SOUTH AMERICA unit study ideas










Books I recommend   (Amazon links given for those of you who like to shop Amazon.)

“One Small Square, Tropical Rain Forest”  by Donald Silver.  A very scientific picture book for grades 2-6

“Rain Forest” a New View book by Fiona MacDonald.  Catalogues what creatures live in each layer of the rain forest.

With my middle school students, I used some books from the “Scientists in the Field” series, published by Harcourt Brace and Company.

“Tapir Scientist”

“Amazon Adventure; How Tiny Fish Are Saving the World’s Largest Rain Forest”



I have a South America playlist on my YouTube channel, that provides dozens of previewed, high quality videos about the Amazon and other parts of South America.  If you can see the playlist right away, click on “See All Playlists.”  It is there somewhere– YouTube just makes it hard to find things now.



“Poison Dart Frog Game”

“Bird Watching in Brazil Bingo”

“Leaf Cutter Ant Relay Race”



“Pointer Stars” paper craft project shows Southern Cross and northern Big Dipper

Dart frog craft idea:  We used paint markers to decorate these jumping plastic frogs to look like dart frogs.

Anaconda paper chain snake (just type these key words into google or pinterest)

Drawing Lessons:

Biomes of South America map and coloring activity

Rain forests have lots of fungi, so our older students learned about fungi using the FUNGI drawing lesson listed on the VIDEOS tab under BOTANY.

Also under BOTANY videos, we learned about the amazing micro-ecosystem in a BROMELIAD plant.  Did this one with both elementary and middle school.



Unfortunately, some of the resources I put a lot of time into are not things I can share online, such as this layers of the rain forest exhibit where each layer has a different attachment mechanisms (magnetic, velcro, hooks) so that the students learn where the animals go simply by seeing where the animals will stick.

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