Secrets of the Rain Forest

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1 Non-fiction: Secrets of the Rain Forest Secrets of the Rain Forest Roine Magnusson/Getty Images Life in a Tropical Rain Forest What can you find in this mazing place? Welcome to a tropical rain forest! It is a warm, rainy place with many tall trees. More than half of the world s species, or types, of plants and animals are found here. Article: Copyright 2009 Weekly Reader Corporation. All rights reserved. Weekly Reader is a registered trademark of Weekly Reader Corporation. Used by permission. 1

2 Non-fiction: Secrets of the Rain Forest Layers of Life A tropical rain forest has four layers. From top to bottom, the forest is full of life. David Sheldon Trees Clean the Air Ian Cumming/Getty Images People walk on a bridge through a tropical rain forest canopy. Article: Copyright 2009 Weekly Reader Corporation. All rights reserved. Weekly Reader is a registered trademark of Weekly Reader Corporation. Used by permission. 2

3 Non-fiction: Secrets of the Rain Forest You can thank tropical rain forests for keeping the air clean. Trees help to recycle Earth s air. The leaves take in a gas called carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide in the air is harmful to people. The leaves then give off a gas called oxygen. People need oxygen to stay alive. Foods and Medicine What do lemons, chocolate, and cashew nuts have in common? They are foods that first came from tropical rain forests. Hundreds of foods grow there today. Marion Brenner/Jupiter Images Lemon trees grow in tropical rain forests. Many medicines are made from rain forest plants. Today, scientists are studying the plants to find new medicines to cure diseases. Article: Copyright 2009 Weekly Reader Corporation. All rights reserved. Weekly Reader is a registered trademark of Weekly Reader Corporation. Used by permission. 3

4 Questions: Secrets of the Rain Forest Name: Date: Directions: Answer the following four questions based on the information in the passage. 1. What is a tropical rain forest? 2. According to the first picture on page 2, what are the four layers of a tropical rain forest? 3. Based on the passage, why can people thank rain forests for keeping the air clean? 4. What is this passage mostly about? 1

5 Questions: Secrets of the Rain Forest Directions: Please read the sentence below and then write the word or phrase that best answers the questions. The first answer has been provided for you. Scientists are trying to find new medicines to cure diseases by studying tropical plants. Who? scientists 5. (are) What? 6. How? 7. Why? 2

6 Questions: Secrets of the Rain Forest 8. The question below is an incomplete sentence. Choose the word that best completes the sentence. Red-eyed tree frogs live in the rain forest s understory, you would not expect to find them in the emergent layer. A but B because C so Directions: Read the vocabulary word and definition below. Then answer questions 9 and 10. Vocabulary Word: species (spe cies): types of plants or animals that have the same characteristics. 9. Read the sentences below and underline all forms of the word species. a. There are approximately 8,000 species of ants! b. One species of birds builds its nests high up in evergreen trees. c. One species of insects called termites sometimes destroys wood in houses. d. Monarchs are a species of butterflies that migrates south in the winter. e. Laws are passed to protect many species of animals from harm. 10. Which picture shows something that is part of a species? 3

7 Teacher Guide and Answer Key: Secrets of the Rain Forest Teacher Guide and Answer Key Passage Reading Level: Lexile 680 Featured Text Structure: Descriptive the writer explains, defines, or illustrates a concept or topic Passage Summary: The passage describes tropical rain forests, the animals found there, how rain forests keep air clean, and what food and medicine are produced in these forests. To the Teacher: Read the passage aloud to the class [TIP: while reading aloud, show the passage on a whiteboard or give each student a copy of the passage so they can follow along]. Then, use the text-dependent questions 1-8 to facilitate a whole class discussion to ensure students comprehend the key details from the passage. Finally, use questions 9-10 to deep teach one important vocabulary word [TIP: you can use the model provided for teaching additional vocabulary]. 1. What is a tropical rain forest? [Important Detail] Suggested answer: A tropical rain forest is a warm and rainy place with many tall trees. More than half of the world s species of plants and animals are found in rain forests. [paragraph 1] 2. According to the first picture on page 2, what are the four layers of a tropical rain forest? [Important Detail] Suggested answer: The four layers of a tropical rain forest are (from bottom to top) the forest floor, the understory, the canopy, and the emergent layer. [picture 1 on page 2] 3. Based on the passage, why can people thank rain forests for keeping the air clean? [Important Detail/Inferential] Suggested answer: People can thank rain forests for keeping the air clean because the trees help to recycle Earth s air. The leaves take in a gas called carbon dioxide and then give off a gas called oxygen. Carbon dioxide is harmful to people, but we need oxygen to survive. [paragraph 3] 1

8 4. What is this passage mostly about? [Main Idea] Teacher Guide and Answer Key: Secrets of the Rain Forest Suggested answer: The article is mainly about tropical rain forests what they and why they are important. Directions: Please read the sentence below and then write the word or phrase that best answers the questions. The first answer has been provided for you. Scientists are trying to find new medicines to cure diseases by studying tropical plants. Who? scientists 5. (are) What? are trying to find new medicines 6. How? by studying tropical plants 7. Why? to cure diseases 8. The question below is an incomplete sentence. Choose the word that best completes the sentence. Red-eyed tree frogs live in the rain forest s understory, you would not expect to find them in the emergent layer. A but B because C so To the Teacher: ReadWorks recommends that you teach this vocabulary word to the whole class out loud using the four steps listed below. Vocabulary Word: species (spe cies): types of plants or animals that have the same characteristics. Step 1: Introduce the word a. Teacher writes the word on the board and divides it into syllables: (spe cies) b. Teacher says: This word is species. What is the word? [All students reply together out loud: Species. ] 2

9 Teacher Guide and Answer Key: Secrets of the Rain Forest Step 2: Provide a child-friendly definition a. Teacher says: Species are types of plants or animals that have the same characteristics. b. Teacher says: The word species is used when talking about types of plants or animals. In this passage, the author discusses how many species of plants and animals live in the rain forest. c. Teacher says: What is the word? [All students reply together out loud: Species. ] Step 3: Practice the word Teacher provides examples and additional opportunities to repeat the word. Read the first sentence out loud to your students. Begin reading it again and when you come to the vocabulary word prompt students to say the vocabulary word out loud. Then, finish reading the sentence out loud to your students. Directions: Read the vocabulary word and definition below. Then answer questions 9 and 10. Vocabulary Word: species (spe cies): types of plants or animals that have the same characteristics. 9. Read the sentences below and underline all forms of the word species. a. There are approximately 8,000 species of ants! b. One species of birds builds its nests high up in evergreen trees. c. One species of insects called termites sometimes destroys wood in houses. d. Monarchs are a species of butterflies that migrates south in the winter. e. Laws are passed to protect many species of animals from harm. Step 4: Check for student understanding To the Teacher: This step can be completed as a whole class activity or as an independent practice. 10. Which picture shows something that is part of a species? Suggested Additional Vocabulary: emergent layer, canopy, understory, forest floor 3

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