How Much Rain in a Rain Forest?
Activity: Students compare the annual rainfall
of the worlds major ecosystems, then create a
bar graph comparing the annual rainfall of the
Amazon rain forest to the annual rainfall in
different regions of the United States. They
will apply graph skills to see how rainfall
varies in different ecosystems and parts
of the world.
- Review the definition of ecosystem with
your students. (If your class has not studied
ecosystems, you could use the term
environment.) An ecosystem is a group of
living thingsplants and animalsand the
environment in which they live. Explain
that the rain forest is a type of ecosystem,
like the grasslands, the desert, or the tundra.
- Tell the class that one way in which rain
forests are unlike other ecosystems is the
amount of rain they receive every year.
- Explore the Biomes of the World site,
which compares rainfall in different
ecosystems, or biomes. How much rain
does the tropical rain forest receive
compared with the temperate deciduous
forests? (Deciduous forests are like those
in the eastern United States, with trees that
change colors in fall, lose their leaves in
winter, and bloom again in spring.)
Which two ecosystems receive the least
amount of rainfall every year?
- Now have students go to the Amazon
Interactive site and find out how much
rainfall your region of the country receives
every year. Click on the nine different
U.S. regions and use the data to create a bar
graph comparing the rainfall of different
regions of the United States and the
Amazon rain forest. Which area of the U.S.
receives the most rainfall each year? How
does this amount compare with the Amazon
rain forests annual rainfall?