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Lesson Plan: Unveiling the Wonders of Costa Rica's Rainforest: Exploring Forest Layers & Wildlife

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will gain a deep understanding of the diverse vegetation layers in the rainforest and the unique characteristics of each layer.

  2. Students will investigate and identify various animals inhabiting the rainforest of Costa Rica.

  3. Students will utilize their research and creativity to construct an informative travel brochure highlighting the climate, environment, ecology, and endangered species of the rainforest.



Day 1: Introduction to Costa Rica's Rainforest (60 minutes)

  1. Commence the lesson by introducing the essential question: "How does each layer of vegetation in the rainforest differ, and how do plants and animals interact within a rainforest environment?"

  2. Locate Costa Rica on a world map and engage students in a discussion about their predictions regarding its topography and climate.

  3. Encourage students to make educated guesses about the types of animals that might thrive in this environment and discuss Costa Rica's equatorial proximity.

  4. Utilize Google Earth to provide students with the opportunity to explore different regions of Costa Rica, enabling them to make educated inferences regarding climate and geography.

Day 2: Delving into the Land and Climate (60 minutes)

  1. Divide the class into 11 groups and allocate each group a specific topic from the Moon travel guide to Costa Rica, such as land, climate, geology, or rainfall.

  2. Instruct each group to delve into their assigned topic, collecting facts and visuals to construct a creative and informative poster.

  3. Organize presentations for each group, where they will share their posters and findings with the class.

  4. Provide students with the Costa Rica Reflection Handout, encouraging them to reflect on what they've learned through their research and group presentations.

Day 3: Costa Rican Art, Wildlife, and Rainforest Layers (90 minutes)

  1. Maintain students in their groups, providing each group with a piece of Costa Rican artwork featuring rainforest animals.

  2. Instruct the students to analyze the artwork and initiate research about the animals depicted in their assigned pieces using internet resources or books.

  3. Each group should present their findings, combining information about the artwork and the animal depicted.

  4. Engage the class in a discussion about the diverse range of animals within the rainforest and whether they all inhabit the same parts of the Costa Rican rainforest. Encourage students to provide reasoning for their answers.

Day 4: Exploring Vegetation Layers and Creating Travel Brochures (90 minutes)

  1. Facilitate a discussion on the different layers of vegetation in the rainforest, such as the forest floor, understory, canopy, and emergent layer. Encourage students to actively participate in the conversation.

  2. Have students create a flip foldable, drawing each layer on the outside and listing their unique physical characteristics beneath the picture.

  3. Utilize the Rainforest Virtual Field Trip PowerPoint, prompting students to take notes on each layer in their foldables. They can also use textbooks or internet resources for additional information.

  4. Distribute drawing paper and art supplies, instructing students to construct a visually representative collage of the rainforest, with each layer depicted.

  5. Using the Rainforest Animals Handout, have students cut out, color, and correctly position animals within their rainforest collage.

  6. Instruct students to create a travel brochure promoting Costa Rica's rainforest. The brochure should encompass information about the weather, environment, ecology, and endangered species.


Assessment can be conducted based on the quality and completeness of students' travel brochures, their active participation in class discussions and group activities, and their proficiency in accurately identifying and situating animals within the rainforest layers.

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