Study Guide—Sojourn Into The Night-A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

Spoiler alert: I will not be providing the answers for the questions. If you’re a serious adventurer, then you will discover the world on your own. Support all your answers with facts found in the book and your own research. Seek and you shall find!


Study Guide: Sojourn Into the Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

Please be sure to find the camouflaged buttress roots, lianas, monkeys, bats, katydid and of course, the stars.

These questions are based on pages 1-21.

1. Poetic Techniques 

Find examples ofalliteration(two or more successive words with the same initial sound), onomatopoeia(the spelling recreates the sound) and appeals tothe sensesof sight, hearing and touch.

Now, write your own:

Alliteration– a colorful flower garden, hot pavement after a heavy rain

Onomatopoeia– a thunder and lightning storm, sirens on a busy street

Appeal to Sense of Sight– at the park

Appeal to Hearing– at the beach

Appeal to Touch– a puppy or kitten


2. The Rainforest 

Identify the four layers of the Peruvian rainforest and the creatures and plants that are found in each layer. How are these layers important to the ecosystem of the rainforest? Describe the contribution of the Amazonian rainforest and the Amazon River to the world. In what ways have the plants and creatures of this rainforest improved human health? Give examples.

Explain how farming, mining, and dam building have contributed to the decline of the rainforest. What is deforestation? How does deforestation influence world climate change? What is an agrofuel plantation? What is its effect on the environment?


3. Constellations of the Southern Hemisphere

Orion– Why does the appearance of Orion differ in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres? In what parts of the world is Orion NOT visible? Why? How can you best find Orion in the night sky?  How can you locate his belt? Using an image of Orion constellation, point to the head, shoulders, knees, belt, sword, and the Orion Nebula. Re-create this image and be sure to label all parts. What is the Orion Nebula?

How is Betelgeuse different from other stars in this constellation? What is unique about Betelgeuse’s placement in this constellation?

True or false? Orion had great significance in ancient civilizations. Support your answer. In what ways can Orion be considered a global phenomenon?

Southern Cross – Definecircumpolar. How does this apply to the Southern Cross as seen in the Southern Hemisphere? Why is it not widely visible in the North? Where in the United States might it be visible? In which direction should you look?

Draw and label the stars in the Southern Cross. What is the relationship between the Southern Cross and the Big Dipper?

How did ancient European explorers use the Southern Cross as a navigation tool?

Which continent uses the Southern Cross as its symbol?

The Centaur – Where is its placement in the sky? Why is this constellation no longer visible in the Northern Hemisphere? Define precessionand declination.Apply these terms to the Centaur’s placement.

What is Alpha Centauri? What is its significance in astronomy? Draw and label its placement with the Centaur constellation.

Recount the legend of how Centaur Chironbecame a star in the sky. What conclusion can you make about the importance of this constellation?


4. Bats– Draw and label the body parts. Bats can fly, so why is it classified as a mammal rather than a bird? What is echolocation? How does this adaptation serve the bats of the rainforest? What other adaptations help the bat to survive? What is unique about the bats of Peru?  Show how some bats’ anticoagulant action while drinking the blood of livestock is used to help human heart attack victims.

Make a diagram to show the placement of bats in the food chain of the rainforest of Peru. What percentage of the rainforest mammals are bats?

Give examples of bats as social creatures. Describe their reproductive and child rearing habits. Why are there so few baby bats?

Explain the role of bats in the health of the rainforest. What occurrences in their habitat could result in the extermination of the species?


5. Katydids– What is its nickname in Great Britain? Draw and label the body parts. What is the purpose of the antennae? What is the purpose of the female’s long sharp structure at the end of the abdomen? Where are the ears located? How do they communicate? How do they produce sound?

Explain how camouflage, mimicry, and jumping aid in their survival. Diurnal or nocturnal? Social or solitary? How do their adaptations contribute to their survival?

Make a diagram to show their placement in the food chain of the Peruvian rainforest.

In what ways are the ears of the katydid similar to ears of humans? Define evolutionary convergence. What is its significance between insects and mammals?

Readers Theater

Create and perform a Readers Theaterscript with Katydid and Bat as the main characters and monkeys, snakes, birds, etc. as minor characters.  Title: Please Don’t  Eat My Babies.

Readers Theater is a dramatic presentation of a written work in a script format. Readers read from a “script” and reading parts are divided among the readers. No memorization, costumes, blocking, or special lighting is needed. Presentations can easily be done in a classroom. Scripts are held by the readers who read one at a time. Often the characters who are not currently reading stand with their backs to the audience.


Design A T-Shirt

Design a T-shirt for Bullfrog, Katydid, or Monkey. Draw the likeness. Surround the image with five descriptive words or phrases.


Pages 22-37.

Please remember to look for creatures hidden among the leaves.

You can preview and purchase Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit for a digital copy.

Please be sure to find the camouflaged bullfrog, bromeliads and walking stick.

These questions are based on pp. 22-37.

1.The Amazon Biome

Defineecosystemand biome. What is their relationship? In which countries and continent is the largest tropical rainforest located? Why does Peru stand apart from the other countries? Which fruits, amphibians, birds, reptiles, fish, insects,  mammals, and trees can be found in the Peruvian rainforest?

The Amazon biome is known as the lungs of the world. Explain.


2. The Bullfrog

Why is the bullfrog an alien species in the rainforest? How did it get there? What is special about its skin? Explain why the bullfrog is referred to as the canary in the coal mine. What does it eat? What are its enemies?  How does the bullfrog upset the balance of nature in the rainforest?

Why is the bullfrog nocturnal? What adaptations allow the bullfrog to protect itself? Definehibernationand estivation. Why is it unlikely that the bullfrog of the Peruvian rainforest will ever have to utilize these survival techniques?


