Roselle Students Build a Rain Forest

ROSELLE—It’s not easy for third grade students in New Jersey studying the rain forest to fly to South America for a field trip. So Harrison Elementary School students did the next best thing. They brought the rain forest to their school.

Students in Mrs. Nahmias’ and Mrs. Espin’s third grade classes turned an upstairs corridor of their school into a rain forest, complete with waterfalls, cardboard creatures and a soundtrack of jungle noises. Students roam the rain forest, learning about the ecosystem’s unique vegetation, animals and climate along the way.


Students and teachers put in dozens of hours of after-school time creating the rain forest. A colorful assortment of birds, reptiles, fish and other exotic creatures were cut out and decorated. Students and teachers created massive, three-dimensional trees that stretch to the ceiling and an underbrush of dense greenish-brown vegetation. A waterfall, constructed of blue and white tissue paper, encases the hallway’s water fountain. Students have to walk under the waterfall to get a drink.

Creating and exploring their own personal rain forest is only one part of their lesson. Students are learning a number of environmental science and biology lessons, as well as the importance of the rain forest as a habitat.

Harrison Elementary School students explore the rain forest they created in the upstairs corridor of their school, amidst colorful snakes, frogs, lizards and birds. From left to right: Maicon Osorio, 9, Shelcy Pierre, 9, Jovani Santamaria, 9, and Lluvia Gomez, 9.

Harrison Elementary School students stand under the rain forest waterfall they created in the corridor of their school as part of a science lesson. From left to right: Maicon Osorio, 9, Shelcy Pierre, 9, Jovani Santamaria, 9, and Lluvia Gomez, 9.

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