Why Save the Rain Forest Teacher Guide
Activity Summary Teacher Guide Teacher Guide Home
  Why Save the Rain Forests?


After reading a summary about the rain forest and why we should save it, students research and organize information on the rain forest. Then they write an essay using charts and graphs to explain why we should save the rain forest.

Rain Forest Parts Objectives

Research and describe the plants and animals of a rain forest.
Explain how human development has an impact on an ecosystem.
Organize and present information in a variety of ways.



  1. Have students read the story summary and invite them to comment on why the rain forest is important and unique. Ask them to discuss ways that they can help save the rain forest.

  2. Divide the class into small groups. Have half of each group research rain forest plants and the other half rain forest animals. Give each student a copy of the Why Save the Rain Forest? Activity worksheet. Discuss the chart and then model how to fill in the information.

  3. Help students to organize their research and record their information. Then encourage students to choose how best to present their information. Discuss which information is best conveyed in text form, in a chart or graph, or through illustrations.

  4. Help students to write their essays using the information they researched from local libraries and the Internet. Make sure the essays include their research results about how human destruction of the rain forest has an impact on the plants, animals, and people of the world. Stress that these essays should contain many facts and be persuasive in offering solutions to rain forest destruction.

  5. You may suggest that the class review all the essays and choose the most persuasive. Send these activities to local or national lawmakers.

  6. If time permits, take students online to visit the Rainforest Action Network Web site at http://www.ran.org. This Web site gives information about the rain forest and ways to prevent its destruction. Have students discuss the different ways people are saving the rainforest.


To better understand the complexities of the rain forest and the issues surrounding its use and destruction, set up a debate. Have small groups research and debate saving the rain forest from different points of view, such as those of lumber mill owners, miners, farmers, ranchers, and a conservationist group fighting to preserve the forests. Students can conduct research in libraries, and online at the Rain Forest Action Network Web site at http://www.ran.org. Have each group conclude the debate by creating presentations that reflect their point of view.

Home Connection

Students can share their rain forest research with their families. Together they can visit the Science in the Rainforest Web site at http://www.pbs.org/tal/costa_rica/index.html and take a “walking” tour of the forest. They can explore the Rainforest Facts section and Related Links, and the Rainforest Graphics Library at http://www.pbs.org/tal/costa_rica/graphindex.html. Finally, families can print out the Web site's photos to make a photo guide.

Product Links

Take your class on an Internet Field Trip to learn more about systems of living things like the rain forest. Start your trip by visiting Houghton Mifflin Science DiscoveryWorks to investigate populations and ecosystems.

Science Center | Science Library Adventures
Education Place | Site Index
You may download, print and make copies of these pages for use in your classroom, provided that you include the copyright notice shown below in all such copies.

Copyright © 2000 Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.