That Is a Lot of Rain
Objectives of the Lesson
Objectives of the Lesson:
Recreate measured amounts of rainfall in Manu in a classroom.
Discuss large amounts of rain in Manu what this rain might do to
the local environment.
Participate in an activity to measure and calculate the amount of
rain that falls in Manu and compare to local rainfall levels.
Have students discuss orally and write a reflective paper on what
it must be like to live in an environment that is always hot and wet.
A great deal of rain falls in Manu. The precipitation maps show the Manu
area with over 80 inches (two meters) of rain per year. During the wet
season, the rain falls every day and during the dry season a couple of very
intense short rain showers occur each day. The rain is the life blood of
the forest. (Personal Experience, Dwight Sieggreen, Science Teacher, Cooke Middle
School, Travel To Peruvian Rainforest, and Espenshade, Edward B., Rand
McNally, Goode's World Atlas, 18th Edition, Chicago, 1994, p.120.)
- A copy of the PBS program, The Living Edens: "Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest" (Air date November 12, 1997 on PBS. If you miss this program, you can order the video.)
- Black marker
- Water, sufficient to fill the rain gauge many times to represent over two 2
1/2 yards of water (over two meters)
- Large plastic container to hold all the water collected in the rain gauge
- Water sprinkler, hose and water outlet (optional to be more realistic)
- Student Science Journals
- View The Living Edens: "Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest" program in class.
- Fill rain gauge with water. Amounts will vary depending on the
size of the rain gauge. It is important to accumulate approximately 80
inches of water through a fill and spill method.
- Mark off a line on the classroom wall up to 80 inches with 1 inch
increments so that each time the rain gauge is filled, you can mark it on
- Each time the rainfall/water is added, pour into a large plastic
container, sufficient to hold all the water collected.
- Have students record amount of water in the rain gauge in student
- Research how much rainfall there is in your local community and
compare that to over 80 inches of rain per year in Manu and write data in
student science journals.
- Discuss how much water the rainforest receives.
- Optional procedure: Have students set up sprinkler system to
collect water in the rain gauge. This is a visual experience of what the
rain must be like in Manu.
Listen to students responses regarding what it would be like to live in a
hot, wet environment like Manu. Assess whether they grasp just what over
80 inches of rain per year must be like. Also, assess following procedures
in the activity. The reflective paper will also be a measuring tool for
what students have learned from this activity. Also, discuss what impact
the excessive rainfall has on the Manu environment. (Example: lush
forests, high and low river levels, etc.)
Elementary students should enjoy this activity as someone will probably
spill some water or get wet. Students need a vision of what a tropical
rainy climate is like. This is a great activity to have that experience.
High School Extension:
Secondary students can create precipitation maps to cover all areas of the
Amazon, including Manu. Additional, they can research some of the
information on weather maps on the world wide web.