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Teachers: Eufrosina Delgado-Arroyo and Denise Bleichman, Carl von Linné Elementary School

Suggested grade/s: K-3

Illinois Learning Standards
Language Arts 3
Science 12

Estimated time: one week

Mural/s addressed

Ethel Spears, The Life of Carl von Linné, 1939, oil on canvas, Carl von Linné Elementary School


Students act as scientists to keep a record ("Jungle Journal") of plants and animals they observe while working and studying the rainforest.

Key terms
  • mural
  • rain forest (four layers: tree canopy, small trees and plants, branches, and foliage)
  • interdependence (of plants and animals)
  • characteristics (of plants and animals)
  • botanist
  • biology

  • 9"x12" paper
  • glue
  • crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • scissors
  • tagboard
  • binding machine


  • Have students examine the mural on the Web or at Linné Elementary. Ask: What do you see? Who do you see? What is happening? Briefly discuss the life of Carl von Linné and his career (Swedish-born Linné was the first to define genres and species of organisms from the plant and animal kingdoms.) Tell students that, like Linné, they are going to become explorers and classifiers of a natural environment, the rain forest.
  • Have students fold a sheet of 9"x12" paper into four sections.
  • Teacher: Cut out or make color Xeroxes of pictures of rain forest plants and animals from a magazine or book. Identify these as "Critter Cards." Have students choose a card and paste it in the upper left corner of the folded paper.
  • In the other boxes, ask the students to write a sentence about their rain forest animal or plant. Have them consider the following questions:

    Pretend you are an insect in the Rain Forest.
    What do you look like? What will you eat? What is your home like? Do you have any enemies? What does your world look like?

    Pretend you are an insect or plant that has not been discovered. What do you look like? Where do you live? How do you move? What would your name be?

    Pretend you have just found an unknown animal. Where did you find it? What does it look like? How does it act? What will you name it? What will you do now?

  • Have students draw a picture explaining the sentences they write.
  • In the last box, have students write a sentence about an interesting or unusual aspect of their animal/plant.
  • Add the cover (tagboard) and bind the pages together to create a "Jungle Journal".


Assess students through the written comprehension of their study and research of their chosen plant or animal.

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