ANIMALS OF THE TROPICAL RAINFOREST

Rainforests provide us with oxygen, help maintain our climate, and give us essential foods and medicines.  Rainforests have intense tropical sunlight, high temperatures, and almost constant rainfall.  7% of the world is covered in rainforest.  More than 50% of the world's plant and animal species inhabit rainforest areas.  Dozens of animal species a day become extinct.


TASK ONE

The Indianapolis Zoo would like to expand their rainforest exhibit and need to learn more about animals who live in the rainforest.  Your group will be scientists from the Indianapolis Zoo and go to one of the large rainforests in South America, Africa, or Southeast Asia.  Pick 5 birds, mammals, amphibians, or insects to learn more about.  Here is some information to look for:

1.  Common and scientific name of animal.

2.  Which rainforest does the animal live in?

3.  Describe the animals' habitat.

4.  What does the animal eat?

5.  Find descriptive details or pictures of the animal.

6.  Is the animal an endangered species?

7.  How does the animal protect itself?

RESOURCES

Here are some Internet sites to check for information:

PBS Science In The Rainforest

Vanishing Rainforests

Kids' Action: Rainforest Animals

Kids Quest

ZooNet

PROCESS

1.  Go to each Internet site to find animals from the rainforest and begin making a list.

2.  Search for answers to the questions about the 5 animals you selected.

3.  Pretend you are preparing the information to show to zoo administrators.  Report your findings in a report form or prepare a hyperstudio presentation.

TASK TWO

We will be making a rainforest in the media center.  Select an animal to draw.

RESOURCES

Using Draw!Rainforest Animals, by Doug DuBosque, select an animal picture to draw.

You may also use pictures from sites on the Internet given above.

PROCESS

Use markers, crayons, or paint to color the animals accurately.  Make the picture large, at least 8 x 14.

TASK THREE

With your group, find sounds from the rainforest on the Internet.  Record these sounds so we can use them as background music in the media center rainforest.

RESOURCES

Here is an Internet site which may help you find sounds:

Christian Answers Sounds

PROCESS

Using a tape recorder, tape the sounds and music you like.

TASK FOUR

With your group, find out what kids can do to help protect the rainforest.  

RESOURCES

Kids' Action

Rainforest Action Network

Defenders Of The Rainforest

PROCESS

Make a poster, design a tee shirt, or prepare a hyperstudio to present your findings.

CONCLUSION

There is much more we can learn about rainforests including trees, plants, climate, and layers of the rainforest.  There are also many changes that we as the population of the world should make to help preserve rainforests.  Do what you can to help today!  Visit these sites to help protect rainforests:

Rainforest Action Network

Defenders Of The Rainforest

BY DIANE ZENTZ

July 8, 1997

dzentz@iquest.net