Opened in June of 2001, RainForest Adventures is a unique educational facility featuring live animals from around the world. Focusing primarily on the fragile eco-systems of the world’s rain forests our goal is to introduce students of all ages to the living jewels that are the earth’s natural spaces and motivate them to take action, to learn about, and ultimately help protect our living natural treasures.
"Caring results from understanding"
Like all good explorations into the unknown, a good preparation will ensure a good outcome to the expedition, learning is no different! One would never even consider climbing Mt. Everest without preparing the necessary items such as food, oxygen, water, tents etc. The same need for preparation applies to your educational-jungle-expedition into the sights and sounds of RainForest Adventures. The educational staff of RainForest has prepared many interesting and exciting curriculum support materials for your trip.
Why take this Field Trip?
Your students are naturally curious about plants, animals, and the natural world around them. Teaching them about what they already have an interest in produces great results! Our exhibits were created with the student in mind; educational signage as well as natural habitats spurs the student’s minds to engage in the experience around them.
What will the students be exposed to?
Your students will be exposed to biology, ecology, conservation as well as many other aspects of the natural sciences. Our exhibits as well as animal collection expose your students to virtually every aspect of our planets eco-systems.
What is Before, During & After?
Before, During & After programs were developed to help you prepare your students before their visit with suggested vocabulary words, the during component contains suggested activities while at RainForest and the After aspect of the program will help review all of the materials learned while at the RainForest!
How easy to use are the programs?
All of our programs are developed by grade range to ensure ease of use and applicable material by age range. You will find the programs extremely self-explanatory.
How To Use This Program
o Before, During &After….The Complete RainForest
Like all good explorations into the unknown a good preparation will ensure a good outcome to the expedition, learning is no different! One would never even consider climbing up Mt. Everest without preparing the necessary items such as food, oxygen, water, tents etc. The same need for preparation applies to your educational-jungle-expedition into the sights and sounds of RainForest Adventures.
Both zoos and zoologists use many different words in the course of their day that may be foreign to students. Our vocabulary preparation program helps educators and group leaders alike prepare their group for what it is they are about to see and learn. Review with your students the following words and their related meanings. Ask your students to give you examples of what they think some of these words mean after they hear the definition. Each group of vocabulary words has been developed with the aid of teachers and group leaders to best target the students in a particular age range. However your group may be more or less advanced than others, please feel free to utilize vocabulary words from any age range to enhance your students’ ability to learn.
K-3 Vocabulary (Before)
Zoo-May seem like a simple word, but the truth about zoos today is amazing! A Zoo is a collection of animals, and often plants, displayed for the enjoyment and educational development of the general public. Often actively involved in breeding and reintroducing endangered and threatened plants and animals back into the wild.
Zoos are actively involved in studying the many aspects of our wild creatures with a hopeful eye towards preserving many of the remaining species.
Mammal-Mammals are some of the least common animals on the planet. Man is a mammal. Usually having fur, and usually giving birth to live babies all mammals’ breath air. The Blue Whale is the largest mammal on the planet; the shrew is one of the smallest mammals on the planet. Mammals range from giant meat eating tigers to tiny little bunny rabbits that only eat vegetable gardens!!
Ø How many students have a mammal living in their home? (Dogs, cats, hamsters, little brothers!)
Ø Are people mammals?
Ø BONUS QUESTIONS!!
o Name a mammal that lives in the water. (Whales/Dolphins)
o Name a mammal that can fly! (Bats)
Amphibian-Frogs and toads are some of the most recognizable members of the amphibian family. Most amphibians lay eggs and eat insects. Most amphibians go through metamorphosis to turn into adults. Almost all amphibians need lots of clean water since their skin is usually soft and smooth. Some amphibians leave the water rather extensively while others rarely if ever leave the water. East Tennessee is home to some of the rarest and most unusual amphibians in the world. The Smoky Mountains boast rare and unusual amphibians found nowhere else. Can you name a couple?
Reptile-A large and primitive family, the reptiles comprise an amazingly large group of animals. The entire family has backbones, also are known as vertebrates. Usually covered with scales or rough skin, reptiles have developed some amazing textures to cope with their often-harsh environments. Alligators, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises, snakes, and the lizards are the primary groups of animals that make up the family of reptiles. While most lay eggs, some do give birth to live babies. Some reptiles are carnivores, others herbivores and still some, omnivores. All reptiles are "Cold-blooded" a not so accurate way of describing an exothermic animal. Due to their natural habit of basking most reptiles actually maintain a blood temperature at or above mammals!
Ø What is an Omnivore? (Most people are omnivores, sorry Dr. Atkins!)
Ø What is a Carnivore?
Ø What is an Herbivore? (Discuss root of word Herbivore)
Ø What is an Insectivore? (Discuss root of word Insectivore)
Invertebrates-The largest family of animals on the planet, Invertebrates range from spiders to crabs. Some 95% of all living animals are invertebrates. An amazing family of animals most never bother human beings, although throughout time man has been plagued, quite literally, by insects such as mosquito’s, locust etc. that have caused more problems for humans than all other living animals combined.
Educators: Ask your class what the most dangerous animal in the United States is? Most will guess bears, spiders, snakes.... the real answer is mosquitoes! Mosquitoes killed over 240 people in the United States in 2002 alone. That is more fatalities than from all other animals combined. Remember; never judge a book by its cover.
K-3 RainForest Quest (During)
This section of the program contains suggested questions and answers for you or your students to use during their visit to the RainForest. Once again, you may choose to download and print any questions from any age range, however the questions in this section have been chosen based on input from educators teaching in the age range covered by this section.
1. Q. How many Prairie Dogs were estimated to live in the U.S when we first settled the west?
2. Q. What island nation do all Lemurs come from?
3. Q. How long can giant pythons get?
4. Q. Name one of the only two venomous lizards on Earth?
5. Q. How many babies can a rat have at a time?
6. Q. What lizard is so fast it can run on top of the water?
7. Q. What kind of “alligator” lives in South America?
8. Q. What continent do Ferrets come from?
9. Q. Can you name two continents that have rain forests?
10. Q. What is camouflage and what animals in the rain forest are best at it?
K-3 Classroom Quest (After)
Now that your class has returned from its trip to RainForest, you can use this opportunity to review and explore some interesting questions about your exploration.
Head Count? How many species or individual animals can your students name? Turn this into a game with the winner receiving a prize. Depending on the age of the children you may wish to include some additional information such as maximum size, diet, geographical range etc.
What am I? Give your students some leading questions by beginning to describe a particular animal or group of animals. One suggestion may be to use behavioral adaptations such as swimming etc. to lead the questions off. Describe the color, skin texture, fins, fur, feathers etc. This can be very similar to the old “Hangmen’s” game.
What is it? Find pictures or drawings of animals featuring unique or special adaptations. These unique features may include things like the prehensile tail on an opossum, or the long neck of a giraffe. Try to have the students gather as many unique photos as possible.
Paste the pictures on poster board or card board (Painted to resemble a jungle) Cover each picture with heavy paper such as construction paper. Cut a window that will allow the students to reveal the unique adaptation i.e. A picture of a duck may have his feet covered to show the paddle like skin that allows the animal to swim so effectively.
“RainForest Photo” Contest Have your students draw pictures of their favorite animals from the visit to RainForest. Use this opportunity to discuss the various anatomical components of the creatures such as feathers, shells, fangs etc.