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Rainforests are the oldest ecosystems on Earth and they are home to millions of people, plants and animals. There are two types of rainforest; tropical and temperate.

Tropical rainforests are found near the equator, in South America, Southeast Asia, Africa and the islands in the Pacific Ocean. The enormous amount of rain, coupled with tropical heat, means that the conditions in the rainforest are humid and damp.

Temperate rainforests are found along coasts in temperate zones. They are cooler and receive much less rain than tropical ones.

Teach your children about rainforests using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

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Resources

  • Explore the rainforests with our comprehensive resource pack! It includes a Powerpoint topic guide, a glossary, vocabulary labels, reference resources, display materials and much more!

The Rainforests Mini Pack

Rainforests Knowledge Organiser

Members of Teaching Packs can download a comprehensive knowledge organiser to accompany this topic. It includes key information that your children can use for reference and research, along with labelled diagrams, photos and a glossary of terms.

Not a member yet? Join us today!

Rainforest Facts

  • The Amazon rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world.
  • A wide variety of animals live in rainforests, including birds, snakes, insects, jaguars, cougars, chameleons, turtles, frogs, and many more.
  • Only around 6% of Earth’s land surface is rainforest – but about half of all animal and plant species live there!
  • Tropical rainforests are divided into 4 layers called the emergent, canopy, understory and the forest floor.
  • Insects make up the majority of the living creatures found in the tropical rainforest.

Videos

Rainforests 101

Learn about tropical and temperate rainforests and how they contribute to the global ecosystem in this video from National Geographic.

Running time: 3:40

Saving the Rainforest Lesson!

An introduction to the topic of deforestation in this video that was originally created for students in 5th grade.

Running time: 5:00

25 Facts about the Amazon Rainforest

Learn about the Amazon rainforest in this fascinating video!

Running time: 12:13

Books

The Great Kapok Tree

One day, a man exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another” . . . and it works.

The Explorer

From his seat in the tiny aeroplane, Fred watches as the mysteries of the Amazon jungle pass by below him. He has always dreamed of becoming an explorer. If only he could land and look about him. But as the plane crashes into the canopy, Fred is suddenly left without a choice. 

If I Ran the Rainforest

In this delightful book, Dr. Seuss’ famous Cat in the Hat explains all about the rainforest to young readers.

Rainforests (Explore My World)

In this charming picture book, curious kids will learn all about the majesty of the rain forest, from jungle predators to colourful treetop birds to plants that thrive in this lush landscape.

Amazon (DK Eyewitness)

Discover all there is to know about life in, on, and around the world-famous Amazon River. Learn about the river’s geography, its source and the countries through which it flows, and the stunning and diverse ecosystems it has helped create.

Where on Earth? Rainforests

Go on a journey through the world’s rainforests, from the Amazon rainforest to Costa Rica, answering questions along the way.

Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!