Enter the Rainforest
You've studied. You've explored. You've freaked out a little bit about giant spiders. Now you're ready to lead the next rainforest expedition. So many mysteries remain. Did you know that hidden rainforests are still being discovered—even inside volcanos? Today, you will plan your own expedition. Which rainforest would you like to visit? How will you and your team gather information? What startling new answers will you unearth?
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Pens, crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Paper (large, A4 size if possible)
- A notebook or journal (or a few pieces of paper stapled together)
- Empty water bottles or paper towel rolls
- Rolled up socks
Ask About Today
What are some essential items to pack for a rainforest expedition?
If our family was to go on an expedition, where would we go? What would we be most excited and scared to see?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
Watch and Learn
Follow Dan, a young biologist, as he goes on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition into the depths of the Amazon rainforest to spot a wild jaguar. Pay close attention to the dangers he encounters, the modes of transportation he uses, the shelters he builds, and the food he eats. It will come in handy as you plan your own expedition!
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Map Your Expedition
Before you plan your expedition, you need to choose where to go! Use this interactive map from Global Forest Watch to choose which rainforest you'll be exploring. Maybe it hasn't been discovered yet! As you're looking at the map, use the different features to see where there has been progress in tree growth and where there has been tree loss. Keep in mind that this map shows ALL forests, not just rainforests, so you'll have to think about where rainforests typically grow (hint: the area around the equator is a good place to start!).
Don't Forget the Bug Spray
Now that you have the destination, you'll have to choose what to bring! Watch this video to get clues and look through the Expedition Kit Photo Cards to decide what's most important. Remember, there's not much room in a canoe and you're going to be doing a lot of hiking through jungle terrain on foot.
A journey into the Amazon rainforest is an experience you won't want to forget.
Read a few entries from the dairies of George Cherrie, a naturalist and explorer who joined president Theodore Roosevelt on a 1913 expedition down an uncharted river in the Amazon. He didn't always enjoy the adventure.
Create an Expedition Journal
Pretend you are four days into your expedition, already surrounded by dense forest with no one but your team and the animals around you.
Create an expedition journal so you can report back to scientists when you get home. Write a few sentences about what happened each day along your way. Scientists often draw the creatures and plants they come across, so consider including some illustrations, too. Think about:
- What mode of transportation did you use to get into the jungle?
- Where have you been sleeping?
- What have you been eating?
- What animals have you seen so far?
- What are you hoping to find at the end of your adventure?
If you don't want to write in a journal, try making your own expedition video recording what you've done, or draw a comic book of your journey.
Share your work! We'd love to see it. Ask a parent to email a photo to us or share it on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @CampKinda.
For younger explorers
Don't Forget to Write!
While you're away on your expedition, your family would probably like to know how you're doing. Write them a short letter about where you are and what you've seen. Don't forget to include a picture of your favorite rainforest creature!
A Rainforest... in a Volcano
Lost in the Jungle
Not all people are as lucky when they go exploring in the rainforest. Read about the terrifying and miraculous experience of Yossi Ghinsberg, a young man who was lost in the rainforest for three weeks and lived to tell the tale!
For younger explorers
Explorers of the Wild
We can all be explorers! What parts of the rainforest would you most like to explore? Think about it as you read along to Explorers of the Wild, by Cale Atkinson.
Knock Down the Fruit
If you're in the rainforest, chances are you'll be eating fresh fruit from the trees. You'll have to work on your aim to make sure you can hit it!
Set up some "fruit" (empty water bottles or paper towel rolls work great) in an open space. Using rolled up socks, try knocking them down.
Start close to the fruit and move farther away. Remember how tall the trees can get in the rainforest!
If you're really good, add some obstacles in the way that make it more difficult to throw. Imagine throwing over giant boulders, around towering trees, or through tangled underbrush.
Observe Like an Explorer
If you're on an expedition, you'll need to practice your animal spotting and plant identification skills!
Take a walk outside or look out different windows in your home to get different views of the nature.
On a piece of paper, mark down how many different plants and trees you see. If you have time, you can even draw them out to show family or friends later.
Can you identify the different layers? Remember, the rainforest layers include the emergent, the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor. You may not have a rainforest out your window, but some of the same kinds of layers might be visible in the landscape around you.
Try and get a closer look and check for insects, rodents, and birds! Where would they be living? Have they left any tracks behind? What adaptation skills have they developed to survive where humans live?
Remember: Always check with an adult before heading outside!
more to explore
Where else will your journey take you?
A World to Discover
We don't need to go into space to find uncharted territory. All around the world, there are still hidden places to be found and new species to be discovered.
Jungle Survival Tips
Looking for more jungle survival tips to prepare for your expedition? Check these out.