Lesson video

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Hello everybody and welcome to our geography lesson today.

My name is Miss Harrison and I should be saying hola, to you because we are going to travel to South America in our unit, in geography.

And I'm so excited to teach you this unit because South America is my favourite continent in the whole world.

There are so many amazing places to discover just like the country of Bolivia, which you can see behind me.

You can see maybe some mountains, a beautiful landscape of Bolivia, and even some of my lama friends, which we might see along the way.

So we're going to be thinking today about the different countries in South America and some of the physical geographical features on the continent so let's get started.

So we're thinking about which countries are in South America and what their physical features are.

So our lesson is going to look something like this.

First of all, we are going to look at the whole world and we're going to look at the seven different continents in the world.

Then we're going to think about where South America is the continent of South America, and then which countries there are within that continent.

We're going to think about what a physical geographical feature is.

I'll explain that in just a while, if that's a new term for you.

And then we're going to look at some of those physical features in the continent of South America.

So for our lessons today, you're going to need a piece of paper or a notepad to write down on.

You're going to need a pencil or a pen to write with, and you are going to need your amazing geography brain switched on if it's not switched on yet, just give it a switch.

Great, fantastic, okay.

If you, haven't got one of those things in front of you and you need to run and get them, then pause the video and do that now.

Okay, so let's get going with our first challenge of the lesson.

Can you name all seven continents of the world? So here is our world map with all of the different continents.

I wonder if you can name all of those.

So pause the video now and see if you can write down the names of as many of those continents, as you can remember, of you go.

Okay, let's see how we did on our first challenge.

So we were looking to name all seven continents of the world.

So I'm going to read them out and give yourself a tick if you've got this one written down.

So our first one is North America.

Give yourself a tick if you got that one, next we have Africa, next stop Asia.

Then we have Australia and Antarctica and then we have the continent where we live, Europe and then the continent that we are focusing on today is South America.

If you go all of those, correct, give yourselves a big tick.

If there are any that you didn't get today, that's fine.

Make sure you write them down now so that you will remember them for next time.

So those are our seven continents of the world.

And today we are going to be focusing on South America.

That's what we're going to be looking at in our unit today.

Now, South America is a huge continent.

It is a really huge and diverse continent.

That means that the people and the landscapes are all very, very different in different parts of the continent.

And it contains 12 different countries.

There are 12 different countries within South America.

I wonder, can you name any countries in South America? I already told you one at the beginning of the lesson, which is behind me today.

I wonder if you can pause the video now and write down any South American countries that you already know have a go.

Okay, let's find out.

Maybe you didn't know any South American countries before this lesson and that's okay 'cause that's what we're going to learn today.

So let's have a look at our map of South America and let's have a look at those different countries we can find on the continent.

So we have first up Argentina in the Southwest, sorry, the Southeast of South America.

Then we have Chile.

Next stop, we have Uruguay between Argentina and Brazil.

Then we have Paraguay.

We have Bolivia, which is the place where I am today.

Next step we have Peru.

Then over to the East, we have Brazil.

One of the biggest countries, you can see it takes up a huge amount of the continent.

Then we have Ecuador above Peru and on the border with Ecuador, we have Columbia and over on the East coast, the Northeast coast, we have French Guiana, now French Guiana isn't included in the 12 countries of South America because it's a territory of France.

That means it's owned by the country of France, which is within Europe so that's why we say there are 12 countries, even though you can see 13 different spots on the map.

So French Guiana is part of South America, but it's not included as a country on its own.

Let's have a look at our next one we have, Suriname and then right up at the top, we have Venezuela.

and then next to that, we have Guyana at the very top.

So those are our 12 countries of South America plus French Guyana, which is a territory of France.

I wonder if you had heard of any of those countries before, maybe you had, maybe you hadn't.

Today we're going to learn a little bit about the geography of some of those places on the continent of South America.

So we're going to be thinking about what human and physical geographical features are.

So when we think about the geography of a country, we can split those different things into physical features and human features.

So let's find out what those two things mean.

So we can define it, physical geographical features as the natural landscape of the earth.

So things that occur naturally on the earth, they're not made by humans.

They just happen naturally.

So for example, things like mountains and lakes and beaches and rainforests are all examples of natural features.

So we call those physical geographical features.

They occur naturally on the earth.

Then we have human geographical features, which you guessed it relates to things relating to the behaviour of humans.

So things that are either made by humans or things that humans use in their daily life or places where humans live like cities like villages, things like shops and factories and schools are all examples of human geographical features.

So those are the two different features that we can look out for when we're thinking about the geography of a place.

Today we are just going to focus in on physical geographical features so we're going to think about different physical geographical features we can find on the continent of South America.

So as I said before, South America has a very varied landscape.

