Rainforest Unit Study Day 2

Day 2: A for Anteater

Review Layers of the Rainforest
Rainforest Animals
Intro to Animal Defenses
Food from the Amazon

The Umbrella by Jan Brett
The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K Mitchell

My girls have a fascination with animals, so I made up a list of 26 rainforest animals that we’ll be learning about over the course of this unit.

 animal info pic

I also made a set of labeled animal cards for us to use throughout this unit,
and am offering them to you for free HERE.

rf animal cards|
I prepped this activity last night, laminating the cards and using little rolls of painter’s tape to “hide” them all around the house.

I love the flexibility of homeschooling ❤
Despite the fact that the Little Princess woke up sick this morning and proceeded to go back to sleep for an extra 4 hours, we were easily able to adapt our plans so she could enjoy her activities this afternoon.

While she slept, Munchkin and I got to work!
She donned her ‘rainforest gear’, shut the blinds, and turned out the lights, opting to hunt for the wild animals with a flashlight.

 rf lex animal cards (it really was dark – the camera flash makes
it seem much brighter than it was!)

Once she successfully found all 26 animal cards, we took some time to go over their names, and make observations about each one. A few she knew a lot more about than expected, but most were ones carefully chosen to pique her interest and allow for further study.

rf lex mag

We did the first in depth look into one of our animal cards, starting with A for Anteater. Munchkin actually knew a lot more than I had anticipated, and opted to teach ME instead!
Because she already knew so much, we didn’t bother with any worksheets for this one.

Next we read a few interesting pages about the rainforest in our childrens’ atlases, and located them on our large wall map. We used dry erase markers to follow the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, and coloured in the rainforest areas. Munchkin  reviewed the names and locations of the 7 continents with this song:

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/eDnbdOrwI6s&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Click here to print off the lyrics to the full song!

Shortly thereafter, the Little Princess woke up and wanted to join in. She wasn’t quite her usual perky self yet, but she was determined to do her activities!

rf girls dress uprf avalie card hunt

While she put on her vest and found her magnifying glass, Munchkin and I
recreated the animal card hunt for her.

After all that activity, we snuggled up to reread the books from Day 1,
quickly followed by the two new books.

Their favourite was definitely

“The Rainforest Grew All Around”

as the entire book is sung to the tune of ‘The green grass grows all around’!

Next up was snack time! We took a couple minutes to make this board to hang on our wall (excuse the blurriness, Munchkin took the picture for me)rf foods we like

Then we headed to the kitchen to find the first of our taste test foods. Today’s pic? BANANAS!
(perfect choice for my little monkeys 😉 )

Click on the picture below to get a free copy of the cards!
(includes 13 different foods, and a second set for use as Montessori 3 part cards)

rf food pic

Last but not least was our Bossy E game!
We call him “Bossy E”, and Munchkin remembers the rule as:

Bossy E can seem quite rude
He likes to change the game.
When he shows up at the end of a word,
He makes the vowel say its name!

Munchkin has been working on increasing her fluency while reading CVCE words, so I whipped up a little activity for her. 
silent e pic
You can get it free for a limited time here!
(I’ll be incorporating it into my complete unit in 6 wks time.)

She decided to tape her magnifying glass E to the popsicle/craft stick instead of gluing it. While she was focused on that, I hid 5 of the cards around the room and slipped a mini recording sheet onto her clipboard.

As soon as her E was secured, Munchkin was off on the hunt! She found the first one quickly, but the others were a little trickier!

rf silent e

She would locate a card, write the number in the square on her recording sheet, read the CVC word, then use her stick to add the silent E to the word. After reading the new word, she wrote it down on her recording sheet and was off to find the next card!

That wrapped up the unit study part of our day.

Come back tomorrow to see what we get up to on Day 3!

Posted in Uncategorized

Rainforest Unit Study Day 1

We have just started our newest unit study, and are very much enjoying our exploration of the Tropical Rainforest!

I invite you to follow along with our adventures as I post daily about our activities. I’ll be including my basic lesson plan summaries as well as lots of freebies and resource links throughout the posts, and will have the complete unit available as a single download  in my TeachersPayTeachers store – be sure to follow along as I’ll be giving it away to one follower at the end of the unit!

This is a brief summary of the topics we will be covering in this unit:

rainforest cover

I use the free unit study planner available HERE to plan out all of our units.


