© Dave Schumaker


What types of plants and animals are found in the distinct layers of the rainforest, and how do they depend on one another for survival and reproduction?


Students will be able to:

  1. Articulate examples of how plants and animals depend on one another for survival and reproduction.
  2. Describe how animals can aid a plant’s reproduction through pollination and seed dispersal.
  3. Explain how a rainforest has distinct layers, with life specially adapted to each layer.
  • Rainforest Scavenger Hunt Necklace (1 per student)
  • Rainforest Scavenger Hunt Answer Key (1 for teacher; included in this document)
  • scissors
  • yarn (~38” piece per student)
  • hole puncher

Teacher Tip: Why is this museum worksheet a necklace? So that your students won't require pencils.  For the safety of the fish who live in the open-top tank that is the Amazon river, please remind your group to put away loose objects.

Teacher Prep
  1. Print and copy a Rainforest Scavenger Hunt Necklace (2-sided) for each student.
  2. Cut along all dotted lines; this will create 6 foldable tabs on each side of the necklace.
  3. Hole-punch the brown circle underneath the words “forest floor”.
  4. String a piece of yarn (~38”) through the hole to create a necklace.
  5. You may wish to laminate these if you want to use them in subsequent years.

Teacher Tip: Of course, you can have your students help with this the day before the field trip! This will also prepare them for what they will experience in the Rainforest dome.

Before the Scavenger Hunt
  1. Depending on students’ prior knowledge of a flowering plant’s life cycle, you may want to review the following concepts: the functions of a flower, pollinator, fruit, and seed disperser. You may also want to review the concept of adaptations.
  2. Assign students a partner to travel with through the exhibit. To make sure students take the hunt seriously, let them know that the class will be discussing their answers afterwards.
  3. Tell students they will start from the bottom of the page (forest floor) because that is where they will enter the exhibit. Once they find one of the plants or animals pictured on the page, they may fold back that tab and discuss the question with their partner.
  4. Some of the answers will be featured prominently on graphics within the exhibit. Other answers will require the students to reason.
Wrap Up: Discussion Questions

After students have had a chance to explore the Rainforest, ask questions such as:

  • Which plants depend on animals?
  • Which animals depend on plants?
  • What do they depend on each other for?
  • Which animals are pollinators? Which are seed dispersers?
  • What are some adaptations (structures or behaviors that help an organism survive in its habitat) the plants and animals have?
California Science Content Standards

Grade Three
Life Sciences

  • 3a. Students know plants and animals have structures that serve different functions in growth, survival, and reproduction.

Grade Four
Life Sciences

  • 3a. Students know many plants depend on animals for pollination and seed dispersal, and animals depend on plants for food and shelter.

Grade Six
Life Sciences

  • 5c. Students know populations of organisms can be categorized by the functions they serve in an ecosystem.
Appropriate for: 3rd Grade - 8th Grade
Standards for: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 6th Grade
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Activity Time: 30 minutes
Subjects: Constructing Explanations, Life Science, Scavenger Hunts
Exhibits: Rainforest