How You Live Affects Where You Live: Focus on the Amazon Rainforest



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World Geography
How You Live Affects Where You Live:

Focus on the Amazon Rainforest


Pre-Reading Activity:
The title of this article is “How You Live Affects Where You Live.” What do you think that expression means? _______________________________________________________________________________

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As you read, highlight any facts that are support the concept of “how you live, affects where you live”


The Amazon Rainforest is largest rainforest in the world. This one rainforest accounts for roughly 54% of the total rainforests left in the world. It covers an area of 2.5 million square miles and can be found in parts of Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Bolivia and Ecuador. The Amazon Rainforest covers about 2/3 of the land in South America. The Amazon Rainforest is full of amazing wonders. Experts estimate that more than half of the world’s species of animals, insects and plants can be found in the Amazon.


The Amazon Rainforest contains a plethora of natural resources. One natural resource found in the rainforest is oxygen. Scientists refer to the Amazon Rainforest as the “lungs of the Earth” because its plants produce about 20% of the world’s oxygen. Another resource found in the Amazon is medicine. Experts believe that many of the plants in the Amazon Rainforest contain medicinal properties that could be used to treat diseases like cancer. Roughly 25% of cancer-

Native Tribes of the Amazon fighting drugs contain active ingredients that are found in the

Amazon Rainforest. About 3,000 different types of fruit

grow naturally in the Amazon Rainforest (though only about 200 of these fruits are consumed by people who live outside of the rainforest). The Amazon Rainforest also contains trees made of fine woods, like teak and mahogany. These strong woods are used to make furniture and boats. Another natural resource found in the Amazon Rainforest is oil. The sections of the Amazon Rainforest that are located in countries like Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela and Peru all contain rich deposits of oil. The tribes of native people that have lived in the Amazon for centuries could also be viewed as a natural resource. These people possess knowledge of the rainforest that is far deeper than that of any other people in the world.


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Deforestation & Its Impact on the Amazon…

The Amazon Rainforest is shrinking due to deforestation. Deforestation is the term used to describe the cutting down of a forest. About 25% of the entire Amazon Rainforest has been destroyed since the 1970s. In 2007, over the course of a five month period, an area the size of Rhode Island was cut down in the Amazon Rainforest. The cause of deforestation is human activity. Some of the deforestation that takes place is for human settlement. Large sections of the rainforest have been cut away to make room for people’s homes and large farms. Some



Deforestation of the Amazon people are cutting down the rainforest so that they can

use the natural resources found there. Large oil

companies like Texaco began drilling for oil in the Amazon Rainforest in the late 1960s. In order to drill for oil, it is necessary for the companies to first remove huge patches of the forest.

Deforestation has had a devastating effect on the Amazon Rainforest. At one time there were roughly 8 million native people living in the rainforest. Their tribal culture had been undisturbed by outside civilization for thousands of years. Deforestation in the Amazon has wiped out many of the tribes. There are now roughly 250,000 natives living in the Amazon Rainforest. As each of these tribes disappears, their unique knowledge of their rainforest is also destroyed. The oil companies that are drilling in the Amazon create an enormous



Scientist shows damage caused by oil spill in the Amazon amount of pollution. Oil spills are quite common there. The pollution and deforestation caused by the oil companies has resulted in the destruction of countless animal and plant species. Experts fear that many of the undiscovered natural resources that exist in the Amazon Rainforest are being destroyed by the deforestation.

Name: World Geography

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How You Live Affects Where You Live:



Reader Response
Directions: Use the How You Live Affects Where You Live: Focus on the Amazon handout to help you answer the following questions.


  1. Which of the following best illustrates the text structure used in the paragraphs under the heading “The Impact of Deforestation on the Amazon”?

a. cause/effect b. compare/contrast

c. main idea/supporting details d. sequence of events




  1. In the space below, draw a diagram of that text structure and fill it in using information from the passage.








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  1. Why do you think the author chose to title this article “How You Live Affects Where You Live”? Use evidence from the text to support your response.

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  • Thoughtful, organized, and fluent

  • Clear understanding of the text is demonstrated

  • Relevant references to text are used to support ideas

  • Text references are explained and connected to response













  • Disorganized or confusing

  • Limited or no understanding of text is displayed

  • Limited or no examples from text are used to support ideas

  • Text reference seems irrelevant to response





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