Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Rainforest

We just completed a huge unit on the rainforest. It just so happened that our theme for "March is Reading Month" this year was the rainforest. So we decided to incorporate many of our lessons with it! At the beginning of the month I put up a giant tree on our bulletin board outside of our classroom. Throughout the month, we added to it!

In its earliest stages, it was merely a leafless tree. However, after we started our unit on poetry it began to come to life! 

I find that so often my students love reading poetry, writing poetry, and learning about poetry but really struggle when it comes to understanding the pentameter an rhythm of a poem. It is definitely one of the hardest things to grasp!

To start our unit, I had them each find a poem that had to do with the rainforest. they were asked to copy it word for word in their neatest cursive handwriting onto a leaf. They needed to pay special attention to the stanzas and spacing that the writer uses. 

After they had completed their leaf, they read the poem out loud to the class during our poetry coffee house. We enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies, and awesome poetry. It doesn't get any better than that!

After the students got practice verbalizing poems, it was time to start writing. In social studies students were asked to research an animal in detail and complete a graphic organizer about that animal. Eventually they turned this research into a poem! I shared many different types of poems and students each chose a type they wanted to create. They then had to draw an animal to add to our rainforest. I have MANY artists in my classroom. It is truly amazing how gifted they are. They were also allowed to trace the animal if they felt that would be easier for them. Our tree (and river for the amphibians) turned out amazing! I dread taking this beautiful board down. It has become quite the focal point in our hallway!

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