Amazon Rainforest Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Stacy Miles

Stacy has been teaching elementary education for ten years. She has her bachelor's degree in early childhood education and her master's degree in reading and literacy.

In this lesson you will learn about the Amazon Rainforest by focusing on the geography and climate of this area. You'll find out who calls the rainforest home, and explore the layers that make up the rainforest.

The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is home to thousands of animals, insects, and plant species. This rainforest is so beautiful and rich with vegetation that it is known as the 'lungs of the Earth.' It got its nickname because of the abundance of vegetation it contains, which takes carbon dioxide out of the air and releases fresh oxygen for us to breath. The Amazon Rainforest actually produces 20 percent of the world's oxygen.

Where Is the Amazon Rainforest Located?

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, spanning approximately 1.4 billion acres. Over half of this magical place is located in Brazil, but it also extends into other South American countries like Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana, and Peru.

The Amazon Rainforest is an incredibly rich and complex ecosystem.
Amazon Rainforest Map

The tropical climate in this area comes from how close it is to the equator. The Amazon doesn't experience much change between seasons, and the temperature hardly varies throughout the year. It is hot and humid in the Amazon Rainforest, and high levels of rainfall can be experienced here year round.

Who Lives in the Rainforest?

The Amazon Rainforest is home to so many plants and animals that scientist think there may still be millions of them yet to be discovered. This makes the rainforest a perfect home for over 2,000 different types of birds and mammals, such as jaguars, sloths, anacondas, toucans, and poison dart frogs.

Poison Dart Frogs are brightly colored to warn off predators.
Amazon Rainforest Dart Frog

Living side by side with these magnificent creatures are hundreds of indigenous tribes, which are groups of people that are native to this area. It is believed that there are still about fifty tribes that have never had any contact with the outside world.

What Makes Up the Rainforest?

The four layers that make up the Amazon Rainforest from top to bottom are the emergent layer, the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor.

Each layer of the rainforest provides a unique habitat for the species that live there.
Rainforest Layers

The emergent layer is the very top of the rainforest and consists of the tops of the tallest trees. To live here, plants and animals have to be able to adapt to all types of weather, including extreme heat during the day and colder temperatures at night.

The next layer down is called the canopy. The canopy is made up of the next layer of the tallest trees and acts like a big umbrella over the rainforest. More species live here than in any other area, because the trees provide vegetation and fruit for many animals and creatures.

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