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South America Topic Guide
The continent of South America is made up of 12 countries. Brazil is the largest and Suriname is the smallest. It is separated from the continent of North America by the Panama Canal.

Most of South America has a tropical climate. Two countries are landlocked; Paraguay and Bolivia.

Teach your children about South America using our handy topic guide!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

  • Ask the children to research which official languages are spoken on the continent of South America. This page has a useful summary and map.
  • Download and print the version of this map which has the capitals starred and the countries labelled. Ask the children to research and label the capitals of each country.
  • Choose a country in South America and create a factfile or poster about it.
  • Write a persuasive letter about an ecological issue in South America. such as deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
  • Try a South American recipe, like these delicious alfajores biscuits, popular in Argentina and Brazil.
  • Write a biography of a famous person from South America, such as Pelé (Brazillian footballer), Carlos Juan Finlay (Cuban scientist, who discovered that mosquitos transmit yellow fever) or Andrea Evangelina Rodríguez Perozo, the first female doctor in the Dominican Republic.
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Resources

  • Download our South America Banner for your display board.
  • Our Rainforests Pack has lots of information about the world’s rainforests, including those in South America.
  • Oak Academy has a unit on South America, focusing on Chile, with plenty of resources and ideas.

South America Facts

  • Brazil; is home to over 214 million people and covers over 8.5 million km² (3.3 million square miles).
  • Spanish is the most spoken language in South America.
  • The Andes mountain range runs through seven countries on the west of the continent.
  • The Kerepakupai Merú, or Angel Falls, in Venezuela, is the tallest waterfall in the world. It is 979m (more than 3,000 ft) tall.
  • The Amazon River is the second longest in the world, and holds the largest volume of water of any river. There are no bridges over the Amazon!

Videos

South America | Destination World

This video is a good overview of the continent of South America.

Running time: 2:52

South American Landmarks

Check out 5 amazing landmarks from South America.

Running time: 0:40

Peru: Machu Picchu – Travel Kids in South America

Join the travel kids in the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Running time: 7:02

Dulce – A student in Guatemala

Learn about the life of 12 year old Dulce and what she is learning about farming and food at school

Running time: 4:06

Amazon rainforest: ‘Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever’ – BBC News

This news report follows scientist Erika Berenguer in the Amazon.

Running time: 3:00

Books

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

The story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga and how she changed music in Cuba.

Not For Parents South America

A travel guide for just for children!

Mapping South America

A useful book that explores the continent through maps.

DK Eyewitness Books The Amazon

A good all round reference book for learning about the Amazon rainforest.

The Rainforest Grew All Around

A beautiful rhyming introduction to the rainforest.

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