Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures
VIDEOEPISODESFUN & GAMESGET INVOLVEDMEET THE X-TEAMFOR EDUCATORS

FOR EDUCATORS
Using Ocean Adventures in the Classroom
 
A Word from Jean-Michel Cousteau
 
Educator Guide to Voyage to Kure
 
Educator Guide to Sharks at Risk
 
Educator Guide to The Gray Whale Obstacle Course
 
Educator Guide to America's Underwater Treasures
 
Educator Guide to Return to the Amazon
 
Educator Guide to Sea Ghosts (Belugas)
 
Educator Guide to Call of the Killer Whale
 
The Watershed Quest
 
Tips for Using Science Multimedia
 
Educator Web Links
 
Download Library
 
Glossary
 
Outreach Partners
 

 

Return to the Amazon Viewing Guide

"This Amazon is part of our life whether we live here or not."

- Jean-Michel Cousteau

pdf thumbnail Download the printer-friendly PDF version!
In this two-hour program, Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Adventures team visit the Amazon River Basin. The mighty Amazon River flows through the world's largest tropical rainforest, creating the most biodiverse area on the planet. Twenty-five years ago, Jean Michel explored this fabled region with his father, Jacques Cousteau. Since then, an area the size of Texas has been deforested. From this region of urgency and conflict -- where human enterprise and expansion not only compromise the health and ecology of the river and rainforest basin, but also truly inflict consequences on a global scale -- come new beacons of hope and sustainability.

VIEWING TIME
Two hours total; viewing it in shorter segments is recommended.

OBJECTIVES
Students will be able to

  • locate the Amazon River on a map.
  • identify how we affect the Amazon River Basin and how it affects the global climate.

MATERIALS

WEB LINKS
Return to the Amazon
www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/episodes/amazon/

Ocean Adventures Glossary
www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/glossary/

"Hot Turtles" video
www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/video/hotturtles

"Pink River Dolphin" video
www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/video/pinkdolphins

STANDARDS
National Science Education Standards, Science Content Standards: Grades 5-8
www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/6d.html

Life Science --
Content Standard C:
Populations and Ecosystems
Diversity and Adaptations of Organisms

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives --
Content Standard F:
Populations, Resources and Environments
Natural Hazards
Science and Technology in Society

PRE-VIEWING ACTIVITIES

  • Think about what you know about the Amazon River. Where is it? How long is it? How big is the rainforest that surrounds it? What kinds of animals live there?
  • Look at a map of South America and locate the Amazon River and the rainforest it flows through. What countries does the rainforest lie in? Where does the river begin? Where does it empty into the ocean? (Google Earth earth.google.com may be used to actually "see" the Amazon.)
  • Hypothesize how your actions may affect the Amazon.
  • Read the Return to the Amazon Glossary sheet and write down any words you are unfamiliar with.

FOCUS FOR VIEWING

  • Refer to the viewing questions that go with each segment of Return to the Amazon. Each question is labeled with a theme: Adaptations, Ecosystems, Human Impact or General. A segment can be viewed alone or combined with other segments.
  • Listen for the vocabulary words you wrote down and try to discover their meaning.

FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES

  • Watch the Return to the Amazon Web-only videos on www.pbs.org/kqed/oceanadventures/video/ and complete the accompanying lessons and activities.
  • Review the Return to the Amazon Glossary sheet and any new vocabulary words learned.
  • Create two lists: On one, record ways in which humans affect the Amazon. One the other, record how the Amazon affects our lives.
  • Look at a furniture catalog. From which kind of wood is the furniture made? Do you know where the wood originated? Does the company use wood with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) designation?

CREDITS
Jean‑Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures is produced by KQED Public Broadcasting and the Ocean Futures Society. The corporate sponsor is the Dow Chemical Company. Additional major support comes from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, KQED Campaign for the Future and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.



Return to the Amazon Viewing Guide
Teacher Sheet

Return to the Amazon
Viewing Questions

Note: The timing listed below is approximate and is based on the PBS Broadcast.

The following questions are coded based on theme: A = Adaptations, E = Ecosystems, HI = Human Impact and G = General. Use these codes to help you choose which questions or segments to focus on.

