever they wanted on their card.
3) Then I pulled out all of the rain forest plant cards and put them randomly on down in front of the tray.
4) Finally, we went over the answers!
The kids really enjoyed this activity! You don’t need to be studying the biomes to try this out — and it’s super fun for any age. We first did this when the kids were little and they liked it just as much nearly four years later!
I made these Rain Forest Plant Cards years ago. Each page is a separate file, so you need to download each page separately. They are free to download. ~Liesl
Right after that, I pulled out the biomes map and we talked about where rain forests are located throughout the world.
The next day, we then pulled out our worksheet on the climate zones and compared that to the biomes map from our packet. We talked about the Earth’s axis, seasons, and the uneven heating of Earths’ surface as we looked at the various climate zones. (This will be available later this month.)
And, since we talked about the cocoa plant… I just *HAD* to do the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit again. Again, more about that very soon!!
You might want to check out these related posts:
- Animal Unit: Vertebrate-Invertebrate Animals Worksheet Packet (30+ Pages)
- Biology Unit: Animal Tracks and Animal Anatomy
Our Biology Packet on the Biosphere is available here: