Rainforest Explorations

Rainforest Explorations

“Ask the green plants of the earth and they’ll teach you… Who among all of these doesn’t know that the LORD’s hand made them, and that the life of every living thing rests in his control.” Job 8-10 ISV 


Did you know, the soil in the rainforest is not actually very fertile?  Because of the humid conditions, biological debris (from plants and animals) decays long before it can get buried in the dirt.  At best, nutrients sit on the surface of the soil  – if they even make it to the forest floor.  Yet, the jungles teem with abundant life.


God has provided the ‘green plants of the earth,’ with ways to grow and thrive, in the places they are found.


We too have been created deliberately, by the same master designer.  God knew every situation we would find ourselves in, before he knitted us together in the womb.  Like the bromeliads and orchids of the rainforest, we too were intended to be fruitful in our environment. 


A little while ago, the children had a productive couple of weeks learning about the rainforest.  Here is a diary of what we did:


Each day we read a section from ‘Rainforest Calling’ – a twinkl original book.

Rainforest Calling eBook

We also read through this book I picked up second hand, a long time ago.  It looks at a family, who live in the rainforest, and the impact of deforestation on their lives.

                            The Vanishing Rainforest by Richard Platt

And we especially enjoyed reading the Kindle version of ‘Along the Tapajos’ by Fernando Vilela. 

Along the Tapajós : Vilela, Fernando, Vilela, Fernando, Hahn, Daniel:  Amazon.co.uk: Books

I picked up lots of books from our local library as well, which we used as reference books. The children read them during their quiet reading times too.


During the first week, the children had a go at writing their own stories about the rainforest.  We looked at descriptive words to describe the kinds of sights, sounds, and feelings one might experience in the jungle.



  • Brazil

As Brazil houses the biggest chunk of the largest rainforest – the Amazon Rainforest – we spent some time looking at the country and culture of Brazil.

Local Passport Family is my latest, favourite resource, to get ideas, when studying specific countries.  Preethi provides free printable passports, with flags and landmarks on each page, which add a fun dimension to learning too.

Inspired by the ‘B is for Brazil’ page, we learnt about Carnival, and made carnival masks with feathers and sequins.

We also listened to Brazilian music, watched Pele’s 10 best goals, and cooked Brazilian cheese breads (pão de queijo) using this recipe

  • Rainforest distribution and layers

Twinkl has many rainforest resources, from slides, to live videos, printouts, and worksheets.  As we have a twinkl membership we used lots of these to learn more about the geography of rainforests.


Another great website I came across recently is PlanBee. They have quite a few resources that can be downloaded for free. 

For our Rainforest topic, I printed, and laminated, the Rousseau picture cards.

We used these, alongside our art books, to discuss Rousseau’s work and have a go at our own, rainforest inspired, paintings.


If you live in South Wales, I would highly recommend a trip to Alan’s Jungle Plants, for help with looking at the science and adaptations of rainforest plants.

On Alan’s recommendation, we took a trip to the conservatory in Roath Park. It gave the children a real feel of the rainforest, with the humid air and plants hanging overhead.

On our way home we dropped into Alan’s nursery to pick up some small rainforest plants of our own, that the children could look after in their bedrooms.

When we arrived, Alan had prepared a wonderful, hands on, science lesson for the children.  He had visual aids, to show how the various adaptations work.  He even created a treasure hunt for the children in his beautiful, tropical, garden.  The children had to find all the plants with a label hanging from them, and then decide what special adaptation they had, which made them suited to the rainforest.

Alan said that he is happy for other home educators to visit him, but asked that people get in contact beforehand.  If you are interested, you can email him at alansjungleplants@gmail.com.

As part of our science studies the children also had a go at designing their own plants, perfectly adapted for the rainforest.


Finally, we prepared for, and debated, the deforestation of the rainforest.

And that concludes our Rainforest unit study.

If you enjoyed reading about our adventures don’t forget to subscribe below. 


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