PART 1

 

Introduction (2:31-4:19)

E 1. How big is the Amazon rainforest? as large as the continental United States
E 2. What fraction of the world's species lives in the Amazon? one-fourth
E 3. How much of the world's fresh water flows from the Amazon? 20 percent
E 4. How far out to sea does the Amazon influence the Atlantic Ocean? 125 miles (202 km)

 

 

 

Ariaú Amazon Towers (5:40-7:47)

E 1. When is the dry season in the Amazon? from June through November
E 2. When is the wet season? from November through May
E 3. At Ariaú, what is the change in the height of the river between the wet and dry seasons? 30 feet (9.1 m)

 

 

 

Manaus (7:48-9:11)

G 1. How far is the city of Manaus from the sea? more than 900 miles (1,453.5 km)
HI 2. When and why did the city of Manaus come into existence? in the 1800s because of the rubber boom
G 3. Over a 10-month period in the Amazon, how far will the Ocean Adventures team travel? more than 6,000 miles (9,690 km)
E 4. Why is the water of the Rio Negro "black"? is stained by the trees

 

 

 

Xixuaú Reserve (9:11-14:34)

E 1. How many species of snakes are found in the Amazon? almost 200 species
E 2. Out of a presumed 5,000 species of fish in the Amazon, 3,000 have been identified.
E 3. How many more species of fish live in the Amazon compared with the Atlantic Ocean? twice as many
A 4. Name two adaptations of the freshwater stingrays. their eyes are adapted to low light;  they have a spine on their tail for defense
HI 5. An "extractive reserve" means that only the people who live there can use the land's resources.

 

 

 

Underwater (17:17-19:55)

E 1. What makes the water cloudy? silt and debris
E 2. What is a Matamata? a turtle
A 3. How is the Matamata camouflaged in its environment? it looks like a pile of fallen leaves
A 4. "The Matamata breathes through a nose like a snorkel."
A 5. What happens to the worn teeth of a jacaré? they are replaced
HI 6. How many jacaré have been killed for their skin in the last 50 years? 20 million

 

 

 

Mamirauá Reserve (19:55-22:22)

HI 1. What reptile has historically been the most important to the indigenous people? the turtle
HI 2. Why were turtle eggs exported? for food and cooking oil
E 3. Why is it important to protect turtles? by protecting turtles, we protect their beaches, which also protects other species
HI 4. Why are the turtles kept for a couple of weeks after they hatch? so that they lose the smell of the egg and their shells harden
HI 5. How many turtles will be released in the Mamirauá Reserve this year and what percentage will survive? 12,000 released, 30 percent will survive

 

 

 

Biodiversity (22:23-26:08)

HI 1. Why are species of animals disappearing? not enough space
E 2. What portion of the rainforest needs to remain intact to preserve all of the species that live there? the whole forest
HI 3. What percentage of the Amazon rainforest has been lost in the last 30 years? 17 percent
HI 4. An area as large as what U.S. state has been deforested? Texas
HI 5. What do trees release into the atmosphere when cut? carbon dioxide
HI 6. When 30 percent to 40 percent of the Amazon has been deforested, it will pass a tipping point and become too dry to survive as a tropical rainforest.

 

 

 

Mato Grosso / Deforestation (26:09-31:30)

HI 1. Why did the farmers cut down the rainforest in the past? to gain ownership of the land
HI 2. How do farmers clear the forest? by burning it
HI 3. In early 2007, what did satellites record in the Amazon? 72,000 fires burning at the same time
HI 4. How much wood is wasted in the process of bringing lumber to market? more than 70 percent
HI 5. What percentage of logging in the Amazon is illegal? 95 percent
HI 6. How much of the wood from the Amazon is exported to the United States? 50 percent

 

 

 

Sustainable Logging (31:31-35:12)

HI 1. What does "FSC" stand for? the Forest Stewardship Council
HI 2. Why is eucalyptus now grown in the Amazon? it is fast-growing
HI 3. What is one product made from eucalyptus? facial tissues
HI 4. By law, how much of their forested property must all landowners now set aside as a reserve? 80 percent
HI 5. Because of this law, what has been reduced by 50 percent in the past four years? deforestation
Note: This percentage may have changed. Deforestation in the Amazon was reported to be on the rise again after the production of this episode.

