National Zoo


LILI Unit: National Zoo

Essential Question:Why is the Amazon rainforest such an important ecosystem, and how can we conserve it?  Pre-trip lesson:  Students learn about ecosystems and conservation, focusing on the Amazon rainforest. The lesson begins with students identifying living and nonliving things and how they interact in an ecosystem.  Next, students analyze the species diversity within the Amazon rainforest as they listen to a read-aloud of The Great Kapok Tree. Students then learn why conserving the Amazon rainforest is beneficial to human life. As they study the negative impact humans can have on ecosystems, students ponder ways they personally can get involved and help in conservation efforts. Students also work with tangrams to develop a conceptual understanding of fractions.
Level of Difficulty:Low Trip:  At the Zoo, students explore the Amazonia exhibit and observe the species that live in the Amazon rainforest. After students have the opportunity to sketch diverse species of fish, they learn about how the National Zoo is helping to conserve the Amazon Rainforest.
Academic Standards:

  • English Language Arts (CC.3.R.3.2, CC.3.RI.3.4)
  • Science (3.1.2)
Post-trip lesson:  As a culminating activity, students create a book of their trip to the Amazonia exhibit at the National Zoo. Each book page includes images supported by a main idea and two details. Students also test their knowledge of conservation and the Amazon rainforest as they compete in a collaborative review game and take written assessments.