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Posts Tagged ‘topics’

How to turn your classroom into a Rainforest!

Posted by watseducation on January 9, 2009

My topic this term is Rainforests and I was looking for some ideas and came across this site:

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/6471/classroom.html

What follows is copied and pasted from there – Not my work!

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Every year, during our Rainforest unit, the students in my class turn the classroom into a rain forest.

On this page I will include some suggestions for turning your classroom into a rain forest. If you try this, I would appreciate your emailing me with any additional suggestions you have. These suggestions will be added to this page and credited to you at your school. I would also appreciate a picture of your rain forest classroom that can be added to this site. I can also link your picture to your school’s home page, if you’d like.

Suggestions

Windows – You can have children paint huge jungle plants on classroom windows using tempera paint mixed with liquid soap. (They can be very free with this is, it is a background!) It will scrape, vacuum, and wash off fairly easily. After the jungle dries, children can paint birds in the trees, tigers hiding in the jungle, or sloths hanging in trees. I start with only greens and browns to get the jungle, then, on different days, give them colours for the animals.

It took us 2-3 days, spending 1-2 hours each day to paint the windows. Other children were painting tree paper or working on research while this was going on.

Trees – You can have children paint a tree texture onto huge brown butcher paper. Then cut the paper to the height you need and loosely wrap posts or wall areas between windows.

The tree paper can be painted while other things are going on, the windows, branches or research. A parent or 2 helps a lot!

Canopy – To hang a canopy; buy many yards of green material. Drape these out from trees, attaching to the ceiling at several points. If you can drape loosely over some fluorescent lights, the room gets a green hue!

I did this without children around! They were quite surprised when they came in the next day!

Branches – You can make branches using newspaper tubes, wrapped in foil, covered with Papier Mache (strips of newspaper soaked in a mixture of flour and water). I had parent help for the branches! They can be in an area of the hall or room, on a large plastic tablecloth spread out on the floor and groups of 3-5 children can work at a time. You can use as many branches as they make! Let them dry several days. Then have a painting party, where everyone paints branches with tempera paint. (I again use a wide variety of greens and browns.) When dry, the branches can be hung from the ceiling using clear fishing line.

Making the branches takes one 2 hour session. Painting, several days later, takes one 1-2 hour session. I hang these after school for several days!

Vines – You can hang vines by just hanging lengths of jute-type ropes from branches, ceiling, or trees. Asking children to bring in long pieces of rope works well because you will get a variety of kinds. If you want to be really fancy, you can paint or dye some of them. You can attach leaves or flowers to the vines.

Leaves – Have the children all make leaves, using a variety of green paper, some huge, some smaller. The leaves can be taped to the trees, hung on the vines, taped to window edges, as needed.

This takes only one session, about an hour. Some will make one very elaborate leaf, some will make 10 huge, plain leaves. They can draw vein patterns on both sides, or cut pieces out, as though some critter has been eating it!

Flowers – Children can make a variety of small or large flowers using colored tissue paper. These can be hung on vines, taped to trees, attached to branches, taped to windows, etc. The children can put these about anywhere they want.

Bugs – A huge variety of bugs, small frogs and lizards can be added to your rain forest. You can have the children bring in rubber bugs, frogs, snakes, etc. or they can make them with clay. These can be camouflaged on windows, sills, trees, branches, leaves, anywhere!

Bromeliads – Children can make bromeliads by taping long strips of leaf shaped, green paper to toilet paper rolls. They can even put little circles of blue paper in the middle to represent water and add a paper frog. If you want step by step instructions, send an email message to me.

This took most children one 1-11/2 hour session. Some finished these as others painted or worked on research.

My children each added a model of her/his rain forest plant or animal. We had paper bag gorillas, Styrofoam birds, paper mache monkeys, felt bats that hung on the vines, giant paper raflesia flowers on the counter, etc.

Suggestions sent from afar:

I have a 3rd grade class in Yoncalla, Oregon. We have made rainforests in our school hallway two different years. The first, second and third grade all worked together to create our rainforest. The kids all enjoyed it and took a lot of pride in the results. We made trees with textured bark from a laundry detergent and brown tempera paste. We cut leaves from butcher paper and hung the animals being studied from overhead wires or attached them to the trees or the hall walls. We have several rainforest sound tapes that we played. We hid the tape recorders behind tree trunks. It was great.

 

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Mr W.

Posted in Creative Curriculum, Cross Curricular | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Great for Topic Plannning

Posted by watseducation on August 29, 2008

I was searching…as we do at this time of year for someone elses planning on which to base mine!

I stumbled, literally, across this site:

Brendan is Teaching

You have to be logged in to browse and download and you gain credits for download by uploading your own stuff – but found some really nifty stuff!

I recommend a look!

Mr W.

Posted in KS2 Planning, Primary School, Teaching Resources, Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »