The Explorer by Katherine Rundell

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell is a thrilling adventure novel that captivates young readers with its tale of survival, discovery, and friendship in the Amazon rainforest. The story follows four children who survive a plane crash and must work together to navigate the challenges of the jungle in their quest to find a way home. Along their journey, they encounter a mysterious figure known as the Explorer, who teaches them about the wonders and secrets of the rainforest.

Genre: adventure, mystery, friendship 

Themes: friendship, adventure, survival, jungle, secrets

Age: 9+ years old


  • Jungle Survival Skills: Have students research and present on essential survival skills needed in the Amazon rainforest. They can cover topics such as finding food and water, building shelter, and navigating through the jungle. This activity encourages critical thinking and practical knowledge application, enhancing their understanding of the challenges faced by the characters.
  • Creative Writing – Diary Entries: Ask students to write diary entries from the perspective of one of the children in the book. They should focus on a specific event or challenge they faced in the jungle and how they felt during those moments. This activity helps students delve deeper into character development and emotional expression.
  • Art and Geography – Mapping the Adventure: Students can create their own maps of the children’s journey through the Amazon, including key locations and obstacles they encountered. This project combines art with geography, encouraging students to visualize the story’s setting and the spatial relationships within it.
  • Exploration and Discovery: Inspired by the exploratory theme of the book, organize a class “expedition” where students can explore a part of their school or local area they’re unfamiliar with. Beforehand, they can research explorers and the qualities that make a good explorer. After the expedition, they can share their discoveries and reflect on their experiences.
  • Biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest: Have students work in groups to research the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest, focusing on its biodiversity and the ecological importance of rainforests globally. Each group can present their findings on a specific aspect, such as medicinal plants, unique animal species, or conservation efforts. This activity raises awareness about environmental science and conservation issues.

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