Lesson Plan

Survival Of The Fittest: Grade 3

'I'iwi drinking the nectar of a beautiful red lehua
'I'iwi drinking the nectar of a beautiful red lehua

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Grade Level:
Third Grade
Biology: Animals, Biology: Plants, Environment, History, Science and Technology
90 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 60
in the park


Standing 400 feet above the Kīlauea Iki crater down to the depths of a 550 year old lava tube, students will begin to explore and understand the ecosystem of Hawaii's natural rainforest. Through understanding how these plants and animals made their way over vast oceans, and how they began to adapt to elements and terrain presented to them upon arrival, the students will begin to gain a much deeper sense of appreciation for the environment in which they live.   


The objective of this program is to instill a deeper understanding of the Hawaiian rainforest, through understanding the plants and animals within it. How they survived and thrived, as well as those who may have made their way to extinction. Also to understand our roll in saving and perpetuating the environment around us.


You may view the 6 page lesson plan below or download/print the pdf version via the link at the top of the page. 


Students will be given follow along worksheets to help them keep up visually with what has been learned. Grading is optional with these worksheets as we will be discussing them as a large group. Additional tests are optional, pending teachers decision to continue learning after leaving Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park.

Park Connections

This hike will be conducted on one of the most popular trails within our park. Students will analyze natural resources (name, uses, history, ect.) as well as explore the natural land marks that have been left after hundreds and thousands of years of volcanic activity.


In order for us to make this the best experience as possible it is suggested that the teacher(s) look over the curriculum on the website and from there look into the background of the different components we will be going over. For example teaching just a few of the different plants and animals found within Hawai‘i's rainforests prior to visit will make observing and identifying much more enjoyable for students. We DO NOT expect the students to be completely knowledgeable, but to come with an open mind eager to learn.


alien, Nāhuku, adapt, evolve, kupuna, ‘āina, endangered, extinct