The Great Kapok TreeA Tale of the Amazon Rain Forestby Lynne Cherry A cyberlesson by Cynthia Violette Grade 6 Reading 589 book cover at amazon.com
Introduction Did you know that rainforests are important to the survival of all of the people on earth? Have you ever wondered what is so special about rainforests? What kinds of plants and animals live in the rainforest? How do they affect our lives? In this cyberlesson we will be reading a book to help us answer some of these important questions.
Materials • copies of the book The Great Kapok Tree for each student • blank rainforest writing journal for each student • pens or pencils for each student • colored pencils, markers, or crayons • access to the Internet • Rainforest Scavenger Hunt • Persuasive Writing Guidelines • Persuasive Writing Words List
Before Reading In class, you will soon be reading the book The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry. Before you begin to read, look closely at the book’s illustrations and its cover. Read the introduction on the inside cover of the book. In your new rainforest writing journal please write a paragraph in which you predict what this story will be about. Which pictures helped you make your predictions? Be sure to write in complete sentences.
What is a tropical rain forest?Where are they located? Before Reading Before you begin to read, let’s learn a little more about tropical rain forests.... Click on the frogs above to visit two websites that will teach you some important background information for reading The Great Kapok Tree. Visit the frog on the right first! As you explore these websites, fill in this Rainforest Scavenger Hunt to help organize your thoughts.
During Reading: Section 1 Begin reading The Great Kapok Tree and read until the rainforest child speaks to the man. The animals in the book give the sleeping man many reasons for not chopping down the Kapok tree. In your writing journal make a list of all of the reasons that the animals give the man.
After Reading: Section1 Review your list of reasons that the animals give the man for not chopping down the Kapok tree. Then go back and look at your answers to your scavenger hunt questions for the rainforest websites that you visited earlier. Using what you have learned from these sources, write a persuasive letter to the man telling him what you think he should do when he wakes up. Click on the pencil to the left to see some hints for writing a good persuasive letter. Click on the dictionary and thesaurus to the right to see a list of words that will help you write your letter.
During Reading Section 2 Read the ending of TheGreat Kapok Tree. What did the sleeping man decide to do when he woke up? How does this compare to the predictions that you made in your journal before reading?
After Reading Section 2 ROLE PLAY ACTIVITY - Look back over the story. Why do you think that the man was going to chop down the tree in the first place? Do you think that he will get in trouble for not doing what he was supposed to do? In groups of two get together and plan a short skit of what might happen when the large man returns to find the Kapok tree still standing. If you were the smaller man how would you defend your decision to let the Kapok tree live? Be ready to perform your skit for the class.
After Reading Book Now that you have finished reading The Great Kapok Tree look back at the inside front cover of the book. This map shows the locations of both the tropical rainforests that exist today and the original extent of the rainforests. What is happening to the size of the tropical rainforests? In your writer’s journal discuss what is happening to the size of the tropical rain forests of the world? Write a short paragraph on how this makes you feel. After you write your paragraph, sketch or draw a picture to go with your paragraph that expresses your feelings.
Beyond Reading Do you want to help save the tropical rainforests? Me too! In groups of three of four students, brainstorm some ideas of what you, as a student, might be able to do to help save the tropical rainforests. You can visit http://www.rainforestheroes.com/ for some great ideas on how to get started from kids just like you! Pick one of these ideas and carry through on it. It will make you feel great!