It's a very big place with lots of very different countries and different climates and different landscapes so these range from things like towering mountains to really humid hot, and wet rain forest to arid dry desert and beautiful beaches on the coast so there are loads of different landscapes that we can see throughout the continent of South America.

We're going to look at just some examples of those physical features.

As I said, there are loads of them, and we're just going to pick a few examples to explore in our lesson today.

So let's look at our first physical feature that we can find on the continent of South America.

And it is the Amazon Rainforest.

Now you might have heard about the Amazon Rainforest before, because it's the largest tropical rainforest in the whole world and rainforest have a very warm and very wet climate, which allows for lots of plants and animals to survive there.

So the majority of the Amazon Rainforest is located in the country of Brazil, but it's not only in Brazil, there's a lot of it within Brazil, but the rainforest also stretches into Bolivia to Peru, to Ecuador, to Columbia and to Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

So a lot of the Northern parts of South America contains part of the Amazon Rainforest and that all that rainforest is connected by the Amazon river, which runs through it so you can see the picture on the right hand side of the Amazon river there.

And it is one of the longest rivers in the world at 6,840 kilometres long.

That is a very, very long way.

So as I said, it's very hot and it's very wet, which means that lots of different plant and animal species can survive and thrive within the Amazon Rainforest and actually one in 10 animal species in the world lives within the Amazon Rainforest, which is amazing, such a cool fact.

So it's a very, very diverse place where lots and lots of different animal and plant species can live.

Now, the Amazon Rainforest is often referred to it you might have heard this before as the lungs of the earth and that's because all of the trees in the Amazon Rainforest contain carbon and they keep carbon within them.

So they protect our environment from having too much carbon in the atmosphere and they release oxygen into the atmosphere and so that's really, really important for life on all of the planet, not just in South America, but all over the world.

So the Amazon Rainforest is a really, really important physical geographical feature, but also an important resource for the whole world.

Now we're going to look at a very different environment so we know that the Amazon Rainforest is very hot and wet and here we have an example of a desert, and this is the Atacama desert, which is in the North of Chile and it stretches into Bolivia.

So the Northern part of Chile and parts of Bolivia as well, and the Atacama does, covers over 100,000 square kilometres so again, it's a huge, huge area and it's one of the driest regions in the world with very, very little rainfall so it barely ever rains in places and in this region in the Atacama desert, although there are some lakes and rivers, generally, it's very, very dry and arid landscape, however many people still live here in the region of the Atacama desert, which is really, really high above sea level and there are some villages that are as high as 4,000 metres above sea level that's taller than any mountain in the UK so some of the towns and villages that people live in are really, really high up in the desert.

So this means that it can make it quite warm in the day when the sun is shining and there's very little rain, but it can be very, very cold at night.

But one thing that the Atacama desert is really, really famous for is for stargazing.

If you want to see a clear night sky and look at the stars, the Atacama desert is one of the best places in the world.

You can do this because there's very few clouds because it doesn't rain very much and it's clear of light pollution because it's not near any kind of big cities and that are going to pollute the sky.

So that's one reason why some people go to visit the Atacama desert in the North of Chile.

So we've looked at two very different physical features already, a rainforest and a desert let's have a look at our next one.

The next one is the Andes mountain range and this is a mountain range.

That is one of the longest in the whole world.

It stretches all the way from the Southern most tip of South America, which is in the South of Chile and Argentina, right at the very bottom of the continent.

And it goes all the way up through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.

So all the way to the top of the continent and the tallest peak, which is on the border of Argentina and Chile is called Mount Aconcagua and it is 6,953 metres tall, which is very, very tall mountain.

And the Andes is really, really important as it goes up through the continent of South America, because it separates the Western coast from the rest of the continent and that means that it changes the climate and the weather on the rest of the continent.

Now the landscape within the Andes mountain range can vary a lot so there can be lots of different places from places like glaciers in the South, which are huge blocks of ice on the side of mountains and lots of snow, definitely on the South, in the South of the very South of the continent and that contrast with, flatter landscapes or dryer landscapes further North up the continent.

So, many people also live in the region, of the Andes mountains and their lives would be very, very different to people that live and in the cities, for example, and we're going to look a bit about the human geography of South America in our next lesson, this unit.

So the Andes are a huge mountain range, really, really popular with people going to visit South America to go tracking or hiking and visit lots of those amazing places and that the Andes run through.

Now our next, physical geographical feature is rivers and waterfalls.

So we already looked to the Amazon river, which is the longest river on the continent of South America, but there are loads and loads of rivers running through the continent and some of them, and in waterfalls, or have waterfalls as part of their flow.

Now you can see in the images on the screen, the Iguazu river runs through Brazil, and it becomes a set of waterfalls on the border between Brazil and Argentina and this is called the Iguazu falls and it's the largest system of waterfalls in the world.

