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Build a Rainforest

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Hands on Rainforest Biome-Building


The objective of this project is to have students build a model rainforest so that they gain an understanding of the abiotic and biotic factors that help create this unique biome.


Have the students watch the Wild Classroom "Rainforests" video so that they have a good understanding of the plants and animals that could live in the rainforest and all the different layers. Then explain that they are going to build this biome and put within it examples of species that are adapted to live here.

To build this model-rainforest-biome students should bring with them a box of at least 1 foot by 1 foot and construct a biome within it. Inside the box the students should put representative plants and animals. The students can research this by going to species tab under Rainforests and watch videos and see pictures of various flora and fauna. They should show the terrain of the land (ie. mountains, streams, rainforest layers). The inside can be painted and decorated as they please. The outside of the box should display the following material:

  • humidity
  • precipitation levels
  • temperature
  • plants
  • animals
  • world map showing the location of this biome


Creative writing:

Have the students pretend to be a plant or animal and write an autobiography about themselves. They should include life history information from birth do death. Have them describe their daily interactions with abiotic and biotic factors in the environment. What do they do everyday?

Explain WHY you chose the biome and the organism that you wrote about.

Interdisciplinary Project:

Students should identify a scientist that studies in the Rainforest pages that he or she would like to become. They should read up on their scientist to see what it takes to do their job! They should find out where that person is working and what they were working on. With this information they can get maps, photos, and information on the climate, wildlife, points of interest and recreational opportunities in the area. This research should be done in the library, at home, and on the internet.

The student will then play the role of either:

  • The scientist (which he/she choses) and have them explain what the current research questions are.
  • A rainforest tour guide who is giving a tour of the area that the scientist works in.

Adapted from Biomes in a Box by: Anne McDonald and Michael O'Hare

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