Magic tree house book: Adventure in the Amazon


This week we have been using one of the Magic Tree House books ‘Adventure in the Amazon‘, to continue with our South America unit study, focusing on the country of Brazil.

afternoon on the afternoon

South America: Goals for this Study

Whilst working through the next unit of Rainforest Journey and reading Adventure in the Amazon, we will be focusing our learning on the following:

  • The country of Brazil, the largest country in South America
  • The adaptations animals make to stay alive

South America: In My Book Box

Afternoon on the Amazon 1

Afternoon on the Amazon is a book my younger girls know very well because they have listened to it lots and lots of times from one of their audio books CDs.  I will be reading the companion book to them before bed each night.

Afternoon in the Amazon 2

I always love to include the folklore of the countries we are studying.  This is not an inexpensive book but as it has undoubtedly taken the place of many other picture books in addition to including lots of recipes and games, I think it will be worth the money.

South America: The Geography of Brazil 

We did our usual building the map of the world and chatting about where Brazil is and the common animals and birds seen there:


I then read the Brazil page out of the children’s Atlas of the World book, so they learnt the most important points about Brazil.  Together we created another story board, this time about Brazil:

brazil 1

We used lapbook pieces obtained from here.  This would be for the presentation the little ones would be giving on South America:

brazil 4

brazil 3

brazil 5

Science: Learning about Camouflage

Afternoon in the Amazon 3

The bulk of our learning came from EdTechLens Rainforest Journey, where we covered structural, behavioral and genetic adaptations.  I read the above camouflage book.  The girls did narrations as well as some worksheets.

Here are A7’s:

brazil 10

brazil 11

brazil 12

Here are B5’s:

brazil 8

brazil 9

We watched the following video

Science Demonstration: Which environments suit the animals the best, based on their ability to camouflage themselves from predators

I found an image of each of the following landscapes:

  1. Desert
  2. Polar region
  3. Savanna
  4. Rain forest


I had the little ones go and grab a few of their plastic animals and we tested to see which landscape they would be safest in:


The Polar Regions:


The Desert Regions:


The Rain Forest:


The Savanna:


Science Activity: What changes would a polar bear need to make to be fully adapted for the rain forest environment?

When we studied the polar regions, we did an art activity which demonstrated the adaptations a polar bear had to enable it to survive in the arctic:

Ribbet collagepolarbear3

This time I wanted them to use their knowledge and their imagination to create a polar bear which had made adaptations to live in the rainforest.  I said they could be as silly as they wanted, but there had to be a reason for whatever they adapted the polar bear to look like:


I just loved their inventions 🙂

Here’s B5’s:

brazil 7

and A7’s:

brazil 6

South America: Brazil – In the Kitchen

As Gary has been recuperating this week, we only managed one of the things on my list – Brigadeiro .  This was an incredibly easy and very tasty sweet made using only three ingredients – sweetened condensed milk, sugar and cocoa powder, and heated on the stove:

South America 1

left to cool:

South America 2

and formed into little balls:

South America 3

Ours were made, cooled, formed and eaten in no time at all.  A nice easy, albeit not very healthy, addition to my snack repertoire 🙂

This was a great study!  Next we will be reading the FIAR book Henry the Castaway and learning about the Orinoko river which flows through Venezuela.


  1. Claire! Creative as always, I am jelly of your color printer! We only have Black ink but sometimes I wish I had color. Love how you got them to put the animals on the photos. Great idea!

  2. We just finished reading Afternoon on the Amazon a couple of weeks ago! Of course, we didn’t use it for schoolwork, but my little two enjoyed it just as much as my bigger two did a few years ago!

    1. It’s a lovely book. We have the recording of the writer herself reading it, and it is definitely one of my children’s favourites to listen to 🙂

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