It's a really, really amazing place and you can see it both from the side of Argentina and from the side of Brazil, I've actually visited it and it was one of my favourite things I've ever done.

It was such a cool place to visit you can walk along the top of the waterfalls.

You can get boats down to the bottom and it's really amazing.

Now another famous waterfall in South America is a really tall waterfall that you can see on your screen and it's Angel falls, which is in the country of Venezuela and it's 975, sorry, 979 metres tall.

And that means it's the world's tallest uninterrupted waterfall so that shot of water goes down 979 metres.

So it's a very, very tall waterfall.

Again, very popular with people going to visit because it's such amazing sight to see.

Now another curious physical feature that you might not have seen before are salts flats and salt flats are a huge expanse of white salt covering a piece of land and you can see an example on the board of the salt flats of Bolivia and these were formed as a result of prehistoric lakes evaporating years ago.

So when a lake evaporates, it means that the water turns into gas into the air, goes out into the air and that left behind a thick layer of salt on the ground and so now you have these huge expanses of land in the Bolivia and also in the North of Chile and Argentina, where it just looks completely white and it extends for 4,050 square miles across Bolivia.

There's little wildlife or vegetation, because not that many things can grow there apart from the odd cactus and things that you see on the picture on the right hand side but it is a very popular home for many species of flamingo because they can get a lot of nutrients out of the salts beneath the ground so very popular with flamingos.

I've also been to the salt flats in Bolivia and in Argentina, and they are one of the best places to go because they are just unbelievable.

It's like nothing you've ever seen before and it's such a cool thing to visit.

Now, the final physical feature that we're going to look at today is the coastline of South America.

And again, the coastline goes all the way around the continent, which is a very long way.

So it's really, really diverse and there are lots of different types of beaches and types of coastline in different places within South America.

In the North of the continent countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname have very warm climate and Sandy beaches.

So it's very, very tropical and warm there a little bit like the islands of the Caribbean and Brazil is also known for its tropical sandy beaches, and many people from all over the world, but also from within South America, like to go on holiday to the coastlines of the countries that are near them, to go and have a wonderful time on the beach.

So you can see just some examples, on your screen now of different types of coastline and beach, you might find in different places in South America.

So now we have had to think about loads of different, sorry, physical geographical features.

I want you now to write down any physical geographical features that can be found in your area.

So think about the place where you live.

There might not be salt flats because we don't have any salt flats in the UK.

There might not be a desert, but there might be some mountains or hills.

There might be a river near where you live.

There might be a park or a meadow nearby where you live.

There might be a forest near where you live.

So if I think about where I live, I live in the South of London and there aren't any mountains I'm afraid, and there aren't any lakes near me either, but there are lots of parks and green spaces, and there were some smaller hills and there is a river flowing through the City of London as well.

So pause the video now and write down any physical geographical features that you can find in your area, okay.

Okay, awesome work team.

Now that you've thought about the physical geographical features in your area, and we've seen some examples from South America, I want you to compare how the physical features, where you live are similar or different from the physical features that we've looked at in South America.

So here are some sentence starters to help you out for this task.

So you're going to think about where you live and write me a sentence I live in.

So I live in London.

Some physical features in my area are the river Thames is very close to where I live and some big green parks are also close to me.

Those are physical features as well.

One similarity between the geography of my area and South America is that there are rivers all over and my area and there are lots of trees that aren't quite as many trees as there are in the Amazon Rainforest, but there are some trees and some green spaces.

One difference between the geography of my area and South America is that in London, there are no mountains and there are no deserts.

That's one thing that's different.

So have a think about where you live and use the sentence stems to write me three sentences or even more sentences if you're feeling very ambitious.

Write me some sentences about your area and how the physical geography is similar or different to the physical geography in South America, pause the video now and have a go at that task.

Okay, awesome work everybody.

My final question for you to think about before the end of our lesson today is if you could visit one of the physical features or one of the landscapes that we've looked at in South America, which would you choose and why? So maybe you might want to visit the Amazon Rainforest to see the different plants and animals that live there.

Maybe you'd like to visit the Iguazu waterfalls, maybe like to visit the salt flats of the Bolivia.

So have a think about somewhere that you might like to visit you might even want to write me a sentence as well.

Fantastic, now that's the end of our lesson today team and you guys have worked so super hard, so well done.

We've learned a lot.

We've packed a lot of information into our lesson today.

Now, if you are super proud of the work that you have done today, and you want to share that work with the teachers at Oak National Academy, you could ask a parent or carer to maybe take a photo of the work that you've done and share it on social media, with a tagging at @OAKNational and with the #LearnwithOak, that way some of your teachers will be able to see the wonderful work that you are doing at home.

I hope you enjoyed our first lesson in this unit.

I'm going to be back in our next lesson where we're going to be thinking about the human geography of South America so I will see you then, adios.