 

 

 

Soybeans (35:13-40:57)

HI 1. What is the new culprit in deforestation? soybeans
HI 2. What country is the largest exporter of soy in the world? Brazil
Note: Depending on the price of soy, sometimes the United States is the largest exporter.
HI 3. Where does half of the soy exported from Brazil go and for what purpose? to Europe for animal feed
HI 4. What impacts do roads like BR163 and the Trans-Amazonian Highway have on the environment? more deforestation due to cattle pasture and logging
HI 5. What percentage of deforestation occurs within 30 miles (48.5 km) of a road? 85 percent

 

 

 

Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve (40:58-45:40)

A 1. How does the anaconda hunt? it squeezes its prey to death and swallows it whole
E 2. Name three animals the anaconda eats. deer, caimans and jaguars
A 3. How often does the anaconda hunt? every few weeks or months
HI 4. How has ecotourism benefited nature at the reserve? an increase in animal populations
HI 5. How does ecotourism benefit people? it provides jobs

 

PART 2

 

Introduction (2:27-4:20)

G 1. How wide is the Amazon River at its entrance? 200 miles (323 km)
G 2. What is the pororoca, or tidal bore? when the ocean overpowers the river and rushes upstream
G 3. How fast can the pororoca travel? 16 miles (26 km) per hour
HI 4. Why is the Ocean Adventures team visiting the Amazon? to find and understand issues threatening the rainforest basin and possible solutions
G 5. How many bridges cross the Amazon? none

 

 

 

Pink River Dolphins / Botos (4:21-6:46)

A 1.Why are botos pink? as a display of a male's maturity
HI 2. What two things protect the dolphins? the law and mythology
G 3. What was Holly's first reaction when swimming with the botos? she was scared
HI 4. What did scientists recently discover fishermen were using the dolphins for? bait for catfish
HI 5. What happened to the boto population as a result? their numbers declined 10 percent in five years

 

 

 

Pirarucu Fish (6:46-11:38)

HI 1. When was the pirarucu listed as endangered? 1996
HI 2. Who did scientists enlist to help count the pirarucu? fishermen
HI 3. How do fishermen catch pirarucu? they pen off floating grass, then harpoon the fish
G 4. What is the average size of a pirarucu? 6 feet (1.8 m) and 200 pounds (90 kg)
A 5. The pirarucu are easy to catch because they have evolved to breathe air and have to surface every 15 minutes.
HI 6. What now happens to every pirarucu that is caught? it is measured, weighed and tagged
HI 7. What is one way the pirarucus' scales are used? as a file
HI Where does Dr. Murphy go to test the tagging system? the fish market

 

 

 

Black Earth (11:39-13:00)

HI 1. List what makes up black earth. wood, fish, animal bones and pottery shards
HI 2. If we could re-create black earth, it could transform global agriculture.

 

 

 

Indigenous People (16:21-23:26)

G 1. Why did the team go to the Vale do Javari Indigenous Reserve? to witness the gathering of six tribes
G 2. What do outsiders need in order to enter the reserve? a permit
HI 3. What environmental issue most concerns the tribes? logging
HI 4. Why don't the indigenous people cut down all of the trees? the trees have spirits and the forest takes care of them
HI 5. How many indigenous people live in the Amazon? 700,000 people

 

 

 

Overfishing and Animal Trafficking (26:32-32:05)

HI 1. Due to the exploitation of the Amazon's resources, the local people now eat bread made from grains from the United States, rice from Vietnam and canned tuna from the ocean.
HI 2. What happens to the fish when all of the big animals in the river are gone? there aren't anymore fish because too much vegetation grows in the river and extracts all of the nutrients, preventing light from entering the water and preventing oxygen exchange; therefore, the fish can't breathe and they don't have food
HI 3. What are the lakes called that are covered in floating vegetation and why do they have that name? they are called "dead lakes" because they are devoid of fish
A 4. What do some trees depend on animals for? to disperse seeds
HI 5. What has happened to most of the big animals? they have been traded (for collection, fashion and as exotic pets)
HI 6. Animal trafficking is the third most profitable trade in the worldwide black market.
HI 7. How many animals from Brazil are taken illegally each year? 38 million
HI 8. What should tourists NOT do if they see a baby animal for sale in a market? buy it
HI 9. What does the Ocean Adventures team do with the confiscated margay cat? give it to the indigenous people to rehabilitate and release

