Education - Inspiration - Enjoyment
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Rainforest Canopies at Eden

For five consecutive days during October half term we delivered drop-in art-meets-science sessions looking at rainforest canopies, as part of Eden's "Canopies" Season. We provided an environment where visitors to The Eden Project had the opportunity to learn about rainforest canopies: what they are, what animals live there, how these animals interact how the food web is structured (with plants at the base). Also, visitors would learn how fundamental the rainforests are to the global environment, how their well-being is directly relevant to all our lives and how the rainforests are being threatened.

We hoped to make the world of the rainforest canopy come alive and be more tangible for visitors by giving them opportunities to read about this environment, look at pictures, study some of the actual flora and ultimately to recreate specific aspects of the canopy environment by using art materials in a variety of ways to recreate canopy plants, animals, and food webs. We also asked visitors to think about how they would have to adapt to survive in this world high above the forest floor - by designing and making tree-houses, thinking about sources of materials, energy, water, food etc.

All the above subjects are relevant to the National Curriculum for key stages one, two, three, four and five and are particularly relevant to art and science.

To enable the above to be achieved, Snapdragonworkshops provided:

  • Art materials - a range of types and colours of paper, card and tissue, plus pens, pencils, scissors, string, cardboard, rulers, sharpeners and a variety of objects and containers to recycle. etc

  • Posters - we made various posters about rainforest canopies: what they are, where they are, what animals live there, how these animals interact and what the food web structure is like, how fundamental the rainforests are to the global environment and how they are being threatened. Also, designs of treehouses.

  • Objects to handle and study - we provided real plants normaly found in the rainforest canopies (such as bromeliads), and a variety of relevant toy animals to inspire people.

  • Reference material - Books and articles to flick through and read, for information and inspiration.

  • Handouts/information sheets we made for people to use on the day and/or take home:
    The rainforests in a nutshell
    What have the rainforests ever done for us?
    Canopy words
    Amazing facts on the Amazon
    Colouring sheet on the rainforest canopy close-up
    Colouring sheet on the rainforest canopy from a distance
    Worksheet describing the origami folding of Jumping Tree Frogs and rainforest butterflies
    Worksheet describing how to design and make a treehouse in the rainforest canopy
    Make your own spiralling tree snake
    Make your own simple spider

    We also provided information verbally plus ideas, encouragement and assistance.


    The room was set out with informative posters on the wall around the workspace. Beneath these, appropriate books were laid out to browse through, and piles of information sheets distributed for people to pick up and work from during their session and take home at the end of the day.

    There was plenty of information for both children and adults, with the childrens’ information laid out at an appropriate height on benches underneath the posters with full access for wheelchair users too.

    The above sources of information were aimed at both the older audience and younger visitors to help them understand rainforest canopies in a fun and informative way. There was a chance for all visitors, whatever their age, to indulge in some creative artwork appropriate to the theme of life in the rainforest canopy which they could take home with them to remind them of what they had learnt at Eden.

    Learning through creativity! We provided opportunities to explore all of the listed themes through creative learning which young people and family groups particularly enjoy. The following were creative activities we had arranged:

  • Origami: making Jumping Tree Frogs & Rainforest Butterflies

  • Animals for smaller people: Twirling Snakes and Simple Spiders

  • Canopy mobile: making a rainforest canopy food web mobile

  • Make a bromeliad plant: with pond and tree frog inside

  • Make a free-standing greetings card: in the shape of a tree and decorate with animals from the canopies

  • Design and make a Tree-house: how would you survive up in the canopies?

  • Creative Collage: This was a large piece of painted canvas hung on the wall where visitors could leave their creations on display if they wished.

    Risk assessments were undertaken for all of these activities and were strictly implemented.

    With thanks to: Emily, Lucy, Rebecca, Debbie, Bradley, Jacqui, Ella, Laurence, Zoe, Grace, Sophie, Lynn, Jason, Alan, Chris, Tanya, Danny, Nico, Caroline, Matthew, Susan, Cara, Audrey, Emily, Isabella, Dani, Lindsay, Patrick, Anthony, Stephen, Jenny, Roisin and Aodan.

    Some of our photos taken around Eden during this visit:

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  • Please note that everyone appearing in photos on this website has given their permission, and childrens' parents have signed forms giving pernmission.

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