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An Eden Team member looking closely at pitcher plant cups

Lesson plan: Rainforest Adaptations

A science lesson challenging students to think more creatively about plants’ evolutionary adaptation.

Activity details

The rainforest is one of the most extreme and challenging ecosystems on the planet. Yet plants have evolved adaptations which enable them not only to overcome the challenges, but to thrive here! This lesson challenges students to think more deeply and creatively about challenges that organisms face in their habitats and their adaptations – moving them far beyond the standard fare of polar bears, rabbits and foxes.

Objectives and curriculum links

This lesson enables students to:

  • begin to develop an understanding of the rainforest ecosystem
  • describe the challenges faced by plants living in the rainforest
  • explain how various adaptations help the plants thrive in this extreme ecosystem

We've designed the lesson to help teachers cover the following subject areas:



You need the following equipment to do this activity:

  • Junk materials for making models, such as boxes, buttons, coloured acetate, ribbons, pipe cleaners, foam, shower hoses, bottle tops, fabric offcuts, materials, coloured cards and paper, pipes, old bottles. You could pay a visit to your nearest scrap store to collect the materials you need (for example, here in Cornwall we have the Cornwall ScrapStore) or you could get the students to bring these things in.
  • Masking tape, Sellotape
  • Plasticine
  • Scissors
  • Computer, projector, speakers, internet access (for YouTube and other websites)
  • Big whiteboard and wipe able pens (several colours)
  • A3 plain paper
  • Felt tips


Lesson plan

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