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Photo by Nate Johnston via Unsplash

Database Provider


Fiction, Physical Geography


K, 1st, 2nd


Social Studies, Geography, English Language Arts


60 minutes

Regional Focus

South and Central America


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

What Is a Rainforest? (All About the Rainforest #1)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Feb 21, 2024
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In this lesson, students are introduced to the wild and wonderful rainforest biome.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students participate in an interactive read aloud of Zonia’s Rainforest.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students locate the equator and tropical rainforests on a map.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students produce a writing and/or art piece showing what they have learned about the rainforest.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Zonia’s Rainforest is a simple yet powerful book told from the perspective of an Indigenous child. Young children will see themselves in Zonia and relate to the love she has for her home.

  • Juana Martinez-Neal, the author of Zonia’s Rainforest, provides additional learning material for teachers in the back of the book.

  • The station activities allow students to practice academic skills while exploring themed materials.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 1 of 3 in our K-2nd grade All About the Rainforest unit.

  • Teachers will need to source a hard copy of the book Zonia’s Rainforest from their local or school library. 

  • If Zonia’s Rainforest is not available, the teacher may utilize a different text such as My Brother Needs a Boa from Epic! books. Teacher should ensure that the Indigenous perspective is still highlighted throughout the lesson. There are also many non-fiction texts available through Epic! books. Teachers will need a free account to access Epic! books.

  • Student participation will be stronger if they have some knowledge of climate protections such as reducing, reusing, and recycling.

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

  • Pronunciation assistance: 


  • Most classes will not be able to complete all three portions of the lesson in one setting. The Inquire section may be taught during the ELA block while the Investigate and Inspire sections could happen during Science or Social Studies. Alternatively, the lesson could be broken up over multiple days.

  • 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. For example, the Reading Response pages in Rainforest Book Read Aloud can be edited to focus on specific story elements, author traits, etc.

  • Plant and Animal Mini-Posters have been provided. These will become especially useful in future lessons. During Lesson 1, some uses may include:

    • decorating the learning space

    • introducing a new species each morning during morning meeting

    • using the posters as a guide for writing/spelling and art

Scientist Notes

This lesson provides an overview of the rainforest, including its features, makeup, and climatic conditions. The varieties of flora and wildlife that can be found in a rainforest, as well as the ways Indigenous peoples can conserve it, will all be explored by the students. After careful examination, the lesson has passed the science review and is recommended for instruction based on the quality of the videos, Student Document, and other supporting materials.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Supporting Standards

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
      • RL.K.3 With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
      • RL.K.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
      • RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
      • RL.1.3 Describe characters, settings, and major event(s) in a story, using key details.
      • 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.
      • RL.2.3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges using key details.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • 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.
      • 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.
      • W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use evidence-based facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a conclusion.
  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 2 - Organizing and developing ideas.
      • 1.5.2.Cr2a: Through experimentation, build skills and knowledge of materials and tools through various approaches to art making.
  • Science
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on SubjectToClimate.


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