The rainforest is one of the more exciting topics students will learn about in Key Stage 2. Discovering the biology of new animals and plants, understanding how they live together and how the rainforest cares for the world we live in inspires encourages the explorative nature of children at this age.
But learning about the rainforest has another significant goal: teaching kids that caring for the natural world is critically important. Here we’ve collected some resources from organisations that will help you lead your class on why and how to keep the rainforest safe.
Rainforest Teaching Resources: KS2
BBC Bitesize offers activities across all subjects and supports learners from ages five to 16 with curriculum-based videos, activities, quizzes and practice tests. On this link, you can find an exercise for KS2 children to introduce them to the rainforest.
Watch the video with the children first to give them an understanding of what the rainforest is. You can then do the quiz individually or as a group with students raising their hand to contribute guesses and answers.
This is a good brief introduction to give students a basic understanding of the rainforest before going into more detailed learning. You could extend this exercise into discovering more animals using classifying cards such as our Classifying Cards Set, which includes facts about 24 different rainforest animals (and also comes with three other sets about different habitats).
Another one from BBC Bitesize, this activity is supplemented with a video that goes into detail about businesses and farming that pose threats to the rainforest and how they can damage it.
The accompanying activity suggests children should create a non-fiction book about the rainforest and why it is important to the world. They could look in more detail at what happens to food chains when deforestation affects this. They could also learn about extinction, and what it means when plants and animals go extinct. Children could pair off, work in groups, or individually to work on the project. You could also look at producing a poster or presentation as an alternative to a book.
Springboard Supplies Rainforest Resource Pack
The rainforest can seem like a magical place compared to the countryside in England. Get your students excited to learn about this otherworldly region with our Rainforest Resource Pack. The pack comes complete with nuts, musical instruments, jewellery, balsa carvings, manioc flour, cocoa seeds, a brazil nut case, a selection of A3 posters, and a cut-out sloth.
Use these props as the children learn about the environment, ecosystem, and culture of the rainforest. We can’t really compare our habitat to that of the rainforest, so giving children access to physical props to look at and feel will help them grasp information and make lessons feel more immersive.
Built upon the message of "We Thrive Together", Rainforest Allegiance partners with farmers and forest communities and works with businesses to promote good land management practices and education on the importance of preserving the rainforest.
On the Kids section of the website, teachers can find games and activities to help them teach children about the rainforest and get them excited about learning how to protect it. Explore downloadable colouring pages complete with facts to teach children about unusual animals and plants that live in rainforests. Stock up on a large Crayola Assorted Crayons Class Pack to make sure everyone has access to a range of colours.
Through virtual rainforest visits, teachers can take students on a tour of the rainforest right in the classroom through PowerPoint slideshows, complete with speaker notes.
For teachers who are looking for resources to plan out a whole curriculum about the rainforest, this Hamilton Trust literacy resource web page is ideal. The lesson plans are aimed at children in lower KS2 and will help children in writing reports and creating their own rainforests. Children will look to build their own rainforest with the help of some props like our Small World Play Waterfall. The topic is organised into blocks A-G with three to six sessions (lessons) in each.
The lessons cover what a rainforest is, where it can be found, and how its ecosystems work. Students will learn about creatures of the rainforest in details and the topic will conclude with an understanding of the threats posed to the rainforest, how they can be managed and avoided, and the effects of extinction on the world.
Each session is clearly organised meaning you have little work to do to prepare for the lesson. Objectives are clearly laid out, with suggested activities, instructions, equipment lists, and external links for further information.
Teacher Planet offers a range of resources to help with lessons about the rainforest. Here, teachers can find full lesson plans or individual activities to complement their own planning. Choose from colouring sheets, maps and diagrams, word searches, crossword puzzles, and quiz sheets. All resources are A4 printer and copier-friendly.
If you’re looking for craft activities to support learning about the rainforest, you can find links here to crafty tutorials targeted at Key Stage 2 children such as how to make a rain stick, how to make a rainforest butterfly, or even a rainforest diorama, perfect as a group project.