One of my favorite things about having my own classroom is getting to decorate! There is just something exciting about a color-coordinated, organized, themed classroom. Students love it because your classroom is inviting and fun! Let’s take a walk on the wild side to learn 7 reasons to create a jungle themed classroom.
1. Amazing Jungle Animals
Create a jungle themed classroom that students look forward to walking into each day! Your room will be sure to inspire a love of animals and foster respect for the great outdoors.
Get students excited and engaged by transforming your classroom into an experience as soon as students enter the classroom. Choose an animal to be your mascot. Your class can be the “monkeys,” the “tigers,” or any other jungle animal you choose.
Have your students make connections between themselves and the world. As they take their coats off, they can “shed their skin,” like jungle snakes. During calendar time, students will be surrounded by animals, including giraffes, hippos, elephants, lions, monkeys, zebras, and more! See if they can make connections between their classroom setting and the jungle.
The desk name plates have three animals to choose from. Students will love seeing the special animal you choose for them.
Another way to get your students engaged is to come up with a meaning for each animal. One animal can be a warrior. One can be a gatherer. Another can be full of wisdom. It’s little things like this that go along with building confidence in your students. A student who has a warrior animal may feel a sense of courage. The gatherer may feel empowered to gather classroom essentials or help classmates when needed. The animal with wisdom may feel empowered to help others.
You can also use these to easily group students. Talk about a time-saver!
2. Endless Reading Opportunities
A jungle themed classroom can do more than look good. It can provide many great opportunities for learning. Help students build connections between components of the decor to the natural world. Those connections build a foundation for deeper learning.
There are many amazing books about the jungle and jungle animals! Choose a new selection of books to highlight each week. Display these in your classroom so that students can choose one during independent reading time. The opportunity for reading-related content fosters deeper learning and an appreciation for life outside of the standards.
There are many books that are great for teaching topics related to the jungle theme, such as habitats, other countries, cultures, customs, plants, and social-emotional skills.
The Great Kapok Tree is an amazing choice for your jungle themed classroom. Students will travel to the rain forests of Brazil to learn the importance of living things and their interdependence. This is an experience that your students can take without leaving the classroom.
Have students write a few facts about different animals or other interesting things they learned about the rainforest. Students will begin making connections between the book and the animals they see around the room.
You should also check out this book, Endangered Animals of the Jungle, which educates students about endangered animals of the jungle. And . . . your students will love this “You’re the Hero” jungle adventure book because it lets students choose the story! Readers can create jungle-inspired adventures over and over again! This is a fun book for students, but it also teaches decision-making and problem-solving skills.
There are so many great books set in the jungle and the rainforest. You could have an entire year of class read alouds just using jungle themed books!
3. Wonderful Writing
Incorporating writing into your jungle themed classroom is a great way for students to express the things they learn. Expand your students’ vocabulary by choosing a jungle vocabulary word each week and challenge them to use it in their writing.
Create an observation journal for each student. Then head out on a virtual field trip. Turn on this jungle fruit feeder live stream and let your students spend some time in the jungle without ever leaving your classroom! Your students will love adding their observations to their journal. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute also has several live streams to choose from on their site!
And. . . who can forget an opportunity to add some research into your writing lesson plans. Let students choose a favorite jungle animal to research. They can create a project and share it with their classmates.
Let students use their research to create a trivia game and quiz each other. This activity fosters peer-to-peer learning as well as cooperative learning. Students enjoy working with peers to problem-solve. When they are allowed the freedom to expand their thinking on a peer level, they are given the opportunity to learn and connect on another level.
4. Global Connections
We live in a world of global connections. Challenge your students to think globally and learn from everyone! Their jungle themed classroom will become a great starting point and connection to a variety of places around the globe.
Spend some time researching your local climate with your students. Your class can then research and compare global environmental issues in your region to issues that may be present in countries with jungles.
Use the power of the Internet to take virtual field trips into the jungles of the world. This site takes you to the Amazon rainforest! It also has lesson plans with activities, vocabulary, and quizzes! Students can learn about exotic animals and plants of the Amazon. They can learn about the different cultures in other parts of the world.
