National Geographic : 1995 Feb
Geoguide A BOY DARTS IN FRONT OF A FEARSOME BUT FUN SERPENT (LEFT) CARRIED IN A STREET PARADE AT A FESTIVAL IN IQUITOS, PERU, A CITY ON THE UPPER REACHES OF THE AMAZON. DOWN STREAM, DARING YOUNG DIVERS (BELOW) COOL OFF FROM OPPRESSIVE HEAT AND HUMIDITY WHERE THE RIVER LEAVES PERU AND COLOMBIA TO START ITS LONG JOURNEY THROUGH BRAZIL. * The 4,000-mile-long Amazon River winds its way across South America from the snowcapped Andes to the Atlantic Ocean. It averages about three miles an hour on its journey. Judging from the graph on page 13, after how many miles does it become less steep? Why does much of it have a chocolate brown color? * Many people regularly use the Amazon as a river road to travel from place to place. For what other purposes is it used? * Children can make a topo graphical map of South America using common household items. With an atlas or a globe as a guide, draw the continent on a large sheet of paper. To create the Andes, paste on crumpled construction paper or conical chocolate candies. Ribbon can represent the main stem of the river; blue thread can be taped down to show tributaries. Referring to the map on pages 12-13, cut out squares, circles, diamonds, and triangles to represent the natural resources of the Amazon Basin; make a map legend to explain the sym bols. Then add the Equator and compass directions. * The Amazon and its tributaries make up the world's largest river sys tem. This watershed is outlined on the smaller map on page 12. Just how vast it is becomes clear in a comparison with the 48 conterminous U. S. states. With the map on page 12 as a guide for approximating, use string to outline the boundary of the Amazon Basin on a world map or globe. Take the length of string from South America and lay it in a rough circle over the 48 U. S. states. About what percentage of the land is enclosed? * The mouth of the Ama zon River is about a hun dred miles across. Discounting islands and the strong current, how long would it take to cross it by boat travel ing at five miles an hour? USE THE GEOGUIDE PAGE ALONG WITH THE ARTICLE "AMAZON: SOUTH AMERICA'S RIVER ROAD" IN THIS ISSUE TO HELP CAPTURE THE INTEREST OF YOUNG READERS AND STIMULATE DISCUSSION WITH THEM. GEOGUIDE IS FEATURED FOUR TIMES A YEAR.