# Layers of the Rainforest Unplugged Coding Activity

Explore the layers of the rainforest and code the correct animals to each layer using logical reasoning!

Rainforests are found in regions near the equator, an imaginary line that circles the middle of the Earth. Areas near the Equator are usually pretty hot and very wet. Rainforests have ideal climates for plants to grow quickly.

Coding activities can be introduced with any concept. In this activity, kids will learn about each layer of the rainforest and the animals and bugs that can be found there.

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## Afternoon on the Amazon

This rainforest unplugged coding activity is part of our Magic Tree House book activity series based on the Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne.

This activity is a great way to pair a STEAM concept, Technology, with book number six, Afternoon on the Amazon

## MORE MAGIC TREE HOUSE ACTIVITIES

MAKE SURE TO GRAB THE MAGIC TREE HOUSE BOOKS 5-8 TO FOLLOW ALONG WITH MORE MAGIC TREE HOUSE ACTIVITIES!

## Layers of the Rainforest

There are four layers in the Rainforest: the Emergent Layer, Canopy Layer, Understory, and the Forest Floor.

Each layer receives a different amount of sunlight as well as rainfall, which means there are huge differences in the types of animals, bugs, and plants that are found in each one!

Fun fact: Tropical rainforests cover 7% of the Earth’s land, but they are home to more than half the world’s plants and animals.

Did you know that more than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest, which is why it is incredibly important to protect!

## The Emergent Layer of the Rainforest

The emergent layer is made up of high treetops that rise above the rest of the stories. This layer gets the most sunlight as well as the most rain.

The emergent layer is quite windy because of its height! The tallest trees can reach heights of up to 230ft (70m).

Examples of animals, insects, and plants in the emergent layer include: bats, scarlet macaws, harpy eagles, parakeets, capuchin monkeys, butterflies, and kapok trees.

Find out how you can get involved with

## Canopy Layer of the Rainforest

Below the emergent layer is the canopy layer of the rainforest. The canopy layer receives ample sunlight and rain and doesn’t have the severe winds that the emergent layer has.

This layer is made up of trees and plants with thick branches and large leaves that spread out to make a leafy roof. This prevents the sunlight from spreading to the two layers below.

The canopy layer is rich in fruits and nuts all year round, which attracts a range of wildlife to the layer. Many animals have special adaptations to gather food in this layer, including long beaks for gathering hanging fruits.

Examples of animals, insects, and plants in the canopy layer include: sloths, crab wood trees, iguanas, boas, howler monkeys, toucans, lizards, tree frogs, and bromeliad plants.

## Understory Layer of the Rainforest

The understory is the warm, damp, and sheltered layer beneath the canopy layer. The understory layer is filled with plants that require little sunlight.

Rain drips through the canopy into the understory where moisture supports the growth of small trees and plants. These small plants provide food and shelter for small animals and birds, as well as larger predators that live in the trees.

Examples of animals, insects, and plants that live in the understory layer of the rainforest include: beetles, butterflies, jaguars, and snakes.

## Forest Floor Layer of the Rainforest

It is estimated that only 2% of sunlight gets through the thick leafs of the canopy layer and understory plants to reach the forest floor.

The forest floor is the darkest and most humid layer of the rainforest. Shubs with large leaves and new tree saplings grow in this layer.

The ground is made up of dead leaves that have fallen from the other layers above. Fungi break down the decaying plant matter and many insects live in the dead leaves. Rodents as well as insect eating animals are found in this layer.

Examples of animals, insects, and plants that live in the forest floor of the rainforest include: anteaters, giant centipedes, Hercules beetles, burrowing worms, and bearded pigs.

## Code the Layers of the Rainforest

Goal: Use commands to move in your maze to place the Amazon animals in the correct layer of the rainforest.

Begin this activity by identifying the layers of the rainforest. Write the name of each layer on the star in the layer.

Scroll to the end of this post to grab this free unplugged coding activity for kids!

Use the clues about each animal or insect to determine the correct layer of the rainforest that the animal or insect belongs in.

Plan the commands you need to move through the maze to the right layer. Use those commands to write down the correct path for each animal or insect.

Note: some animals can be coded to two layers of the rainforest. For example, jaguars can be found in both the understory and forest floor layers of he rainforest.

Commands are steps to perform a task. When you write a command, you do not put a space between the words and you always end the command with parentheses.

Writing code its you create your own set of instructions for your robot (or in this case your walking fingers) to carry out.

Your goal is to figure out which instructions, in which order, will result in a great working code!

Start by writing commands to perform tasks in your maze. For example, you’ll need to moveUp () or moveForward () to start.

For this activity, we used the following commands:

moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveLeft ()
moveDown ()
placeAnimal ()

For my 12yr old daughter, we used the following commands:

moveForward ()
turnLeft ()
turnRight ()
placeAnimal ()

After you have determined the correct path with commands, run your code by walking your finger through the maze and place the animal card at the right star on your maze.

ANSWERS TO THE LAYERS OF THE RAINFOREST UNPLUGGED CODING ACTIVITY

### Emergent Layer

You should code the blue macaw, scarlet macaw, and blue parrot (boxes 6, 8, and 10) into the emergent layer.

Using our commands, we programmed them with the following code:

moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveRight ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUP ()
moveRight ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveRight ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
placeAnimal ()

### Canopy Layer

You should code the toucan, monkey, and sloth (boxes 1, 7, and 9) into the canopy layer.

Using our commands, we programmed them with the following code:

moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
placeAnimal ()

### Understory Layer

You should code the jaguar, boa, and beetle (boxes 2, 3, and 5) into the understory layer.

Using our commands, we programmed them with the following code:

moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveRight ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveRight ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
placeAnimal ()

### Forest Floor Layer

You should code the jaguar, centipede, and beetle (boxes 2, 4, and 5) into the forest floor layer.

Using our commands, we programmed them with the following code:

moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveRight ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveUp ()
moveRight ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveDown ()
moveLeft ()
moveLeft ()
moveDown ()
moveRight ()
placeAnimal ()

## Why are coding activities important?

Unplugged coding activities are designed to introduce the concept of coding. These activities can be games and lessons that teach children how to think logically, how to break down large tasks, and how to identify errors.

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## Unplugged Coding Activities

Find more Elementary unplugged coding activities to work on basic coding skills!

## Meet Toni, the Maker Mom behind Our Family Code

Hey there, I’m Toni! I’m a software engineer and Maker Mom that finds my joy in unleashing my children’s curiosity by exploring STEAM concepts with my fantastic five!

When I’m not chasing toddlers or raising tweens, you can find me tearing things up and putting them back together over here at Our Family Code.

I am the owner and content creator of multiple educational websites designed to increase access to STEAM & STEM education with a focus on teaching computer science and coding to kids of all ages!

You can also find out more about me by visiting ToniGardner.com!

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