Lesson Plan - Get It!
Did you know that half of the earth's animals and plants can be found in the rainforest?
You have learned so much about tropical rainforests!
You learned about the wet and humid climate in the rainforest. You have also learned about the four layers of the rainforest. Tell your parent or teacher what the layers of the rainforest are, from the top of the trees to the ground.
Fantastic! Did you remember the emergent layer is on the top, the canopy is below the emergent layer, the understory is beneath the canopy, and the rainforest floor is at the very bottom? Great!
You have also learned about some of the plants and animals that can be found in the rainforest. Tell your parent or teacher about some of the plants and animals you might find in the rainforest. (If you need to review, check out the Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar.)
The rainforest is an amazing place, and is home to more than half of the earth's species. Unfortunately, the rainforest is in danger. In this lesson, you will learn about the problems the rainforest is facing today.
A common threat that the rainforest is facing today is deforestation. Deforestation occurs when logging companies chop down the trees in the rainforest. When deforestation happens, the animals and plants that lived in that area can no longer live there. They lose their homes and food supply.
Watch the Deforestation of the Amazon (A Time Lapse) from The Daily Conversation video below to see a time lapse of deforestation happening each year in the Amazon rainforest:
How did the video make you feel? Tell your parent or teacher. What effects do you think this will have on the wildlife that lives there? Tell your parent or teacher.
A form of deforestation that is particularly devastating to tropical rainforests is the slash and burn method. The slash and burn method is used by farmers who need land to plant crops. During this process, all the trees are cut down in a specific area and everything else is burned. The pictures below show the results of the slash and burn process. How do you think this affects the animals and plants that live there? Tell your parent or teacher.
Animal poaching, bio-piracy, and plant harvesting are some more problems that threaten the rainforests.
Animal poaching occurs when people hunt animals for their fur, tusks, and other valuable parts. This is especially bad for the rainforest because the poaching of animals can lead these animals to extinction.
Another issue is bio-piracy. This happens when people steal animals from the rainforest and sell them.
Plant harvesting is hurtful to the rainforest as well. People take certain plants from the rainforest to make beauty products, furniture, and other goods.
All of these things have an effect on the rainforest. When a certain species is taken from the rainforest, it has a negative impact on the ecosystem. This causes some animals to no longer have any predators, so they grow into an uncontrollable population; it may also eliminate an animal's ability to find food, causing starvation.
Continue along to the Got It? section to learn more about the threats the rainforest faces.