Amazon Map by Karl Musser
Map of South America

The Amazing Amazon: The Biggest River on Earth…

The Amazon River is huge. In fact, it flows more water than the next seven biggest rivers combined! It’s in South America; it’s about 4,000 miles long; and, it runs through several countries: Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

The Amazon River is so big because it drains water from an immense area called the Amazon basin (the basin is the yellow portion in the first picture you see here). When rain falls in the Amazon basin, some of the water ends up in the Amazon River. And, since the basin also includes the largest rainforest in the world, there’s plenty of water to fill up the river, especially during the rainy season.

As the Amazon flows from west to east, smaller rivers and streams add water along the way. So, when the Amazon finally reaches the Atlantic Ocean, it accounts for about one-fifth of all the river-water in the entire world. That’s a very big river indeed.

Bright Ideas

Quotes by Simon Bolivar, a Hero of the South American Independence Movement 

“The art of victory is learned in defeat.”

“To do something right it must be done twice. The first time instructs the second.”

“God grants victory to perseverance.”

“The first duty of the government is to give education to the people.”

“Slavery is the offspring of darkness.”

About South America

It’s a Fact: South America is one of the seven continents. The other continents are: North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia-Oceania, and Antarctica.

It’s a Fact: South America has 12 countries. They are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

It’s a Fact: The two languages that are most commonly spoken in South America are Spanish and Portuguese.

It’s a Fact: Brazil is the largest country in South America. In fact, almost half the people who live in South America are Brazilians.

It’s a Fact: South America is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east. The Amazon River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

More Fun Facts

Fun Fact: During the rainy season, the Amazon River can grow to a width of over 150 miles as it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Fun Fact: The amount of water that flows out of the Amazon River is greater than the total outflow of the the next seven largest rivers in the world combined. The second-largest river in the world is the Congo River in Africa. But the Amazon River is five times larger than the Congo River.

Fun Fact: The Amazon Rain Forest, which sends huge amounts of water into the Amazon River, covers an area of over 2 million square miles! (That’s over 5 million square kilometers.)

Fun Fact: More than 3,000 different kinds of fish have been identified in the Amazon basin, and more are being discovered all the time. For comparison, the Mississippi River, which is the largest river in North America has about 120 different kinds of fish.

Fun Fact: The Amazon rainforest accounts for more than half of the entire world’s remaining rainforests.

Fun Fact: The Amazon rainforest is also referred to as the “Lungs of the Planet” because its trees and plants produce more than 20% of the world’s oxygen.

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.

Which ocean does the Amazon River empty into? Is it the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Indian Ocean?

The Atlantic.

Which is the largest country in South America? Is it Chile, Brazil, or Argentina?


About how many different kinds of fish inhabit the Amazon basin? Is it 300, 3,000, or 30,000?

About 3,000 different kinds of fish (that’s about 3,000 different species) can be found in the Amazon basin, and they’re still finding more.

Is the Amazon rainforest the biggest rainforest in the world, or the second-biggest?

It’s the biggest rainforest in the world by far.

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

Story Idea #1: Write a story about ssome of the interesting facts you learned about the Amazon River.


Story Idea #2: Describe an imaginary boat ride down the Amazon River. What would it be like? What are some of the things you might see?

To help you write a great essay, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a Riddle for You:
In the Amazon River, where do fish sleep?

On the riverbed.

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