Rainforest Activities for Middle School Science Class
Rain Forest Research Mural & Presentation
The Rainforest activities can capture the imagination of any student. Science teachers usually have this topic in their content standards and indicators. However, language arts teachers can integrate the topic into their lessons as well.
The Rainforest activities in this lesson can work well in an upper elementary classroom or middle school classroom. For elementary or lower middle school classrooms, the teacher may want to use the book, The Great Kapok Tree with this project.
Research Mural Project
For a creative way to display research information, students will create a colorful and informational mural. The project will require research, a 6x6 wall space, and construction of 4-6 rain forest murals in the classroom. The mural will be informational because students need to display their researched information on the mural. Last, students will present the mural to the class as a group presentation.
Step 1: The teacher can split students into groups of six students each.
Step 2: Each person in the group will need to research a product from the rainforest--tree, fauna, flower, animal, amphibian, and so on. The teacher will need to decide if the students need to follow a specific style or format for the research, such as MLA or APA style.
The students will receive an individual grade for the research paper and shape with 5 facts. The students will receive a group grade for the mural presentation.
Step 3: Each student will write a research paper on an item or animal in this activity on the Rainforest.
Make Rain Forest Mural
Step 4: Each student will need to create a large shape to represent the item, product, or animal the student researched. It should be neat and colorful. On the shape, the student needs to write 5 important facts that he or she found in the research. The writing should be neat and grammatically correct.
Step 5: The group needs to work together to create a mural that represents what they found in their research as a whole. This can be part of an art project in the elementary classroom. The teacher may need to select a leader in each group to make sure that the mural is completed.
Step 6: Each group will need to present its mural to the class. One student should introduce the group. Next, each person should share their information about the item or animal. Last, a student should give a conclusion to the presentation.
Each student should have note cards with the information that he or she needs to present. Each group needs to practice its presentation before doing it for the class.
Rain Forest Research Rain Forest Mural Sample Rubric
This is a sample rubric for the Rainforest activities in this lesson. Four levels in this rubric could represent a grade, or it can represent reasons why the student received the overall grade. The criteria for each level are as follows: research information, neatness of shapes and use of color and creativity, teamwork, and class presentation of information.
Four Level Rubric for Rainforest Research Mural Presentation
- Research information on shapes was accurate, clear, neat and concise
- Shapes are neat, and students used color and creativity on the mural
- Student worked as a team player in the small group to gain information and to help others
- Presentation of information to the class was organized, understandable, and accurate
- Research information on shapes was mostly accurate, clear, neat and concise
- Shapes are mostly neat, and students mostly used color and creativity on the mural
- Student mostly worked as a team player in the small group to gain information and to help others
- Presentation of information to the class was mostly organized, understandable, and accurate
- Research information on shapes was somewhat accurate, clear, neat and concise
- Shapes are somewhat neat, and students somewhat used color and creativity on the mural
- Student somewhat worked as a team player in the small group to gain information and to help others
- Presentation of information to the class was somewhat organized, understandable, and accurate
- Research information on shapes was not accurate, clear, neat and concise
- Shapes are not neat, and students did not use color and creativity on the mural
- Student did not work as a team player in the small group to gain information and to help others
- Presentation of information to the class was not organized, understandable, and accurate
Teachers can give students a separate grade for the research paper, but the presentation and mural itself should be a group grade. It is important that students learn how to work together in teams, and this is a fun way to learn how use teamwork to complete a task.