A WebQuest for 8th Grade Art & Science

picture of rainforest

www.vic.com/new_zealand/ milford/images/forest.jpg

sound wav
This is a clip from the song "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns n Roses

Designed by:

John, Dylan, Tara, and Bryan

 Introduction | Rousseau | Task | Process | Conclusion


What is a rainforest?

      A rainforest is a large, dense jungle in a hot, humid region. If you could travel to a rainforest, would you?


Where is a rainforest?

Rainforests are located along the equator around the world.

  map of rainforest


What lives in a rainforest?

Tropical rainforests contain more plant, animal, and insect species then anywhere else on earth.  They also contain some of the most beautiful works of nature known to man.

Scientists estimate that we are losing 137 plant, animal, and insect species every day. 

We are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. (http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm) The purpose of this quest is to learn about many of the different plant, animal, and insect species of the jungle, as well as express the beauty of the rainforest through art.


Henri Rousseau - Art of Nature 1844-1910

Henri Rousseau was an artist who lived in Paris. The jungles of South America always fascinated him. Although he had never been there, Rousseau dedicated his art style to painting scenes of the jungle, including the animals and plants that live there. In order to research the visuals needed to accurately represent the biosphere, he used many books and scientific journals that had many pictures and details of these jungles. It will be your group’s task to research plants, animals and insects of the rainforest for a similar purpose!!!!

Rousseau Painting

Fight Between a Tiger and a Buffalo -

Rousseau Painting

The Virgin Forest - www.vskrems-lerchenfeld.ac.

Rousseau Painting

Tiger in Tropical Storm(Suprised!) - www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

Henri also included his own creative style to his artwork. Notice in the examples above that the size of the plants and flowers are much larger than the size of the animals. This is a difference of proportion. Your group will be asked to use a similar style in your finished artwork.



The Task

In groups of two you will research three tropical rainforest plants, three animals, and three insects.  You will identify the names, species, habitat, diet, and anything else of interest.  The class will be given suggested websites pertaining to tropical rainforests that will aid in research.  Your group will write a brief summary of your research.  After the summary is complete you will start the creative part of the quest.  You and your partner will create an art work of your nine different studied organisms.  This project will be an expressive interpretation of your organisms based on the artist Rousseau.

You will need to use Microsoft Word or a Word Processor to type your paper.

The final product will consist of a research paper and an art work representing the rainforest.


The Process


  1. Find a partner
  2. Re-read the entire WebQuest assignment
  3. Look through the suggested websites and any additional resources
  4. Find 3 different plants, 3 animals, and 3 insects
  5. Research information & find pictures, write your summary
  6. Analyze the style of Rousseau
  7. Create a work of art based on Rousseau incorporating you plants, insects, and animals that you researched.
  8. Present your research and art work in 3 minutes in front of the class.


These are the suggested links for:

Rainforest Animals- Picture of Tiger

  1. http://www.abcteach.com/RainforestFacts/RainforestAnimals2.htm
  2. http://www.abcteach.com/RainforestFacts/RainforestAnimals3.htm
  3. http://www.abcteach.com/RainforestFacts/Rainforestfacts.htm
  4. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/rainforest/animals/Rfbiomeanimals.shtml

Rainforest Plants- Plant picture

  1. http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rnfrst_plant_page.htm
  2. http://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/krubal/rainforest/Edit560s6/www/plants.htm
  3. http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/Rainforest/rainforest.htm
  4. http://www.savetherainforest.org/savetherainforest_004.htm


Rainforest Insects- picture of butterfly


  1. just look at the ants area of information- Aztec Ant www.mobot.org/education/tropics/page5.html 
  2. (click on star insects)- Anopheles Mosquito, Ant Lion(Doodlebug), Army Ant, Giant Silk Moth (window-wing saturnian), Jewel Scarab Beetle, Latern Bug, Rhinoceros Beetle www.insectia.com
  3. Crab Spider www.museums.org.za/bio/spiderweb/thomisid.htm
  4. Cicada www.earthlife.net/insects/cicadidae.html
  5. Euglossine Bee (orchid Bee)www.ufv.br/dbg/bee/Versao2/Euglossine.htm
  6. Euglossine Bee (orchid Bee) www.museums.org.za/bio/spiderweb/pisauridae.htm
  7. Millipede www.earthlife.net/insects/diplopoda.html
  8. walking Stick, Tiger beetle, Termite, Sphinx Moth, Praying Mantis, Anopheles Mosquito, Ant Lion(Doodlebug) www.ivyhall.district96.k12.il.us/4th/kkhp/1insects/bugmenu.html
  9. Stingless bee www.earthlife.net/insects/socbees.html


For more information on Henri Rousseau, click these links:






Understanding the rainforests and the life that inhabit them will greatly increase our knowledge of life. It can lead to cures of many diseases, and can bring about many other scientific discoveries. In this WebQuest we have examined the relationship between science and art. Students learned about some of the different kinds of organisms in the rainforest, as well as the French artist Henri Rousseau. What other artists were inspired by the rainforest when doing art works?

Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page