Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Here It Goes Again!

Martha Cordell
Bay District Schools


This lesson is designed to encourage first grade students to work on patterns in nature and to recognize how different living things adapt to different environments.


The student understands the stages of the water cycle (for example, evaporation, condensation, precipitation).


-Books such as
Charlesworth, Liza. COLORS OF THE RAIN FOREST book and tape
Willow, Diane and Jacques, Laura . AT HOME IN THE RAIN FOREST.
Baker, Keith, WHO IS THE BEAST?
-Pictures of a variety of animals found in the rain forest
-Color markers
-Chart paper
-Clear tempered-glass bowl such as Pyrex, aluminum pan, ice cubes and water
-Paper and crayons
-Software such as T.L.C. Science
--Water Cycle Song-sang to the tune of -Oh, My Darling Clementine- (see teacher preparation)
-Vocabulary words on sentence strips: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation
-Student's poetry journals (composition notebook)
-Poem already typed and copied for every child.
-Five gallon fish tank, gravel, soil, a small variety of plants, a small dish for water, and plastic wrap


1. Research background information on the rain forest.
2. Collect a variety of pictures of the rain forest.
3. Acquire books needed for the lesson from available sources and preview for content.
4. Gather Pyrex bowl, (NOTE: You must use a tempered glass bowl for this demonstration.) aluminum plate, and ice.
5. Make arrangements to have someone else help with boiling the water.
6. Prepare the K-W-L chart and the water cycle chart prior to the lesson.
7. Learn The Water Cycle Song which goes like this (sung to the tune of -Oh, My Darling Clementine-)

Precipitation on my mind.
They are part of the water
cycle and it happens all the time.

8. Set-up the tape recorder with some blank tapes with students' names on it at a center.
9. Prepare three cards each with a phases of the water cycle and place at center.


1. Introduce the lesson by brainstorming with students about the rain forest using the K-W-L chart. Ask students to respond to these questions with pictures and words in their journals:
What do you (K)now about the rain forest?
-the animals found there
-the weather found there or the water cycle
-the plants found there
What would you like to (L)earn about the rain forest?
Discuss responses as a group. Adjust lesson content based upon students' prior knowledge.

2. Read a book like IN THE RAIN FOREST to the entire class. Invite students to guess from the cover photo what the book is about. Read the book through once, and then invite the students to sing along with you as you play the accompanying tape.

3. Draw the Water Cycle on another chart paper using different color markers and introduce students to the Water Cycle song. Explain that the rain forest is dependent upon the water cycle for its survival. Explain that the water cycle is a pattern of weather found in nature. Identify the key parts of the water cycle as sung in the song. Label the process of the water cycle printing the words by each process, make sure students understand all three words as they go along with the drawing. As you sing the song and the students join in, point to the words.

4. To demonstrate how the water cycle works, conduct the experiment. Pour boiling water into the Pyrex bowl, (You must have a tempered material to do this safely.) and cover it up with the aluminum pan with ice cubes on it. Invite students to make predictions about what may happen next. Record their predictions on chart paper. As the demonstration procedes, ask students what is happening and clarify their observations as necessary. Relate this demonstration back to the rain forest.

5. Read AT HOME IN THE RAIN FOREST to the entire class.

6. Show students a variety of rain forest pictures. Point out the types of animals that live there such as sloths, pythons, etc.

7. In journals, students respond to the question, -What have you (L)earned about the rain forest?- Students draw their own version of the water cycle in their journals with words and pictures. Students also draw a picture of the rain forest that includes some of the animals that live there. (Examples are the red-eyed frog that lives in the understory; the harpy eagle that lives in the emergent layer, the howler monkey that lives in the canopy, and the leaf cutter ant that lives in the forest floor.)

8. Conclude the lesson by reading a book like WHO'S THE BEAST? to the entire class.

9. Build a mini Rain Forest in the classroom using the five gallon fish tank placing the gravel at the bottom, then the soil, and the small plants. Place a small dish with water in the center and cover the tank with plastic wrap. Observe how the plants breathe and how the water evaporates in the process.


Students record in their journals their predictions and draw pictures related to the water cycle. Evaluate the picture based on the student's description of it. Assess the picture by evaluating the student's replication of at least two of the three phases of the water cycle.

Place a tape recorder and some blank tapes with students' names on them. Students talk into the recorder and describe the water cycle or sing the song. Students will work with a partner at this center and receive help from the Water Cycle Phase cards.

Sing Water Cycle song and invite students to fill in the blanks. Evaluate by expecting at least two out of the three responses required.

Students glue the water cycle poem on their poetry journals. Students draw the cycle and label the parts of the cycle. (evaporation-condensation-precipitation)
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.