M1/LP1: What are Rainforests?


Module one 'Deforestation' is designed to help students explore why existing forests need to be protected. Students will confront the threats to existing forests and contemplate the very real dangers that await us if we do not learn to effect change and contribute to a more sustainable world.
21st Century Skills
Critical thinking, social responsibility, inquiry, systems thinking, written and oral communication skills.

Learning Objectives

To explore the importance of rainforests.

Learning Outcomes:

All students will be able to identify the names of large rainforests from around the world.

Most students will be able to explain the consequences of deforestation to animals and humans who live in the rainforest.

Some students will reflect upon the importance of rainforests and why it is important to protect them.



Show pictures of two contrasting rainforests. The first picture should be a healthy rainforest and the second picture should be deforested. Students are to reflect upon the contrasting images and list the main differences they see.

Key Question(s): What implications do the identified differences have on animals and humans who live in the rainforest? How might they be affected by deforestation?

Task 1: What is a Rainforest?

Teacher notes:All resources can be found under assignment documents.

Student instructions:

Read ‘What is a rainforest?’ Find the name of a rainforest located in each country listed in the factsheet and research five interesting facts about it.

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM TOOLS. Use the maps tool to create a map titled ‘Rainforests around the world.’ On the map, locate and pin each country with large rainforests. For each country insert the name of the rainforest and a description of the rainforest (use research from above). For extra precision you could locate and pin the latitude and longitude of each rainforest.

Task 2: Rainforest Life: People and Animals

Teacher notes: The internet is full of fantastic environmental sites that could be used for the below activity. Please visit bookmarks for recommended sites.

Student instructions:

Divide the class into expert groups of four. Give each group one of the following areas to research and study:

• Canopy and Rainforest Floor

• Rainforest Plants and Animals

• Rainforest People

Form new groups, new groups should have a mixture of students from expert groups. Students are to share their research and findings from their expert groups with their new groups. Optional: new groups are to produce a PowerPoint presentation titled ‘Rainforest Life.’ Upload the presentations to the virtual classroom.

Task 3: Why are Rainforests important?

Teacher notes: You can create one discussion post and have all students respond to the same thread.

Student instructions:

VIRTUAL CLASSROOM TOOLS: Create a discussion post titled ‘Why is it important to protect the rainforest?’ Individually students are to write a paragraph answering the above key question. They are to draw upon on their knowledge from activity one and two and offer a personal viewpoint.

Play ‘Give me 5’ students are to share five key facts that they have learnt during this lesson.

Continue to M1/LP2: What is Deforestation? »