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Save the Rainforest in South America

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Keywords: Rainforest, Collaboration, WebQuest, Research, Technology
Subject(s): Technology, Geography, Earth Science, Social Studies, English/Language Arts
Grades 6 through 8
School: Arrowhead Middle School, Kansas City, KS
Planned By: Denise Stafos
Original Author: Denise Stafos, Kansas City
Objectives: The students will be able to identify the human and physical features of
Latin America’s Rainforest. The students will be able to identify the forms of
government and economic systems of countries that are located in the rainforests of
Latin America.

What will students understand as a result of this unit?
Geography affects the characteristics of a country. Natural resources can determine
the success or failure of a country. Each country is rich in culture, even if they are a
poor country. Each student will appreciate his or her life‐styles, and opportunities
compared to poverty stricken countries. Global issues are complex, and the student
will explain the challenges the rainforest ecosystem is facing, and will develop a plan
of action they can do to help.

“I Can” Statement(s) Assessed: I can describe the physical and human features of the ecosystem of rainforests in Latin America.
I can identify the forms of government and economic systems in the rainforests of
Latin America.
I can explain the challenges that the Rainforest is facing, and what I can do to help.
I can explain how we are interdependent on other regions in the world to trade with.

Materials Needed
Student: computer, pencil, Country/Capitol Worksheet, Role sheet with one can access on the class website. Download Student copy: Student Tool Kit for their WebQuest teams.

Work Countries and Capitals Review

Students go to:
Using a worksheet have students match the list of provided capitals and countries
filling out their Country and Capitol worksheet. (Appendix) Practice learning location of countries at:

of Activities: Tasks

Anticipatory Set:
Do you think that what happens in Latin America could effect you and the whole
Thumbs up/yes Thumbs down/no Give me an example of something that could
affect you. Possible answers: Products/prices conflict/war etc.

What is global warming? Does that affect the whole world?
Go to the following sites, and after reviewing global warming I would like you and
your shoulder partner to predict how Latin America has a huge impact on global
Give 10 to 15 minutes for reviewing links above, and then discuss predictions.
the Quiz at http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/quiz_global_warming.html

Practice: Go to this link:
hard copy is available too. (See Appendix) The WebQuest role worksheet has all
the links for the students WebQuest research. This should be posted on the teacher’s
website, so they can click to the site without entering the URL’s.
Walk through the Introduction and Webquest together, and organize the students
into teams (groups of four). Have the team assign their roles.

Guided Reading Questions
Go to the class Website together to get the Webquest role sheet.
Go over their roles: Go over the rubrics.
Have Students Write down their role on a journal page for all the notes they collect
each day they research. Give them 3 days. Remind them to take good Cornell notes.
Go to:
Cornell notes over information that applies to your role’s research. Show the
video from http://cms.ran.org/new/kidscorner/about_rainforests/forest_family_forever_video/
a class if they don’t have individual earphones. Really Cute!

Independent Practice: 2 days Research
Use the WebQuest role sheet to go to the appropriate research sites. Take Cornell
notes in a journal, which are due each day.


Create Presentations: Review Rubric Again (Appendix)
of jungle
of rainforest: animals, flowers, and people
for PowerPoint or other software

Webquest Presentations: 2 days



Activity after presentation Hunger Banquet: Poverty: Oxfam (See appendix)
Then have students go to the following site, and discuss the article in their groups.
Should the rules of trade be regulated to help the poor, or would that hurt a free
market economy? What can you do as a consumer when you buy?
Let us look at a particular trade situation in Latin America. Show them the link, and all
the activities.
How to buy:

Student simulation as coffee grower in Latin America

End the class reading: What are three things you can do to help the coffee farmers? What
was a reporter who can't stand the taste of coffee doing on a FRONTLINE/World report about the world coffee crisis?
Sam Quinones, based in Mexico City for the last nine years, set out to understand the point of view of coffee farmers,
who are now at the mercy of a collapsed global coffee economy? Quinones is the author of a book on modern Mexico --
True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx .
What happened to that original skepticism as you reported the story out?
I came to understand the concept. Now I believe that it's an idea that needs to be applied more broadly.
Consumers need to apply it to their daily lives and their consuming habits -- not just with regard to coffee.
The rest of us, particularly in the United States, live thoroughly globalized in one sense yet totally ignorant
of the rest of the world. If we want these quality products, we cannot simply continue to be so ignorant
and indifferent. Our consuming habits have an effect on people elsewhere. If we would insist on making
our dollar count, in a social or a political fashion, it could actually help us too.
So you started as a skeptic and ended a true believer?
I'm not sure I'm a true believer. There are certain limitations with the fair trade movement. One of the
limitations is that sometimes the people who buy it ghetto-ize themselves -- it's viewed as this product
that's only for the hippie-dippy, cool people of Santa Cruz or Seattle or Marin County or wherever, when
actually I think it ought to be marketed in a more mainstream way.
what does the American consumer need to learn?
The message to the consumer is your dollars have an impact far beyond the store where you buy your
consumer items -- your coffee or your T-shirts. It behooves you in the long run to think more deeply
about those decisions. There are very good reasons, self-interested reasons, why it's good for you to buy
coffee that's a bit higher priced. If you care about the development of these countries, which I do and I
think a lot of people do, you cannot buy cut-rate coffee and still have thousands of coffee farmers across
Mexico and Guatemala continue in business.
You have to go in and demand from your supermarket placement for fair trade coffee. Where's the
specialty, where's the organic coffee? Because fair trade means that the coffee grower is getting a livable
You end your journey back in Mexico City -- at a Starbucks.
Some people will be upset at me for saying that Starbucks is actually doing a pretty good thing. Starbucks
teaches people how to differentiate between high-quality and cheapo coffee. It's like the difference
between the guy who goes in and orders some cheap bottle of wine -- Thunderbird, Ernest & Julio,
whatever -- and the other guy who goes in and orders a $10 bottle of zinfandel or merlot that's grown
with high-quality grapes. So far, fair trade coffee is only a tiny portion of what Starbucks sells, and only if
you know to ask for it. But that's a symbol of what needs to happen worldwide. People need to
understand, and then start asking for and demanding only good-quality coffee and paying a little bit more
for it. Starbucks has begun to implant that culture, at least in the United States

of coffee beans

Kansas Standards: PLACES AND REGIONS
KS05SS07030201a Places and Regions: Analyze the human and physical features that give places and regions their distinctive
character: Identify types of regions (e.g., climate, economic, cultural) (SS.
The student:
1. (A) identifies and compares the physical characteristics of world regions (e.g., locations, landscape, climate, vegetation,
2. (A) identifies and compares the human characteristics of world regions (e.g., people, religion, language, customs,
government, agriculture, industry, architecture, arts, education).
3. (K) identifies and explains how Kansas, United States, and world regions are interdependent (e.g., through trade, diffusion of
ideas, human migration, international conflicts and cooperation).
4.&#1048576;(K) identifies the various physical and human criteria that can be used to define a region (e.g., physical: mountain, coastal,
climate; human: religion, ethnicity, language, economic, government).
5. (K) identifies ways technology or culture has influenced regions (e.g., perceptions of resource availability, dominance of
specific regions, economic development).
6. (A) explains the effects of a label on the image of a region (e.g., Tornado Alley, Sun Belt, The Great “American” Desert).
KS05SS07030201b Places and Regions: Analyze the human and physical features that give places and regions their distinctive
character: Identify and compare the physical characteristics of world regions (e.g., locations, landscape, climate, vegetation,
resources) (SS. student:
1. (K) explains how earth&#8208;sun relationships affect earth’s physical processes and create physical patterns (e.g., latitude regions,
climate regions, distribution of solar energy, ocean currents).
2. (K) explains patterns in the physical environment in terms of physical processes (e.g., tectonic plates, glaciation, erosion and
deposition, hydrologic cycle, ocean and atmospheric circulation).
3. (K) describes the characteristics of ecosystems in terms of their biodiversity (e.g., biodiversity: food chains, plant and animal
communities; ecosystems: grasslands, temperate forests, tropical
rainforests, deserts, tundra, wetlands, and marine environments).
4. (K) explains the challenges faced by ecosystems (e.g., deforestation)

Jonassen,D., Howland, J., Marra, R., & Crismond, D. (2008). Meaningful learning with
technology. (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: (Jonassen, Howland, Marra, & Crismond, 2008)Merrill Prentice Hall.
March. T. (2002). Why WebQuests. Internet4classrooms (i4c). Retrieved May 30, 2010 from http://www.internet4classrooms.com/why_webquest.htm


I would love to get technology up and going in my room. I have just completed my Master's degree in curriculum instruction technology.
Materials: Projector Screens, Headsets, Social Studies, Speech and Language
Other Items: 30 CPS PLUS
30 InterwriteMobi
1 Interwrite Dual Board
1 Interwrite Workspace