 

 

HI

Ornamental Fish (33:11-37:14)

G 1. What is an ornamental fish? a fish with a maximum length of 8 inches (20 cm), used in aquariums
HI 2. How many fish species are available to export from Brazil? 300 species
G 3. Why are fish that are longer than 8 inches (20 cm) not considered ornamental? they're big enough to eat
HI 4. Why is it hard to enforce the laws that protect ornamental fish? because of their remote habitats
HI 5. Why are some ornamental fish so expensive? they are rare and very hard to find
HI 6. Why does "Dudu" think that we don't need to worry about collecting too many ornamental fish? because the Amazon is so big and no one knows the whole forest well, only a little bit of it

 

 

 

Fish Farming (38:44-41:07)

HI 1. Fish farming relieves pressure from what? overfishing in the wild
HI 2. How many tons of fish can a one-acre fish farm produce each year? 3 tons
HI 3. How long after they hatch do the eggs go in the incubator? 12 hours
E 4. What percentage of these fish reach mature size in the wild? less than 1 percent
HI 5. What is the survival rate of fish from the fish farm? 50 percent to 60 percent

 

 

 

Climate Change (41:08-47:33)

HI 1. What countries are involved in the LBA Project? Brazil, the United States and the European Union
HI 2. What does Dr. Fearnside's machine measure? the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
HI 3. What is the main cause of global warming? an increase in the level of carbon dioxide
HI 4. Name two causes of deforestation. roads and dams
HI 5. How do dams cause deforestation? roads are built to get to the dams and dams cause flooding of the forest
HI 6. How many dams are there in Brazil? 600
E 7. Where does half of the moisture for rainfall come from? trees
HI 8. How do dams reduce rainfall? they cause deforestation
HI 9. List some other ways dams and reservoirs affect the environment. they stop the migration of fish; fish eggs go through the turbines; methane forms in the bottom of the reservoirs
HI 10. How do reservoirs produce methane gas? methane forms from decaying material at the bottom of the reservoirs
HI 11. What gas has the greatest impact on global warming? methane
E 12. "There is a direct link between the climate and the Amazon."
E 13. How much of the world's rain falls in the Amazon? one-fifth
E 14. Why do Dr. Murphy and Holly find dead fish in trees? there was a lack of oxygen in the water because there had been so little rain

 

 

 

Qori Kalis Glacier (47:34-51:02)

G 1. The Quelccaya Ice Cap in the southern Andes of Peru provides a record of annual climate since what year? a.d. 315
G 2. In the first 15 years of measuring the glacier, it retreated how much each year? 19.8 feet (6 m) per year
HI 3. What is the current rate of retreat of the glacier? 198 feet (60 m) per year
G 4. When was the last time the average temperature of the earth was 3 degrees higher than it is today? 3 million years ago
G 5. The last time the average global temperature was that high, how high was the sea level compared with today? 82.5 feet (25 m) higher, plus or minus 33 feet (10 m)


Return to the Amazon Viewing Guide
Student Sheet

Return to the Amazon
Viewing Questions

Note: The timing listed below is approximate and is based on the PBS Home Video DVD.

The following questions are coded based on theme: A = Adaptations, E = Ecosystems, HI = Human Impact and G = General. Use these codes to help you choose which questions or segments to focus on.

PART 1

 

Introduction (2:31-4:19)

E 1. How big is the Amazon rainforest?
E 2. What fraction of the world's species lives in the Amazon?
E 3. How much of the world's fresh water flows from the Amazon?
E 4. How far out to sea does the Amazon influence the Atlantic Ocean?

