Geography KS2 & KS3: Expedition to Guyana - transportation for local tribespeople

In the sixteenth century, explorer Sir Walter Raleigh became the first Englishman to visit Guyana in South America.

He came in search of the legendary El Dorado.

With over eighty per cent of the land covered in rainforest the fastest way of getting around is often by river.

Raleigh made use of Guyana's local tribespeople to guide him through the country's complex river network.

Four hundred years later the Serious Explorers, a group of children from the UK, try paddling canoes just like the ones Raleigh’s team would have used, and traditional fishing techniques.

One of the aims of their expedition is for the Serious Explorers to break the record and become the youngest group to abseil down the Kaieteur Falls.

Guyana's rivers continue to be the life-blood of the jungle providing water for drinking and washing and a source of food for the local tribes people.

This clip is from the series Seriously Raleigh.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used as part of a study on rivers or life in the rainforest.

Pupils could be asked to discuss the advantages of living close to a river (food supply, water supply, transport).

This is examined in the clip and a comprehensive list of advantages could be compiled as a class after watching it.

The clip also provides a springboard for pupils to learn about possible disadvantages of living close to the river (flooding risk).

How have the villagers overcome this potential risk? (houses on stilts).

As a follow up activity, the children could be asked to market and advertise an eco hotel that has been developed on the banks of the Guyana river.

They should describe its unique features (ie its stilts, the fact it's made from local materials and is run by local people), as well as the variety of activities on offer for tourists (ie canoeing in a traditional boat, abseiling down the Kaieteur Falls and fishing for the largest freshwater fish).

The clip can be used to provide this information and can be paused to give the children time to absorb and record ideas.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching Geography at KS2 and KS3 Level in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd and 3rd Level in Scotland.

More from Seriously Raleigh:

Expedition safety
Expedition to Guyana - endangered animals in the rainforest
Expedition to Guyana - exploring Mount Roraima
Expedition to Guyana - life in the rainforest
Expedition to Guyana - Mount Roraima (no narration)
Expedition to Guyana - navigating an ocean journey
Expedition to Guyana - planning an expedition
Expedition to Guyana - recreating Sir Walter Raleigh's search for El Dorado
Expedition to Guyana - rivers and waterfalls (no narration)
Expedition to Guyana - spending a night in the rainforest
Expedition to Guyana - the Makushi tribespeople