Brainstorm Rainforests: What do we know?
Introduce the 4 Layers of the Rainforest
Introduce Animals of the Rainforest (pt 1)
Rainforest Sounds

Magic Treehouse Afternoon in the Amazon (Audiobook)
Way Up high in the Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck

rf outfits

Once the girls donned their ‘rainforest explorer’ outfits, we started our day by brainstorming what they already knew about tropical rainforests.

rf brainstorm

To introduce the layers of the rainforest,  we made a collapsible display by taping 3 file folders together, drawing and labeling one layer on each section (see image below).

rf poke plate

After learning a bit about them, we discussed the amount of sunlight that reaches each layer and did a fun hands-on demonstration. They had a lot of fun poking holes in 4 paper plates to represent the amount of sunlight that shines through the leaves (tons of holes for the emergent layer, a few less in the canopy layer, substantially fewer for the understory, and only a handful for the forest floor). We then darkened the room and used a flashlight to show how much light shined through each plate!

While the room was dark, we all laid down on the floor and closed our eyes while listening to the sounds of the rainforest on Anton Hughes’ “Relaxation & Meditation with Music & Nature: Amazon Rainforest“. We discussed what we heard, what imagery it inspired, and what emotions it evoked. They both enjoyed it so much that they asked to leave it on longer than I’d planned. And so the sounds of the Amazon Rainforest became our background noise while we continued on with our day.

To wrap up our morning, they sorted some of our wild animal figurines by whether or not they are found in the tropical rainforest, and spent some time acting out their favourites!

 rf animal sort pic

Overall it was a great start to our unit – don’t forget to check back and see what adventures we get up to on Day 2!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why “Hi 5 Homeschool”?

You may be wondering what the ‘Hi5’ means in ‘Hi5 Homeschool’.

When I first started homeschooling my eldest (officially started in fall of 2013) I came across a free mini poster on my very first foray into the wonderful world of TeachersPayTeachers called “Give me 5” (originally created by Chalk One Up for the Teacher, though is no longer available).
It reads:

1. Hands to Self
2. Mouths Quiet
3. Eyes Looking
4. Ears Listening
5. Hearts Caring

I incorporated the saying into our daily Circle Time, using them as guidelines for expected behaviour, and my tiny humans LOVED IT! The rare time I’d forget to say it (or to have one of them recite it for me), they were always quick to remind me to do our “high fives!”

We’ve been using it every day since, and after the first week or so, I need only to raise a hand to get them to refocus and self correct! It’s a wonderful gentle reminder of our expectations without me having to stop our lessons to correct them.

Anyways, back to the point of this post…

Shortly after I printed off the poster, my eldest started trying to sound out simple words, and one day while I recited our ‘high fives’ and pointed to them, she jumped out of her seat and yelled “STOP!!!

She came up to me and said “Mama that’s WRONG. It should say H – I and the number 5. There’s no ‘guh’ sound in Hi!”.

I was so proud of her for making that connection! ❤ It was in that moment that I knew what we were doing was working for her.

Not long after that, I came up with a list of 5 character skills I felt we needed to focus on.

Self control

Our hi5 mentality tied into that as well, and as we discussed these qualities, the gentle reminder of raising a hand with 5 spread fingers to shoulder height helped them redirect when they were struggling with one of these as well!

So there you have it – the ins and outs of why I’ve named this little blog after our “Hi5 Homeschool”.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

About Us

Hello, and welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere!

My name is Lana and I am the proud homeschooling mom of two wonderful girls. I started this blog as a way to share our day to day homeschooling adventures with our friends and family, and with the encouragement of the wonderful ladies in the Hip Homeschool Moms Community, as a place to share resources and ideas.

The Tiny Humans

Please allow me to introduce the stars of this show: The Tiny Humans!

Meet Munchkin.


She is my smarty-pants 5 year old, and has an incredible imagination.

This little bundle of energy’s favourite things to do include making up detailed fairy tale stories, painting, baking and just about anything that can be done outside! On this year’s to-do list, she has included learning to roller blade, building and flying a homemade kite, taking the train to visit Mimi and Pipi, finding at least twenty new geocaches, and riding her bike with no training wheels.

Over here is the Little Princess.


This little girl is my 3 year old sweetheart. She has an incredible bond with animals, and loves to play pretend. She very much enjoys doing her own ‘school work’ alongside her big sister, and spends much of her days playing pretend with her stuffed baby animals, painting and trying to do whatever her big sister is doing!

Follow along as I share the ups and downs of our crazy homeschool journey!

Posted in Uncategorized