 

 

 

Ariaú Amazon Towers (5:40-7:47)

E 1. When is the dry season in the Amazon?
E 2. When is the wet season?
E 3. At Ariaú, what is the change in the height of the river between the wet and dry seasons?

 

 

 

Manaus (7:48-9:11)

G 1. How far is the city of Manaus from the sea?
HI 2. When and why did the city of Manaus come into existence?
G 3. Over a 10-month period in the Amazon, how far will the Ocean Adventures team travel?
E 4. Why is the water of the Rio Negro "black"?

 

 

 

Xixuaú Reserve (9:11-14:34)

E 1. How many species of snakes are found in the Amazon?
E 2. Out of a presumed ________ species of fish in the Amazon, 3,000 have been identified.
E 3. How many more species of fish live in the Amazon compared with the Atlantic Ocean?
A 4. Name two adaptations of the freshwater stingrays.
HI 5. An "extractive reserve" means that only the people who live there can use the land's _______________.

 

 

 

Underwater (17:17-19:55)

E 1. What makes the water cloudy?
E 2. What is a Matamata?
A 3. How is the Matamata camouflaged in its environment?
A 4. "The Matamata breathes through a nose like a _____________."
A 5. What happens to the worn teeth of a jacaré?
HI 6. How many jacaré have been killed for their skin in the last 50 years?

 

 

 

Mamirauá Reserve (19:55-22:22)

HI 1. What reptile has historically been the most important to the indigenous people?
HI 2. Why were turtle eggs exported?
E 3. Why is it important to protect turtles?
HI 4. Why are the turtles kept for a couple of weeks after they hatch?
HI 5. How many turtles will be released in Mamirauá reserve this year and what percentage will survive?

 

 

 

Biodiversity (22:23-26:08)

HI 1. Why are species of animals disappearing?
E 2. What portion of the rainforest needs to remain intact to preserve all of the species that live there?
HI 3. What percentage of the Amazon's rainforest has been lost in the last 30 years?
HI 4. An area as large as what U.S. state has been deforested?
HI 5. What do trees release into the atmosphere when cut?
HI 6. When 30 percent to 40 percent of the Amazon is deforested, it will pass a tipping point and become _________________ as a tropical rainforest.

 

 

 

Mato Grosso / Deforestation (26:09-31:30)

HI 1. Why did the farmers cut down the rainforest in the past?
HI 2. How do farmers clear the forest?
HI 3. In early 2007, what did satellites record in the Amazon?
HI 4. How much wood is wasted in the process of bringing lumber to market?
HI 5. What percentage of logging in the Amazon is illegal?
HI 6. How much of the wood from the Amazon is exported to the United States?

 

 

 

Sustainable Logging (31:31-35:12)

HI 1. What does "FSC" stand for?
HI 2. Why is eucalyptus now grown in the Amazon?
HI 3. What is one product made from eucalyptus?
HI 4. By law, how much of their forested property must all landowners now set aside as a reserve?
HI 5. Because of this law, what has been reduced by 50 percent in the past four years?

 

 

 

Soybeans (35:13-40:57)

HI 1. What is the new culprit in deforestation?
HI 2. What country is the largest exporter of soy in the world?
HI 3. Where does half of the soy exported from Brazil go and for what purpose?
HI 4. What impacts do roads like BR163 and the Trans-Amazonian Highway have on the environment?
HI 5. What percentage of deforestation occurs within 30 miles (48.5 km) of a road?

 

 

 

Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve (40:58-45:40)

A 1. How does the anaconda hunt?
E 2. Name three animals the anaconda eats.
A 3. How often does the anaconda hunt?
HI 4. How has ecotourism benefited nature at the reserve?
HI 5. How does ecotourism benefit people?

 

PART 2

 

Introduction (2:27-4:20)

G 1. How wide is the Amazon River at its entrance?
G 2. What is the pororoca, or tidal bore?
G 3. How fast can the pororoca travel?
HI 4. Why is the Ocean Adventures team visiting the Amazon?
G 5. How many bridges cross the Amazon?

