Expedition to Guyana - life in the rainforest

A group of children follow in Sir Walter Raleigh's footsteps in his search for El Dorado.

In the sixteenth century, Sir Walter Raleigh began his search for El Dorado in Guyana's rainforest. Four hundred years on and a group of young adventurers from the UK - the Serious Explorers - are following in his footsteps. The rainforest in Guyana is a place that has hardly changed since Raleigh’s day and remains one of the few areas of unspoilt jungle anywhere in the world. The whole jungle is in a delicate state of balance in which all plants, insects and animals depend on each other. There are thousands of different species all living together under the forest canopy, with many of them being extremely dangerous.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used as an introduction to a study of rainforests. Initially, the clip could be paused on the world map to highlight the location of the main rainforests. Discuss the way in which their geographical location creates certain climatic conditions (high rainfall, high temperatures, humidity) which in turn provide ideal conditions for verdant, lush jungles. Throughout the remainder of the clip, pupils could take notes about the sights, sounds, conditions and creatures that the children come across or experience on their expedition. After discussing their notes, pupils could write imaginary diary entries, as if they were members of Sir Walter Raleigh's original team. They should convey the atmosphere of the forest, explain the variety of species discovered and advise readers of the dangers and wonders of this environment.