Morgantown students create rain forest

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Bears and tigers and birds – oh my! Visitors to Morgantown School this week got to experience the sights and sounds of an actual rain forest.

The hall-decorating project was part of a fourth-grade teaching unit on rain forests.

&uot;I like the plants. I like the birds. I like everything,&uot; said Kimberly Williams, a fourth-grade student.

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The decorations included live plants, fish, birds and numerous stuffed animals. The students dressed up in animal costumes.

&uot;This was a lot of work and a lot of planning,&uot; said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

&uot;They studied it in the classroom and then created it.&uot;

The students learned the ways people use the rain forests for oxygen, medicine and sap for bubble gum, the students said.

And Williams said she especially liked learning about the Capok tree, which is used to make vanilla ice cream.

The students also learned why it it important to save the rain forest.

&uot;So animals have some place to live and people can’t run out of food,&uot; said Jasmine Jackson. &uot;(And) so animals can have somewhere to eat.&uot;

Fourth-grade teacher Althea DeBlieux said the activity was a great way to teach.

&uot;It’s hands-on learning,&uot; DeBlieux said. &uot;They learn so much more when they do it themselves.&uot;

The students have been studying the rain forest for several weeks. This led the classes to decide to decorate the hallway, DeBlieux said.

&uot;We tried to get as many animals as we could that were typical of the rain forest,&uot; she said.

These type of projects motivate the students because parents and other students come and see what they have been working on, said fourth-grade teacher Cynthia Brewer.