Students will create an alphabetic Amazon animal mural, illustrating the diversity of life in the tropical rain forest of the Amazon Basin.
What You Need
- nonfiction animal books and encyclopedias
- Amazon Animals list (PDF file)
- Hints for the Letter X Challenge (PDF file)
- markers and crayons
- oak tag paper
- assorted colors of construction paper
- butcher paper
What to Do
- Assign each student one or two letters of the alphabet, leaving out the letter X. Ask students to find the names and pictures of animals that live in the Amazon Basin and whose names begin with the letter(s) given. Once a student finds a name, have that student read and learn about the animal's lifestyle. You may wish to help students find the names by providing a list of Amazon Animals. Challenge the whole class to find an Amazon animal whose name begins with X. Share these Hints for the Letter X Challenge with students.
- Ask students to draw, color, and cut out oak tag pictures of their animals. Have them label each picture with the animal's name, making the first letter in the name very large.
- Students then create a mural of a tropical rain forest and place their animal cards in alphabetical order on butcher paper to create a mural. Display the mural in the school hallway or cafeteria.
- Have students record interesting facts about their animals on the backs of the animal cards. Attach the cards to the mural in a way that lets people flip them over and read about the animals. Each day, post a new question about one of the animals to encourage students to look for answers on the backs of the cards.
- Have students pretend they are the animals they researched and tell about their life in the Amazon. Encourage the rest of the class to ask lots of questions.
- Have the class work as a group to classify the animals as amphibians, arachnids, birds, fish, insects, mammals, reptiles, and/or any other appropriate classification.