Resourceful Teacher – Basic Facts About The Rain Forest And Beginning Classroom Projects

Why are trees of the forest so important? Have you looked at a forest and its trees and wondered why they are so important to out existence?

As teachers of the next generation of earth caretakers it’s our responsibility to help students learn why forest are so important:

  • they offer us variety, beauty and shade
  • they also help reduce the affects of carbon dioxide
  • they absorb greenhouse gases and keep the planet from warming

In the process of teaching the importance of the forest, the most logical place to beginning is the rain forest. Here are some basic facts about the rain forest that you can use to begin class discussions.
How does the rain forest affect us?

  • The rain forest has the ability to store more carbon dioxide. Meaning that an acre of rain forest can store more carbon dioxide then any other vegetation on the earth.
  • it plays an important role in our daily lives because medicines, coffee, tea, sugar, pepper, spices, bananas, rubber, and oil are products from the rain forest
  • half of the world’s plants, animals and insect originated in the rain forest

Despite growing international concern the rain forest continues to be destroyed at a pace of 80,000 acres per day. The world’s rain forest cover now stands at around 2.5 million square miles. This is about the size of 48 states or the size of Australia and represents around 5 percent of the world’s land surface. Why are they being destroyed?

  • the lumber from the rainforest is a very valuable commodity
  • logging, mining, industrial development and large damming projects

The world’s rain forest could be destroyed in less than 40 years. Think of all the animals, bird, insects and plants that will be lost. Almost every minute of every day another acre of rain forest disappears forever. We may never learn about countless living treasures that are lost. Some researchers say that every second 1.5 million acres are destroyed. There is a lot of information already on the internet about the rain forest that you can use. You need to take the time and research them and decide which to use. I myself don’t have that kind of time so I have include some basic ideas to use:

  • this activity can be developed and used for 1st grade and up I call it “A day without the rain forest” if you remember we get a lot of products from the rain forest that were mentioned in the article. Develop activities that centered on a product and what would happen if it didn’t exist anymore. For example; bananas

What would the monkeys eat? Who would be out of a job?

How much money would countries lost that export bananas?

What would we put in our cereal?

What secondary products are made from bananas?

Where are bananas mainstays in a countries diet?

What nutritional value do bananas give us?

You can do writing activities about cause and effect, compare and contrast, persuasive writing, informational writing, article writing and more.

  • if you have older children explain that even though all rain forest are similar each rain forest region has its distinctive plants, animals, and indigenous people, geography and conservation issues. Use this information to develop multilevel projects
  • Explain the role the rain forest plays in the global ecosystem.

I hope that this gives you a start in your discussion about the importance of the rain forest.

Happy resourceful teaching!

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