Why Save the Rain Forest?
Teacher Guide Grade 5 Activity
Story Summary  
Why Save the Rain Forest?
by Donald Silver

Rain Forest Parts Imagine what it is like to walk through a rain forest. You pass hundreds of trees, many more than 125 feet high. You see orchids, ferns, and other exotic plants growing on tree trunks. Above, sunlight filters through the canopy of leaves, but you are walking in deep shade. Many animals live up in the canopy, while other creatures are well hidden in the thick foliage of the understory. The air is warm and damp. Insects are everywhere.

You have probably heard how important rain forests are. Perhaps you have seen T-shirts and posters carrying the message “Save the Rain Forest.” Have you wondered why rain forests are so important?

Why Save the Rain Forests explains how rain forests touch everyone's life. Tropical rain forests are rich with plants and animals — some that few people have ever seen. Rain forest plants include many of the things we eat. Can you imagine life without chocolate, sugar, or bananas? Cinnamon, vanilla, and many other spices come from rain forests, too.

Rain Forest Products Plants from the rain forest provide us with many other important things. The rubber in tires comes from the rubber tree. Rope and baskets are made from rain-forest products. Some of the chemicals from rain-forest leaves, flowers, and seeds are used to make perfumes, soaps, polishes, and chewing gum. Other chemicals of the rain forests kill germs and fight diseases such as cancer.

What if there were no more rain forests? What difference would it make? Rain forests are essential to recycling water. Almost half of all the world's rain falls on rain forests. Plants trap water in the soil and then slowly release it into the air, where it evaporates. Clouds form and rain falls, filling rivers and streams. That water is later used for drinking and irrigating crops.

Where rain forests have been cleared from the land, much less rain falls. The land becomes hard and dry. Animal and plant life disappears. Thousands of rain forest animals become extinct every year.

What can you do to save the rain forests? This book shows you many steps you can take. Try the Why Save the Rainforest? Activity to learn more about helping to save the rain forests.


Science Library Adventures | Kids' Place
Education Place | Site Index | Contact Us

Copyright © 2000 Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms and Conditions of Use.