That Is a Lot of Rain

Objectives of the Lesson
Background Information
Materials Needed
Evaluation/Alternative Assessment
Web Resources

Objectives of the Lesson:

Students will:

  1. Recreate measured amounts of rainfall in Manu in a classroom.
  2. Discuss large amounts of rain in Manu what this rain might do to the local environment.
  3. Participate in an activity to measure and calculate the amount of rain that falls in Manu and compare to local rainfall levels.
  4. 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.

Background Information:

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.)

Materials Needed:

  • 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.)
  • Pencil/paper
  • 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


  1. View The Living Edens: "Manu, Peru's Hidden Rain Forest" program in class.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 the scale.
  4. Each time the rainfall/water is added, pour into a large plastic container, sufficient to hold all the water collected.
  5. Have students record amount of water in the rain gauge in student science journals.
  6. 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.
  7. Discuss how much water the rainforest receives.
  8. 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.

Evaluation/Alternative Assessment:

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 Extension:

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.

Web Resources:

click here to return to the Manu home page
Producer's Journal | The People of Manu | Flora and Fauna | History | Conservation
Classroom Resources | Trivia Challenge | Related Links | Screen Saver | About the Film | Manu Credits
click here to go to the PBS home page