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Write a Narrative about the Amazon

Students will select and view an image from Google's Street View site about the Amazon rainforest. They will take detailed notes to describe the image. Then they will imagine that they were there in the Amazon and write a first-person narrative about the experience.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, in small groups or with a partner, have students explore Google's Street View site about the Amazon rainforest. Instruct students to select one of the featured tours to take a trip through that part of the jungle.
  2. As students explore the image, instruct them to take detailed and descriptive notes about what they see. Remind students that this is a 360-degree image. They can zoom in and rotate in all directions to get a different perspective. 
  3. Based on what they've seen, tell students to imagine that they were actually at this site. Instruct them to use their notes to write a first-person narrative about their adventure. Challenge them to include details about what they saw, heard and how they felt as they made their way through the Amazon. If necessary, review how to write in first person.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their stories with the class. After hearing all of the narratives, invite students to share examples of how each author's description of the scene and clever use of details gave readers a memorable account of the trip.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Have students write their stories in small groups and have groups share their stories with the class. After hearing each story, instruct the class to answer three questions: 1) What part of the Amazon was the story about? 2) Was the story descriptive enough for listeners to picture the scene and understand how the authors felt? 3) Was the story written from the first-person point of view?
Grades 5-6:
Have students write their stories with a partner. Then have pairs share their stories in small groups. Tell groups to ask questions as they evaluate how well their fellow authors described the scene and explained their experience in the jungle. Encourage group members to offer suggestions for improvement.
Grades 7-8: 
Instruct each student to write a story and have students share their stories in small groups. Tell groups to ask questions as they evaluate how well their fellow authors described the scene and explained his or her experience in the jungle. Challenge them to point out key details that make it possible for them to identify where in the Amazon each story took place.
Grades 9-10:
Instruct each student to write a story and have students share their stories with a partner. Have partners evaluate one another's stories to determine how well each author described the scene and explained his or her experience in the jungle. Encourage partners to offer suggestions for improvement.