Connect with educators around the globe via social media. Reach out to someone you are interested in learning from, and they can answer questions that your students may have. They may be interested in doing a Google Meet, Zoom, or Skype session with each of your classes! Another great way to connect with others around the world is to make connections through pen pals! Check out Pen Pal Schools to connect with classrooms around the world!
5. Sounds of Nature
A typical classroom sounds like kids laughing, teachers teaching, and a multitude of sounds created by children learning. Incorporate the different sounds of the jungle into your classrom for a unique learning experience that students are sure to remember!
Create a calm atmosphere with a video of relaxing jungle sounds from the Amazon rainforest. Low playing music often leads to low voices since students want to hear the music.
Use can also use music as part of your transitions in a jungle themed classroom. Have different animal sounds or sounds signal different actions. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you never had to “tell” students what to do, but instead trained them by sounds? Students could line up when they hear the roaring lion or transition to the next center with the sound of monkeys.
Play a game and choose a new jungle sound (animal or nature) to play each day, and let students guess the sounds!
Incorporate music into your classroom! If you have a music teacher, ask to borrow some instruments. Your students can use their knowledge of rhythms, beats, and patterns to create their own songs! Students can create sounds, lyrics, or both! It’s a great way to teach poetry!
If you don’t have access to instruments, or you want all students to be able to keep an instrument, get creative! Students love crafts, so teach them how to make rainsticks. Here’s an affordable craft that uses paper towels to make rainsticks. Kids love making noise, so find a drum craft, too!
Have students use their instruments as you read to them! Bam Boom! is a book that lets students make music with the book characters!
6. Fun and Easy Bulletin Boards
A jungle themed classroom makes it easy to create fun bulletin boards!
Make a “Born to be Wild” birthday bulletin board to celebrate your students on their special day! Students will love seeing their names displayed for the class to see! You can even have students write letters or draw pictures for each other on their birthdays. Check out your local craft store, or look online to find jungle themed scrapbook paper to back students’ papers with. These would be an adorable keepsake that students could enjoy for a lifetime!
Do you love word walls? Choose any beautiful jungle pattern and make a “Learning is a Wild Experience” bulletin board to display vocabulary words or learning goals. Students can add new words to the bulletin board daily or weekly.
Take this learning a step further by asking students to categorize the words into categories they choose. Students can transfer this knowledge into vocabulary notebooks, reading journals, or writing activities!
Need a cute back to school bulletin board? Welcome students to your “jungle” with a jungle themed classroom banner. It’s important to build a classroom community from the first day of school. This is a fun, easy way to let your students know that they are in an amazing classroom!
Students thrive on routine! They like to know where they will be and what they will be doing during each part of the school day. Set your students up for success by displaying your new classroom schedule on a bulletin board so students can learn the routines.
7. Jungle Games
Kids love to play games! Take time to incorporate educational gaming in your classroom and students will love it! In the game Jungle Rangers, younger students learn about jungles and then explore them online! They navigate the scene, identify jungle animals, and photograph them. Students will have fun, but also learn new facts at the same time.
Jungle Jeopardy: An Ecosystem Game is another great choice. Students will learn about interdependent relationships in ecosystems, cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems, and ecosystem dynamics!
Explore the planet’s richest jungle habitats with BBC Earth. Natural Treasure: Jungles offers unique insights into life in the jungle through the eyes of its extraordinary animal inhabitants.
The Lemur Conservation Network has an awesome Google Earth Mapping activity. Students will learn about Madagascar, lemurs, and wildlife habitats.
There are multiple opportunites to teach through gaming. Give students “gaming journals” and ask them to record their learning each day. Teach students how to use graphic organizers to document their learning. They can use these as they write research papers or create presentations. Teach them the writing process by taking their notes from bullet points to a formal paper.
Are you Ready for Your Own Jungle Themed Classroom?
No need to spend hours searching for jungle themed classroom decor. Create a jungle themed classroom easily with this Jungle Themed Classroom Decor Bundle! This bundle has everything you need and is editable so that you can easily customize it to meet your needs.
Could you use some more classroom decor tips? I’ve got a whole post that will help you take your classroom from blah to awesome.
Save it for Later
Be sure to pin this to your favorite classroom Pinterest board, so you’ll be able to get back to these reasons and tips for setting up your own jungle themed classroom!