The Classroom Package: Curriculum Connection

Getting Around the World
Your 'field trip' to the rain forest provides an opportunity to take out the map or globe - to see if you can locate Limoncocha.  It can be found at 0° 25'S, 76° 58'W, just North of the Napo River.  What North American towns or cities are directly north of Limoncocha?  What river does the Napo empty into?  What ocean does that river empty into?  Roughly how far does the water travel before it reaches this ocean?  Where do the first waters of this river begin flowing?  

Math/Geography Lesson: With the globe, compasses and an "imaginative visualization" technique
(compass hinges at the center of the earth and pointers on the equator), a geography lesson (latitude and longitude) can be the perfect starting point from which to explore and reinforce various mathematical concepts: angles and arcs in a circle, parallel lines/ planes, and measurement to name a few.  Tip: open the compass from 0  degrees to the North or South of the equator to form varying angles and arcs; rotate the compass at these angles to form circles of varying circumferences in parallel planes (lines of latitude).  Extend arcs north and south from the equator to the poles, then swing them back up or down to the equator in the opposite hemisphere to form circles of equal circumference (lines of


If you wish to draw these lines, use round balloons and markers, or you can buy papier
mache spheres in most craft stores (or you can make some by applying papier mache over round balloons).   Discuss with students the divisions of the degree system of measurement, and why latitude/longitude, angles and circles all use the same measurement system.  Ask students how latitude and longitude would differ if the poles were East and West instead of North and South.  Discover what geometric object is produced by the rotation of a compass set at 90  - and identify the most important of these "objects" on the globe.  Use math to determine the number of latitude/longitude lines of angles divisible by various factors... With math the possibilities are always endless...

Social Studies Discussion: Limoncocha, the Ecuadorian rain forest village visited in Children of the Amazon and home of the Amazon River Elementary School is a
Quichua village.  The Quichua (called Quechua in Peru) are just one of the many Native American groups who inhabit the Amazon, along with the many colonistas (colonizers). Yet, some Native American groups in the rain forest would also refer to the Quichua as colonizers. The Quichua language, after all, is the lingual remnant of the Incan empire and thus its origins are clearly Andean.  Some historians claim that bands of Inca-influenced Quichua speakers escaped down the Andes and into the forest when the conquistadors swept through the highlands way back in the 16th century.  They founded a large city, Tena, then followed rivers, settling deeper and deeper into the rain forest interior. (The Quichua people in Limoncocha originated in Tena.)

However, many Quichua-speaking Native Americans who now live in the rain forest
claim that they have always lived there, as their current lifestyle, oral tradition and mythology would indicate.  So why would they speak the language of the Incas?  Well, once the Spanish penetrated the forest, large numbers of Native Americans (including entire language-groups) died due to contact with foreign diseases for which they had no immunity, while others where virtually enslaved on rubber plantations.  Furthermore, to encourage the use of a common Native American language (since there were many), Catholic missionaries actually taught Quichua to Native American rain forest groups.



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Amazon Rain Forest  
The Galapagos Islands

Latin America Classrom Travel Resources

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