Rainforest plant adaptations

Rainforest plant adaptations

I can explain how the adaptations in rainforest plants help them survive.

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Rainforest plant adaptations

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Scientists can learn about the adaptations of living things to better understand how the world around them works, and to use and apply this knowledge to other experiences including problem-solving. Students will learn about adaptations and learn about several rainforest plants and their adaptations. Students will participate in various activities to learn and practice naming and describing the adaptations of the plants and how it helps them to survive. This lesson also includes a printable worksheet.


NGSS: 4-LS1-1

Learning objective

Students will be able to explain how the adaptations in rainforest plants help them survive.


Have students turn and talk about the rainforest and what lives there. Afterward, tell students that many different types of plants and animals live there. Inform students that their goal for today is to learn about rainforest plants and their adaptations that help them to survive in their environment!


Teach students about adaptations. Explain that plants have adaptations in order to be able to obtain more resources, to satisfy needs, or for protection. Explain to students they will learn about some common plant adaptations present in rainforest plants that help them to survive in the rainforest’s unique climate. Teach students about the following plants and adaptations: tall and thin tree trunks, smooth tree bark, drip tip leaves, lianas, buttresses, and epiphytes. Afterward, students can engage in the following activities:

First, students will practice looking at two different pictures that show plants in the rainforest. Students can come up to the board and drag the magnifying glass over the picture to find different examples of plant adaptations. Students can then explain how those adaptations help the plant to survive. Afterward, students will participate in an activity where they are presented with puzzle pieces that are either a plant adaptation or the explanation of the adaptation’s purpose. Students have to pair up the puzzle pieces to match the adaptation to its purpose. For the final activity, students get to create their own rainforest tree. They will sketch an illustration of their tree. Encourage the students to label the plant too. Then, students can write out a paragraph explaining the tree and its adaptations.


Students respond to ten questions about adaptations in plants and the specific adaptations and characteristics of the rainforest plants that they learned about in this lesson. All questions are multiple-choice. Several multiple choice questions are fill-in-the-blank.


Students will create their own rainforest tree with adaptations. Each student should receive a worksheet (printable is included). On the left side of the worksheet, they will illustrate their tree. On the right side of the worksheet, they will write a paragraph explaining the adaptations of the tree.

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