Animals of the Rainforest Lesson

This lesson provides students with an opportunity to learn about the behaviors and physical characteristics of rain forest animals.



  • Students will identify features that help animals survive in their environment.
  • Students will write a research report and give an oral presentation about a rainforest animal.



  1. Introduce key vocabulary: prehensile tail, predator, prey, camouflage, food chain, carnivore, herbivore, and adaptation. Ask students to fill in the vocabulary worksheet.
  2. Have students research animals in the rainforest individually or in pairs.
  3. Ask the students to think of animals that have special adaptation features. Have the students create a chart showing the different adaptations.  
  4. Divide the students into pairs or small groups. Tell them to choose one rainforest animal to research. Students should use encyclopedias, magazines, books, and websites as reference materials.
  5. The report should include an illustration of the animal and a written description of the animal's physical characteristics, behavior, adaptive features, habitat, and diet.
  6. After the written reports are complete, have each pair of students present their findings to the class.
  7. Display the reports and illustrations in the classroom.


  • Have students list and discuss the differences and similarities between the animals of the rain forest and the animals that are found in their area.
  • Students should be able to:
    • Define keywords.
    • Create an adaptation chart.
    • Write a comprehensive research report.

Extension Activities

Standards Correlations

  • Challenge students to create their own adaptation chart with more animals found in the rainforest.
  • Have students write in their journals and answer the following questions about adaptation:
    • Why do some animals shed their fur in summer and grow a thicker coat in winter?
    • Why do seals have flippers if they have the bone structure for hands like ours?
    • Why are a duck's feet webbed?
    • Life Sciences: understands how species depend on one another and on the environment for survival; knows that an organism's patterns of behavior are related to the nature of that organism's environment; knows organization of simple food chains and food webs.
    • Language Arts: gathers and uses information for research purposes; demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning.
Use a lesson that provides students with an opportunity to learn about the behaviors and physical characteristics of rain forest animals.
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