How to Design a Rain Forest in a Classroom

Written by susan deschel
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How to Design a Rain Forest in a Classroom
Creating a classroom rain forest is a good way to teach it. (rainforest butterfly image by michael luckett from

Learning about the rainforest is especially enhanced when students can take the ideas and re-create them through classroom design. Decorating with a rainforest theme is a good way to finish the teaching of a unit while immersing students in new learning. Reading about rainforest biodiversity, deforestation and recreating plant life such as canopy trees and climbing vines all bring together new learning through classroom design.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Stuffed rainforest animals
  • One pack of coloured construction paper
  • One roll of butcher paper, green and brown
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Student-made terrariums

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  1. 1

    Have students bring in stuffed rainforest animals, such as rubber snakes, red-eyed tree frogs, yellow-beaked toucans, colourful parakeets and spider monkeys.

  2. 2

    Create signs for the animals, such as "Snake Crossing" and "Entering Rain Forest" and "Watch Out for Flying Frogs!"

  3. 3

    Create a terrarium section by having students build terrariums using aquariums, potting soil, light plants like Irish moss, fern and spider plants. Keep them all gathered in one area. Place a sign up to identify the area, like "Terrarium Corner."

  4. 4

    Hang paper bananas made out of coloured card stock or white card stock coloured in magic marker on a notice board. Place a monkey or two, cut out of brown paper, on either side of each group of bananas. Place the caption "Go Bananas!" or "Monkey Around Here"

  5. 5

    Hang vines around the door. Create them out of twisted green and brown butcher paper. Students will have fun twisting and hanging them.

  6. 6

    Make paper Bengal bamboo trees and hang them next to the windows and place them in other places throughout the room.

  7. 7

    Create a Rainforest Story Corner and place books around it with rainforest themes like, the "Great Kapok Tree" by Lynne Cherry, the "Great Green Forest" by Paul Geraghty, and the "Magic School Bus In the Rainforest" video by Lily Tomlin. Place this area near a notice board, if possible, and place student essays and reports on the notice board. Feature a book a week and refresh the notice board with new student work each week.

  8. 8

    Paint a rainforest mural on a wall and hang leaves from the ceiling. Include kapok trees or banana trees and other jungle growth like bamboo, spider monkeys swinging, parakeets flying. Include tropical colours like bright blues, yellows and greens.

  9. 9

    Hang a hammock or netting in the corners and place other rainforest stuffed animals in it like orang-utan, gorilla, chimpanzees.

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