Magic Tree House
About Afternoon on the Amazon and Rain Forests: A Nonfiction Companion to Afternoon on the Amazon
In Afternoon on the Amazon, Jack and Annie travel back in time to a South American rain forest in search of the elusive magician Morgan le Fay. Will they find a new clue to her whereabouts before they are trampled by stampeding killer ants?
What is the strangest plant in the rain forest? Which rain forest animal is the creepiest? What medicines have been discovered there? How can we save our rain forests? Find out the answers to these questions and more in Rain Forests: A Nonfiction Companion to Afternoon on the Amazon, Jack and Annie’s very own guide to the mysteries of the rain forest. Includes information on rain forests around the world; fun facts about rain-forest bugs, birds, plants, and animals; maps and photographs; and much more!
Activities for Rain Forests: A Nonfiction Companion to Afternoon on the Amazon
- Where in the World Are the Rain Forests?Post a world map in the room so children can see where the rain forests are located, as well as their vastness. (Use the map in the book as your source of information.) With your class, locate and discuss the Equator, the Tropic of Cancer, and the Tropic of Capricorn. Although there are rain forests in other parts of the world, this book focuses mainly on the tropical rain forests.
- Just How Big Is the Rain Forest?The biggest tropical rain forest is the Amazon Rain Forest in South America. It is larger than the states of Texas, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Minnesota, and Alaska combined. Using a map, have students locate and cut out the outline of each of these states and place them together to visualize the enormous area they are studying!
- Who’s at Home in the Rain Forest? A Knock Knock Riddle ExerciseHave students research the different species of animals in the rain forest and place them under the correct heading using an Attribute Web. They then can create Knock Knock Riddles for their favorite rain forest animal. Write three clues about the animal on the back of a folded picture of a rain forest animal. Write three clues about the animal on the back of a folded picture of a rain forest animal. Cut out a rectangle to show just the eyes of the animal. When you open the folded paper, the whole animal is revealed.
- How Does It Measure Up?Rain forest creatures and plants come in all sizes and shapes. Have students choose an animal or plant and compare its height with those of other classmates. Have a contest to discover which is the largest, which is the smallest, etc. Ask students to find other things in the classroom or on the playground that are approximately the same height/length. This information can be recorded on a class chat and used in word problems.
- Once Upon a TimeStorytelling plays a major part in the rain forest. It is a tradition that stories are passed down orally from generation to generation by the Mbuti and Yanomami tribes. Have the students pick a rain forest animal and incorporate the facts that they have learned about the animal into a fiction story. The students can celebrate their stories with a storytelling festival.
- Language Arts
- Theater Arts
- If Your Can’t Take the Heat, Get Out of the KitchenThe rain forest climate is very steamy. We use hundreds of products from the rain forests each year, and some are found right in our kitchens, or homes. Have students create a survey to find these exotic products. The survey can be used in a spreadsheet for date gathering or in creative writing on how these products are used.
- Save the Rain Forests!As a culminating activity, brainstorm with your students all the different ways that the message “Save the Rain Forests!” can be spread (radio, TV, magazines, billboards, bumper stickers, speeches, interviews, etc.). Students can work alone or in groups to develop a marketing strategy, including displaying posters in the school and giving short speeches over the PA system or to other classes.
- Language Arts
- Theater Arts
Teaching ideas provided by Jamay Johnson, second grade teacher, and Melinda Murphy, media specialist, Reed Elementary School, Cypress Fairbranks Independent School District, Houston, Texas.