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Rainforests of the World in Dragonfish Class

School News June 10, 2020
Rainforests of the World in Dragonfish Class

When we lose rainforests, we lose an important natural resource. Tropical rainforests are hubs of biodiversity, holding an estimated half of the world’s plants and animals. Grade 5C explored rainforests of the world in our Topic lessons. This was an amazing opportunity to get creative and explore the world of rainforests.

Our Topic lessons incorporated an integrated curriculum, including ICT, History, Geography, Science, English, Food and Technology and Art. During this unit of work, we sharpened our map work skills, we looked at rainforest distribution around the world and located these on interactive maps. We found that rainforests are found on every continent, except Antarctica, and rainforests are ecosystems filled with mostly evergreen trees that typically receive high amounts of rainfall.

Thanks to virtual tours, we could explore these rainforests from the comfort of our classrooms. We discovered that rainforests are some of the world's most pristine and important environments on Earth. Covering less than 2 percent of the Earth's surface area, the world's rainforests are home to 50 percent of the Earth's plants and animals and act as the world's thermostat by regulating temperatures and weather patterns, according to the Nature Conservancy.

Rainforests play an invaluable role in sustaining life, but every year, large portions of them are cut down for logging, mining, and cattle ranches. Part of our research was to find out how deforestation is endangering rainforests. About 17 % of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed over the past 50 years. Many of the plants found in rainforests are being used to make medicines, including anti-cancer drugs, along with beauty products and foods. One drug under development for treating HIV, Calanolide A, is derived from a tree discovered on Malaysian Borneo. And Brazil nut trees refuse to grow anywhere but in undisturbed sections of the Amazon rainforest. Rainforests are also home to endangered or protected animals such as the Sumatran Rhino, orangutans and jaguars.

We learned that not only does the rainforest provide us with resources such as food, wood, medicine, and recreation, it is crucial in sustaining our environment.