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Warriors of the Amazon

Ideas from Teachers

(Gr. 8-9)
We're teaching an integrated unit on tropical rain forests. As a culminating activity, our students are creating a rain forest museum. Walking into our hallway, parents and community members will gain insights re: the plant, animal, and human life inhabiting the world's tropical rain forests. As a social studies teacher, I found it difficult to locate materials for students; this was mainly due to the overwhelming focus on rain forest destruction. I wanted my students to see the value of the people.

After viewing NOVA's "Warriors of the Amazon" program, we discussed the role of a shaman and how his/her knowledge is valuable to the preservation of our own people in the United States. As a result, the social studies contribution to our museum will be a medicine table featuring many items Americans use that include ingredients originating in the Amazon. In addition, a team of students will participate in a skit depicting the role of Amazonian Shamans. Our goal is to debunk the stereotypical view of indigenous cultures as "crazy witchdoctors" and educate others on the value of ethnobotany.

Sent in by
Sherry Borror
Hedgesville Middle School
Hedgesville, WV

(Gr. 8-9)
I've recently been on teaching practice, studying the Incas. The students have investigated how the Incan empire declined 30 years after the arrival of the Spanish. It's interesting to compare the community values of the Inca and Yanomami people with our own community values today. Community values can be used as a focus theme for students to discuss how Europeans have imposed their own values on indigenous populations. I haven't yet shown students NOVA's "Warriors of the Amazon" program, but am collecting more information in preparation for a lesson.

Sent in by
Sally Charrington
student teacher

Teacher's Guide
Warriors of the Amazon

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