Parrots of the Rainforest
Objective: Children will explore habitats by creating and learning about a parrot, which is a bird that inhabits the rainforest.‹ Return to Theme
What You Will Need
- Feathers in a variety of colors and sizes - at least 10 for each child
- Googly eyes - two for each child
- White construction paper - one sheet per child
- Crayons or markers
What To Do
- Trace a child’s foot and both of their hands (one for each child).
- Cut out the tracings of the hands and feet, or have the children do the cutting if they can.
- The foot becomes the body of the parrot (with the toes pointing down) and the hands are the wings (with the fingers pointing outward).
- Have the children glue the wings to each side of the body.
- Have the children decorate the wings with the feathers, and the body and face with markers.
- Distribute the googly eyes so that the children can glue the eyes onto their birds.
Guiding Student Inquiry
- Talk about where parrots live.
- Why are rainforests good places for parrots to live?
- Tell me about the parrot’s wings. How do the feathers feel?
- How do birds move around?
- Have you ever been in an airplane? Can you describe what if felt like?
Explore, Extend & Integrate
- Extend this activity into your art center and make different pictures of birds and where they live. Include pictures of different birds from the area where your center is located along with the parrot pictures. Discuss the differences in the colors of the birds and their feathers.
- Access a video online (e.g., YouTube) about rainforests for the children to view.
- Make other birds or animals that live in the rainforest. Gorillas, jaguars, spider monkeys, sloths, and anteaters can be found in rainforests.
- Help the children locate a rainforest on a map. Some places where rainforests can be found include: Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, and India.
- Display a variety of different colored feathers, both natural and craft feathers. Discuss which birds the feathers of each color would match.
Check for Children’s Understanding
- Can the children describe what a parrot looks like?
- Can the children talk about what a rainforest is like?
- Can the children talk about other animals that live in the rainforest?
Did You Know?
Thousands of species of birds live in the uppermost layers of the rainforest. Parrots, macaws, and toucans are the most recognizable rainforest birds. Parrots are beautifully colored birds with curved beaks. What makes the parrot unique is that it can imitate many sounds, including human speech. Therefore, sometimes people think parrots can talk, but they are really just imitating sounds in their environment. The treetops house a vast number of plants and animals, including insects, arachnids, birds, orangutans, snakes, and lizards.
The animals that live in here are specially adapted for life in the trees and many of them never touch the ground. They move, eat, and sleep exclusively in the canopy, and many of them use loud calls as their form of communication.
- habitat - the natural environment or home of an animal.
- parrot - a kind of tropical bird with a short, hooked bill and brightly colored feathers; parrots often copy spoken words and other sounds.
- feathers - one of the soft and light parts of a bird that grows from the skin and covers the body.
- rainforest - a dense evergreen forest, found in tropical areas, that has a lot of rainfall.
- wings - a part of the body that some animals use for flying; insects and birds have wings; some wings have feathers.
- fly - to move through the air by wings; to move off of the ground.
Not all of your students will be familiar with parrots. Try to have some pictures available to show the children.
- If You Were a Parrot by Katherine Rawson
- The Parrot Tico Tango by Ann Wittle
- Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck and Valeria Petrone.
- Slowly, Slowly, Slowly said the Sloth by Eric Carle
- Looking Closely in the Rainforest by Frank Serafini
- Fernando’s Gift by Douglas Keister
- The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan Mitchell and Connie McLellan
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Common Core State
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.