Social studies curriculum

Cartopedia: The Ultimate World Reference Atlas

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Cartopedia: The Ultimate World Reference Atlas

Destination: Rain Forest / Imagination Express. (1996). Redmond, WA: Edmark Corp. & Harcourt

Brace & Co.

The Digital Field Trip to the Rain Forest. (1998). Canada: Digital Frog International. Inc.

Earth’s Endangered Environments – Picture Show.

Encarta 97: World Atlas. (1996). Microsoft Corp.

Eyewitness Encyclopedia of Nature.

GeoSafari Geography. (1997). Carson, CA: Educational Insights.

Mammals: National Geographic.

The Map Room. (1996). Arlington, VA: Edunetics Corp.

Multimedia Animals Encyclopedia.

Music and Cultures. (1996). Clearvue/eav. Inc. and Zane Publishing Inc.

National Geographic: Picture Atlas of the World. (1995). Washington, D.C.: National Geographic


Nutt, Jan. (1997). Using the Internet to Explore Rain Forests. Fort Collins, CO: Steck-Vaughn Co.

The Nystrom Outline Map Library. (1997). Chicago, IL: Nystrom.

Rand McNally Children’s World Atlas. (1996). Skokie, IL: Rand McNally and Co.

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego

The World Atlas

Zip Zap World

Zoo Guides Vol. 4 The Rain Forest. (1996). San Diego, CA: REMedia, Inc.

Brazil Video Visits. (1988). Huntsville, TX: Educational Video Network, Inc.



Additional Instructional Tasks and Assessments:

  • The following suggestions have been provided for teachers to select from as possible extension activities or enrichment for differentiated instruction. These activities are not required.

Students will:

1. Complete a political map of South America. Include the following:

    1. Countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chie, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela (French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname may be excluded from spelling list.)

    2. Cities: Brasilia, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Lima

2. Label a physical map of South America including the following:

  1. Mountains: Andes, Guiana, Brazilian Highlands

  2. Rivers: Amazon, Orinoco, Magdalena, Parana

  3. Land Regions: Patagonia, Pampas, Chaco, Atacama Desert, Amazon Basin

  4. Other: Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Straits of Magellan, Falkland Islands, Equator, Tropic of Capricorn, Galapagos Islands, Cape Horn

  1. Complete a different type of map of South America which may include population density, climate, precipitation, vegetation.

  2. Complete the pages of the atlas and teacher’s guide that pertain to South America.

  3. Write to organizations that protect our word’s resources to gain more information about the Amazon rain forest.

  4. Learn about the animals of the Amazon rain forest by creating a concentration game using index cards.

  5. Explain the part played by the Amazon rain forest in controlling the greenhouse effect.

  6. Make charts showing the names of trees, fruits, flowers, mammals, fish, and reptiles that live and grow in the rain forest.

  7. Brazil is the only country to win the World Cup four times. Do research to find the years of all the winning games. Design a poster or magazine cover celebrating Brazil’s World Cup championships.

  8. Draw a map of Brazil. Label the Amazon River. Mark the locations of each of the 10 bordering South American nations.

  9. Tell why Brazil is a popular tourist destination. Contact a travel agency for brochures and make a list of things to see and do. Would your family prefer a vacation in the big cities or in the rain forest of Brazil?

  10. Use what you know about Brazilian culture to create a menu for a Carnival banquet.

  11. Write a brief news article about the Carnival celebration in one of Brazil’s cities.

  12. Draw a map of Brazil showing the states where there is land reserved for native people.

  13. Identify the main threats that endanger the jaguar.

  14. Learn some Portuguese words.

  15. Create a rain forest post card. On the front, draw an insect, plant, or animal in the rain forest. On the back of the card, write several sentences explaining what the picture is and why it is important to the rain forest. Address the post card to a friend, relative, or government official.

  16. Listen to the audio tape, “Amazon Days, Amazon Nights,” from Natural Resources Defense Council, P. O. Box 1400 Church Hill, Maryland, 221690.

  17. Obtain and read a copy of the 81 page article, “The Rain Forests,” National Geographic, Volume 163, No. 1, January 1983.

  18. Write a letter to a government official urging him/her to help save the rain forest.

  19. Draw a double bar graph comparing the heights of trees in Newington to the heights of trees in the emergent and canopy layers of the rain forest.

  20. Make a miniature rain forest and observe how it creates its own “rain.” (See Rain Forest Extended Thematic Unit #674).

  21. Make a rain forest terrarium.

  22. Create a rain forest museum using one of two options: A. Divide the museum into stations by the elements of the rain forest such as plants, animals, etc. OR B. Have each student become an expert on one plant or animal of the rain forest.

  23. Search the Internet for a specific site related to South America, the Amazon Rain Forest, or Brazil. (See Internet sheets in appendix.)

  24. Tropical rain forests receive an enormous amount of rain. Students should use an almanac or other reference book to find the ten places around the world that have the greatest annual rainfall. Locate each place on a map or globe.

  25. Butterflies and moths abound in the rain forests. Students can find out the differences between them. Then they can make a diagram of the life cycle of a butterfly, from its beginning as an egg to when it becomes a colorful butterfly.

  26. Complete activities provided in the Geography Mini Centers resource packets:

  • “Regions”

  • “Endangered Species”

  • “Climate”

29. Respond to writing prompts. (List of possible topics follows.)
Writing Prompts: Human Environment Interaction /Amazon Rain Forest/ Brazil

  • In Brazil in the late 1800s, people who could not read or write were not allowed to vote. Why might a country wand to make such a rule? Do you think this was a fair rule? Should the United States require its voting citizens to take a literacy test?

  • Conservation is the wise use of energy. Make a list of all the ways you use energy in a typical day (example: hair dryer, television). Identify at least five ways you could cut back on the amount of energy you use.

  • Do you think the government should create laws to protect the environment? For example, should recycling be mandatory? Should fresh water be rationed? Support your opinion with reasons.

  • Why do you think people fail to take all the steps possible to help the environment? Is there anything more you could be doing?

  • Native people of the Amazon region use many different plants as medicines. Describe some natural remedies you have used or heard about.

Grade 5 Social Studies


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