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This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book The Umbrella by Jan Brett.

When Carlos drops his umbrella to climb a tree for a better view of the animals, they all cram into the banana-leaf umbrella as it floats by–from the little tree frog to the baby tapir to the big jaguar and more. It gets so crowded in the umbrella that there isn’t even enough room for a little hummingbird! So over the umbrella tumbles, everyone falls out, and poor Carlos comes back wondering why he didn’t see any animals all day.

from The Umbrella summary at

Use this book as the foundation for lessons on rainforest animals, rainforest plants, Costa Rica, and more! Grab our The Umbrella unit study and get started.

Thanks to Ginger A. for preparing this The Umbrella unit study for Homeschool Share.

The Umbrella Unit Study Lessons

Here is a sample of the lessons found in this The Umbrella unit study:

Language Arts: Creative Writing
Pretend to be a scientist in the rain forest. You have made a discovery. You will need to answer these questions. Is your discovery a plant or an animal? What is the name of your animal? In which layer does it live? If it’s an animal what does it eat? If your discovery is a plant tell which animal uses it for food. Is your discovery the last of its kind? Could it survive outside of the rain forest? Draw a picture of your discovery.

Science: Layers of the Rainforest
Learn the four levels of the rain forest: forest floor, understory, canopy, emergent. Study the plants and animals found in each level. Have the child compare this information to a tall building. What do we see at the street level? Which birds nest along the window ledges and under the eaves? What do we find at the top?

Geography: Costa Rica
The Umbrella was written after Jan Brett toured the Monteverdi Cloud forest in Costa Rica. The name literally means “rich coast.”

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south-southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica is the only country in which both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen from the same point.

Math: Multiplication
The rain forests have at least ten times the amount of plant and animal life as other types of forests. Measure off a two feet square area in a forest. Carefully count all the plants and animals in that area. Multiply the number by ten. This answer represents the amount of plants and animals you would probably find in that same amount of space in the rain forest.

You can grab a copy of the entire The Umbrella unit study in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

How to Get Started with the The Umbrella Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with The Umbrella unit study.

  1. Buy a copy of the book, The Umbrella, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the The Umbrella unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your The Umbrella Unit Study

Simply click on the image below to access your free copy of The Umbrella unit study.

The Umbrella Unit Study

More Resources for Learning About the Rainforest

The Great Kapok Tree Unit Study & Lapbook
The Parrot Tico Tango Unit Study
Lake of the Big Snake Unit Study