Enter the Rainforest
Guardians of the Rainforest
With its poisonous reptiles, unforgiving heat and humidity, hoards of insects, and overgrown brush, life in the rainforest is no walk in the park. Yet groups of people have been surviving and thriving in the rainforest for thousands of years. In many countries, they are even called the "guardians of the rainforest" for the role they play in protecting and conserving these special places. Today, you'll meet a few of them and learn more about their way of life.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Pens, crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Popsicle sticks or craft sticks
- Wood glue
- Building blocks or Lego-type blocks (optional)
- Fort-building materials like cardboard boxes (optional)
- Small rocks and twigs for mini rainforest scenery (optional)
Ask About Today
Can you tell me about the different rainforest tribes you learned about today? How do they live in and protect the rainforest?
If an explorer who knew little about us took an expedition to our house, what are some cultural artifacts, practices or traditions that they would find unique to our family?
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.
There are many groups of people living in the rainforest and they all have different ways of life. Meet a few of them in these short videos and photo collections. What are some similarities and differences between these groups? How and why are their livelihoods and homes being threatened? What strategies are they using to preserve their ways of life and the rainforest around them?
Meet the Tembe Tribe
The people of the Tembe Amazon tribe may hunt with bows and fish for piranhas, but they also ride bikes and watch YouTube videos, just like you.
Journey with the Waiapi Tribe
The Waiapi tribe is another small and distinct tribe in Brazil that is trying to preserve their way of life and land. Look through these powerful photos and read more about them.
Content warning: This photo collection features images of native people going about their natural way of life and includes some nudity. Some families may want to skip it.
Visit the Achuar
To reach the Achuar people in Peru, you have to travel 4-8 days by plane, motorized boat, dug-out canoe, and foot. Luckily, you can stay right in your living room to learn more about them.
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.
Growing Up in the Amazon
What's it like being a kid in the Amazon rainforest? Let's find out!
Watching Over the Amazon
Amazon Watch, a nonprofit organization, works alongside indigenous groups and environmental organizations to protect the rainforest and native peoples in the Amazon Basin. Learn more about the organization's work and why it's so important in this beautiful video.
Imagine that you lived in the rainforest. What would your home look like? Better start designing—it'll be dark soon and there's always more rain coming.
Build (or Draw) Your Amazon Home
Follow this video to learn how to use craft or popsicle sticks to make your own tiny Amazon hut. You'll need a bunch of popsicle sticks, wood glue, a ruler, a pencil, and some sturdy scissors. After you're done, color your hut with markers or paint. Will yours be bright and colorful, or designed to blend in with the lush environment?
(Short on supplies? No problem. Grab some paper and crayons or colored pencils and start sketching your rainforest shelter. Consider drawing it from above, like a blueprint, so you can show its rooms and features!)
For younger explorers
Build Your Rainforest Hut
It's time to get out of the rain and away from the bugs! Use blocks or Legos to build a miniature version of the kind of shelter you'd want in the rainforest, or make your own life-sized hut out of cardboard boxes or sheets and furniture, and crawl right in. Think about what you might want to bring with you!
Get to know the tribes of the rainforest a little better.
Visit the "Uncontacted" Tribes
Read about Pira'I, a member of the Awa Tribe, his first flight in a helicopter, and what he is doing to protect his tribe and the rainforest from illegal loggers and farmers.
Every year, millions of acres of rainforest are lost to "deforestation," which occurs when companies clear out land for things like farming, oil-drilling, and mining. Read about how deforestation is threatening the rainforest and the tribes that call it home—and what you can do about it.
For younger explorers
The Great Kapok Tree
When a man with an axe enters the rainforest, the animals have to act quickly! Read along and find out what happens in the story The Great Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry.
For younger explorers
Roaming in the Rainforest
In this rainforest adventure, all the animals have ideas about what you should do while you're there.
Build a Biome!
Use what you've learned over the past four days to create a rainforest "biome." Decide what the temperature is like, what plants are found here, and what animals might be hiding in the brush! Once you've built your rainforest biome, test your knowledge by trying another type of biome.
Wild Kratts Amazing Amazon Adventure
Team up with the Wild Kratts for a wild run through the Amazon.
To feel close and connected to nature, it's helpful to be mindful and aware of ourselves and our surroundings. So for today's Move activity, we're going to try... being still. Get comfortable, then step into the rainforest in this guided meditation.
more to explore
Venture further into the Amazon rainforest.
Why "The Amazon"?
How did the Amazon rainforest get its name? No one's totally sure, but there are a few theories. Read about them here.
People of the Amazon
Visit the World Wildlife Fund to learn more about the people of the Amazon and the threats to their way of life
Coronavirus in the Amazon
While many Amazon tribes live in remote parts of the rainforest, they have been affected by the spread of the coronavirus just like all of us. Watch this short video to learn more.