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    DIVERSITY OF SPECIES      Chewonki’s The Rainforest--Diversity of Species program brings the                tropical rainforest into your classroom using slides, activities, and live rainforest animals. We explore the                              incredible array of interactions occurring in a rainforest, make connections between this important ecosystem                            and our own Maine woods, and discuss ways in which student decision making skills can be of value to                                      threatened rainforests.     Using hands-on activities, we take a look at products used in our daily lives that are made with rainforest                                      materials and discuss the sustainability of such usage. The program comes alive with lessons highlighting our                                Common Green Iguana, and Giant African Millipedes. Students will leave the program with a heightened                              understanding of the interdependence, biodiversity, and global importance of these amazing biomes.  


    Equipment and Room Requirements    

    ● Classroom or multi-purpose room space is �ne. The room must be adequately darkened for slides.      ● The school must provide a screen for the slide show.    ● Chairs (or desks & chairs) for students, or comfortable �oor space.    ● Presentations may be done at a single location or in individual classrooms, if 15 minutes is allowed 

    between presentations to move equipment.    ● Group size maximum- 30    ● Teachers must be present in the room during the program.    ● Please have students wear the name tags provided in this packet.   

    Note: Permits are required for most of the specimens (living and stuffed) that are used in Chewonki Traveling Natural History Programs and students are reminded of the legal limitations of private collections. All of our living animals are non-releasable because of injuries or were captive raised before arriving at Chewonki. No animals have been harmed or taken specifically for use in Chewonki programs.

    Chewonki Wiscasset, Maine  Traveling Natural History Programs 

    (207) 882-7323 

  • Class Outline   

    Each presentation takes one hour. The program is designed for grades four –  adult. Adjustments are made for each grade and ability level.     This is an outline of what may be expected during a typical Outreach Rainforest presentation:     A. Introduction:  

    1. What is a rainforest?   2. Why should we study them?   3. What is happening to the rainforests today?    

    B. Slide Show:   1. Interdependence within the rainforest is explained, highlighting lock and key 

    relationships between several unique species found in these areas. Students will  also learn about the important interdependent relationship between the rainforests  and our Maine forests.  

    2. The biodiversity within the rainforest is explored. Students will learn the four  levels of the rainforest, and some of the roles and species speci�c to those areas.  The Outreach “rainforest stretch” will help students to learn the forest levels.   

    3. Activity: Using simple props as a model, students will “build” a food-chain, and  learn how the loss of even one species within the rainforest can cause large scale  damage. This same model can also be used to demonstrate the relationships  between each of the four forest levels.   

      C. Live Animals 

    Students will take a close look at a live animals found in rainforests, whether that be a  Vietnamese Walking Stick or an Australian Water Dragon.   

    D. Weather Patterns (Slide Show continuation)  1. Students learn how and why rainforests contribute to weather patterns.    2. Deforestation, and its aftermath is examined. Endangered species, and global 

    climate change are two important issues stemming from rainforest loss.     

    E. Rainforest Use Activity:   Students will select products that originate in the rainforest from a grab bag. The  concept of sustainability is introduced and students will brainstorm ways in which they  can make responsible choices, while still enjoying the incredible array of resources  found in tropical rainforests.   


    Chewonki Traveling Natural History Programs 




    Chewonki Traveling Natural History Programs 


      Date:  Contact: 



    The Rainforest: “A Diversity of Species”    What: A one-hour program for those interested in the Rainforest  When :   Time :   Where :   Cost :  Presenter :     Why are South American rainforests important for residents of Maine and New England? Our Rainforest program  discusses the links between the �ora, fauna, and weather patterns of the Northeastern United States and these tropical  woodlands. The incredible biodiversity, and detailed interdependent relationships within tropical rainforests is explored  through a slide presentation, as well as several hands-on activities.  The presentation will provide a basis for discussion of the rainforest cycles and ecosystems. The activities and slide show  highlight neo-tropical migratory birds and the fundamental importance of the biodiversity found in the rainforests.    We will examine the current state of these ecosystems, and some of the major problems they are facing. The Chewonki  presenter will show native tropical plants, a live green iguana and giant millipedes. These serve as just a few examples of  the millions of life forms that support and balance these complex ecosystems. By reaching into our “Rainforest Grab Bag,”  participants will learn to identify products, which may or may not be sustainably harvested. Students of all ages will learn  what their connection is to the rainforest, fostering the desire to seek out conservation strategies that they can implement in  their very own homes. While a Three Toed Sloth 8,000 miles away from us is not able to make a decision that will a�ect  our lives, all people, as consumers, can make conscious decisions that can positively or negatively a�ect the existence of  the rainforest.   

    Chewonki Traveling Natural History Programs 

  • Vocabulary Adaptation A behavior, physical feature, or other characteristic that helps an animal survive and make the most

    of its habitat.

    Biological Diversity The full array of all species on earth, the genetic variation in their respective populations,and                                    the varied ecosystems in which they interact. 

    Bromeliad A type of tropical plant in the pineapple family that often grows on the trunks and branches of trees. 

    Buttresses Woody �anges that radiate from the bases of some tall tropical forest trees. Many scientists think                                buttresses help support shallow-rooted trees, which might otherwise blow down easily. 

    Canopy The layer of a forest formed by the crowns of tall trees. In a tropical rain forest, the canopy is made