Rainfall, sunlight, and temperature are important factors influencing where plants can grow and, in turn, where animals can live. In this inquiry-based activity, students will design experiments to see how these climatic factors influence the growth of plants. They will explore how plants are adapted to the local climate and how varying climate conditions have resulted in a variety of forest types in Puerto Rico and Honduras.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
Forests of Honduras
Maps of Puerto Rico
Spanish Student Page(s):
Tipos de Bosques
Mapas de Puerto Rico
Bosques de Honduras
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
What Can Trees Tell Us About Climate Change?
Learn about the connection between trees and climate change, how tree rings can tell a story about past weather events, and the methods in which scientists are recording this data. What Can Trees Tell Us About Climate Change? is a resource offered by NASA’s Climate Kids, designed for upper-elementary students. Find images, fact sheets, activities, games, and articles on this and a variety of other topics—including the atmosphere, water, energy and weather—to help tell the story of our changing planet in ways that are accessible and engaging.
Covering 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, clouds can provide clues about the weather and climate. Using NOVA’s Cloud Lab tool, students will learn about cloud typing and storm prediction. They’ll learn how scientists use sophisticated instruments and data to study the development of Earth’s most powerful storms and better predict their impacts. Then use the same tools to investigate storms developing right now. Cloud Lab includes four activities, a series of videos, interviews with scientists and quizzes.
Learn more about how clouds form and the important role they play in determining the climate. Create clouds and use lasers to study a cloud in your classroom with Investigating Clouds, a hands-on activity from the Explore Science: Earth and Space toolkit. An accompanying Content Training Video and Activity Training Video will help you teach your students how scientists use lasers to investigate and study clouds. Students are also challenged to be citizen scientists in their own community to help NASA collect important scientific data on clouds such as color, size, height, and more.
Climate Change around the World
An article in BBC News that discusses impacts of global warming in countries around the world and in major sectors of society: health, water, food, ecosystems, coasts, and industry.
The Place Where You Live
Orion magazine has reinstated its popular column called “The Place Where You Live.” This is a space where students and educators can share thoughts and experiences related to their communities or personal places. First-hand feelings are shared, such as what connects individuals to their special place, the history it holds, their hopes and fears for it, as well as resources necessary to protect it, prepare it for the future, and/or improve it.
Canopy in the Clouds
This website provides an immersive video experience that presents an up-close look at a tropical montane cloud forest. Visitors click on numbered links to access video clips and background information for teachers and information for grades 6-8 on topics such as water, weather, soils, ecology, and the science processes. Canopy in the Clouds is also available in from this Spanish-language website (Dosel en las Nubes).
Create Your Own Book App
Be the author, illustrator, and editor of your own literary adventure with Book Creator, an app that can be downloaded for the iPad from the iTunes store. Book Creator allows anyone to create and share their own journals, text books, children’s picture books and photobooks that can be designed with a multitude of text and image formatting options. This app offers a variety of printing and electronic sharing options that help its customers of all ages distribute their books to relatives, friends, and colleagues.
Digital Notebook Template
Want to go paperless in your classroom and experiment with digital note keeping? Read educator Nick Mitchell’s Scientific Teacher blog for ideas to transform the way you and your students take notes. This blog details using digital notebooks in the classroom, including basic information on why digital notebooks are useful and how to get started with free existing, provided templates.