Objective: Students will design and construct a rainforest parrot.

Materials: 1 toilet paper tube, scissors, markers, crayons, paints, or colored pencils, glue, construction paper, assorted, brightly colored feathers (optional)

Background: The canopy layer of the rainforest is home to many brightly colored birds. Macaws, toucans, hawks, eagles, parrots and other birds have brilliantly colored feathers that do anything but camouflage them among the green of the forest. For example, the scarlet macaw is one of the most spectacular parrots of South America. It not only is feathered in bright scarlet, as its name describes, but also boasts brilliant blue and yellow feathers on its wings. Scarlet macaws don't need to be camouflaged because they have very few predators.

Birds of the rainforest tend to have short, broad wings. This helps them maneuver the thick vegetation in the forest. Some birds have also adapted to climbing. Toucans and parrots are just a few of the species of the birds that have feet with toes that can grasp the trunks and branches of trees.

Make copies of the parrot template - one for each student.

Give each student a template. Have student color the template in whatever colors he/she would like or he/she can replicate one of the birds found on the web site.

Glue the large rectangular piece around the toilet paper tube.

Glue tail onto the back of the toilet paper tube.

Glue head onto the front of the toilet paper tube.

Glue the wings onto the side of the toilet paper tube or make it look like the parrot is flying by gluing the wings onto the back of the tube.

Fold the feet and glue the tabs to the inside of the tube.

Hold a community car wash or other fundraiser to raise funds to purchase rainforest land. Display posters about the rainforest at your fundraiser. Make one that shows all the different species of parrots and educate people about the bird trade.

During the third week of October, celebrate World Rainforest Week. Visit author Nancy Castaldo's website and find out what she's been up to. The address is: www.nancycastaldo.com

This activity was adapted from, "Rainforests: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9" by Nancy F. Castaldo
Grade Level:

Subject Areas:
Reading, Visual Arts

SD Standards for 4th grade:
4.R.1.1; 4.R.1.2; 4.R.5.1; 4.R.5.2

Visual Arts
Standard 1; Standard 3



Prior Preparation: Have each student bring from home one toilet paper tube. Make copies of the Bird Land bird facts sheet and review in class. Have students go to a computer to go online at http://www.rainforestanimals.net/. Each student should spend some time researching the site and finding out information about rainforest birds.

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