 

 

 

Pink River Dolphins/ Botos (4:21-6:46)

A 1. Why are botos pink?
HI 2. What two things protect the dolphins?
G 3. What was Holly's first reaction when swimming with the botos?
HI 4. What did scientists recently discover fishermen were using the dolphins for?
HI 5. What happened to the boto population as a result?

 

 

 

Pirarucu Fish (6:46-11:38)

HI 1. When was the pirarucu listed as endangered?
HI 2. Who did scientists enlist to help count the pirarucu?
HI 3. How do fishermen catch pirarucu?
G 4. What is the average size of a pirarucu?
A 5. The pirarucu are easy to catch because they have evolved to breathe air and have to surface every ____ minutes.
HI 6. What now happens to every pirarucu that is caught?
HI 7. What is one way the pirarucus' scales are used?
HI 8. Where does Dr. Murphy go to test the tagging system?

 

 

 

Black Earth (11:39-13:00)

HI 1. List what makes up black earth.
HI 2. If we could re-create black earth, it could transform global _________________.

 

 

 

Indigenous People (16:21-23:26)

G 1. Why did the team go to the Vale do Javari Indigenous Reserve?
G 2. What do outsiders need in order to enter the reserve?
HI 3. What environmental issue most concerns the tribes?
HI 4. Why don't the indigenous people cut down all of the trees?
HI 5. How many indigenous people live in the Amazon?

 

 

 

Overfishing and Animal Trafficking (26:32-32:05)

HI 1. Due to the exploitation of the Amazon's resources, the local people now eat bread made from grains from the _______, rice from _____________ and canned tuna from the __________.
HI 2. What happens to the fish when all of the big animals in the river are gone?
HI 3. What are the lakes called that are covered in floating vegetation and why do they have that name?
A 4. What do some trees depend on animals for?
HI 5. What has happened to most of the big animals?
HI 6. Animal trafficking is the _________ most profitable trade in the worldwide black market.
HI 7. How many animals from Brazil are taken illegally each year?
HI 8. What should tourists NOT do if they see a baby animal for sale in a market?
HI 9. What does the Ocean Adventures team do with the confiscated margay cat?

 

 

HI

Ornamental Fish (33:11-37:14)

G 1. What is an ornamental fish?
HI 2. How many fish species are available to export from Brazil?
G 3. Why are fish that are longer than 8 inches (20 cm) not considered ornamental?
HI 4. Why is it hard to enforce the laws that protect ornamental fish?
HI 5. Why are some ornamental fish so expensive?
HI 6. Why does "Dudu" think that we don't need to worry about collecting too many ornamental fish?

 

 

 

Fish Farming (38:44-41:07)

HI 1. Fish farming relieves pressure from what?
HI 2. How many tons of fish can a one-acre fish farm produce each year?
HI 3. How long after they hatch do the eggs go in the incubator?
E 4. What percentage of these fish reach mature size in the wild?
HI 5. What is the survival rate of fish from the fish farm?

 

 

 

Climate Change (41:08-47:33)

HI 1. What countries are involved in the LBA Project?
HI 2. What does Dr. Fearnside's machine measure?
HI 3. What is the main cause of global warming?
HI 4. Name two causes of deforestation.
HI 5. How do dams cause deforestation?
HI 6. How many dams are there in Brazil?
E 7. Where does half of the moisture for rainfall come from?
HI 8. How do dams reduce rainfall?
HI 9. List some other ways dams and reservoirs affect the environment.
HI 10. How do reservoirs produce methane gas?
HI 11. What gas has the greatest impact on global warming?
E 12. "There is a direct link between the climate and the _______________."
E 13. How much of the world's rain falls in the Amazon?
E 14. Why do Dr. Murphy and Holly find dead fish in trees?

 

 

 

Qori Kalis Glacier (47:34-51:02)

G

1. The Quelccaya Ice Cap in the Southern Andes of Peru provides a record of annual climate since what year?

G 2. In the first 15 years of measuring the glacier, it retreated how much each year?
HI 3. What is the current rate of retreat of the glacier?
G 4. When was the last time the average temperature of the earth was 3 degrees higher than it is today?
G 5. The last time the average global temperature was that high, how high was the sea level compared with today?