3. Camouflage

Define achromatic, monochromatic, and polychromatic. How do these color schemes aid in the survival of the creatures of the rainforest?

Design a diorama, painting or drawing depicting a Peruvian rainforest scene with a combination of achromatic, monochromatic, and polychromatic areas. Camouflage the appropriate creatures within your landscape or waterscape.


4.Walking Stick

Draw and label the body parts. Plant or insect? Does it share its classification name with other creatures? Explain. What does it eat? Enemies? What is defoliation? How might the walking stick be injurious to the health of the rainforest? Define light-gap, succession,and climax forests. How can the eating habits of the walking stick actually be beneficial to the rainforest?

Define camouflage, mimicry, crypsis, and cataleptic state. What adaptations have aided the walking stick to survive in the rainforest?

In what way has the walking stick served as a model for the engineering of robots?


5. Tanka Poem

Choose a creature from the rainforest of Peru. Research and list facts. Create a tanka poem using as many facts as possible. Follow the models on p. 31 Bullfrogand p. 37 Walking Stick.

Use the following guideline exactly as it appears:

Line 1 -5 syllables
Line 2 -7 syllables
Line 3 -5 syllables
Line 4 -7 syllables
Line 5 -7 syllables


Newspaper Article: ______ Fights Off Would-Be Attacker!

Choose Bullfrog, Katydid or Monkey. Write a newspaper article  telling about the incident. Stick to realistic facts. Answer the questions: Who? What? Why? When? Where? How? Keep it short and sweet.


Pages 38-45

Please remember to look for creatures hidden among the leaves.

You can preview and purchase Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit for a digital copy.


1.Mosquito Borne Rainforest Illnesses

Yellow Fever

How and where is yellow fever transmitted? Symptoms? Treatment? Curable? Contagious? Morbidity and mortality rates? Which rainforest mammals are also bitten by mosquitoes? How can humans protect themselves? What other illnesses in developing countries are caused by this same mosquito?

What strategies are utilized to control the mosquito population? Define sylvaticcycle and urban cycle. What are their consequences on the human population?

In what way do infected monkeys transmit the illness to humans?


How and where is malaria transmitted? Symptoms? Treatment? Curable? Contagious? Morbidity and mortality rates? Precautionary measures? Which rainforest creatures are also affected?

How is malaria spreading in the United States? Why have the incidences and severity sharply  increased worldwide? Define endemic. What is airport malaria?

What changes would you recommend to launch a more successful campaign against this illness?


2. Insect Repellent

Define insect repellent. When should it be used? Who should use it? Which ingredients in insect repellents give the most effective protection? Give brand names of those judged as most effective.

How much time before your trip should you see a health care professional for prescriptions, shots and information? What are the rules for using insect repellent most effectively? What should you do if you have an allergic reaction?

Which behaviors reduce dangers associated with mosquitoes of the rainforest?


3. General Mosquito Borne Illnesses

Name additional mosquito borne illnesses. How do mosquitoes transmit illnesses? What invention of the 1880s provided an immeasurable safety device against mosquitoes to people in their homes? What protective steps and behaviors have been proven effective in combating mosquitoes in the home environment?

Make a poster listing steps to take for reducing the mosquito infestation and unwanted exposure at home. Title: Protect Yourself!


4. Medicinal Plants of the Peruvian Rainforest

Dragon’s Blood or Sangre de Grado is a widely used medicinal plant of the Peruvian rainforest used in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the United States although it has not been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration.. How did it get its name? What are its medicinal and industrial uses?

What other medicinal treatments and cures come from the rainforest? Explain the importance of the rainforest in providing healing and restorative treatments in Western Medicine.


Define shaman.Support the importance of the shaman to indigenous people? Explain the crucial roles shaman play in helping scientists discover the potential of plants. Where do shaman store their knowledge?

How have multinational practices threatened individual and cultural survival? What can we as individuals do to help preserve traditional knowledge, indigenous cultures and tropical ecosystems?


5. Become An Eco-Tourist

Get ready to become a world traveler! Plan a trip to the rainforest of Peru. Of course, you can pretend or you can actually go. It’s up to you!

* LocatePeru on a map. Bordering ocean and countries? Major sites and cities?
*Google Plan A Trip To the Peruvian Rainforest

 *Choosethe length of your stay, which sites to visit
*Understandclimate conditions
*Identifytravel and sleeping accommodations-jungle lodges, backpacking tours, riverboat excursions, small hotels
*Determineamenities, if any
*Inquireabout airline schedules, fares, luggage rules, ground transportation *Researchtours, excursions, activities such as tree climbing and sport fishing *Decideon a budget and appropriate luggage such as different size suitcases, duffel bag, backpack, day trip bag
*Applyfor a passport
*Checkwhich health providers can provide malaria and yellow fever protection as well as altitude sickness aids if visiting higher elevations
*Purchasepersonal safety items such as flashlights; appropriate clothing for trekking such (boots, hiking shoes, sun hat,  sunglasses) ; personal protection (insect repellent, sunscreen); toiletries such as toilet paper and wipes, hand gel
*Understandpayment options (cash, debit card, VISA, Master Card, NOT American Express
*IncludeSpanish Translation Dictionary
*Arrangefor a cell phone service provider
*Obtainelectrical adapters for charging electronic equipment
*Ascertainif your personal items are eco-friendly

State a rule for human survival in the rainforest of Peru.


Pages 46-59.

Please remember to look for creatures hidden among the leaves.

You can preview and purchase Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest at Amazon or Barnes & Noble websites for a digital or paperback copy, or you can visit for a digital copy.

These questions are based on pages 46-59.

1.Owl Butterflies

Draw a picture of the owl butterfly with its wings opened. Label the body parts. How did it get its name? How does it see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Feel? Life span?

Why does it fly primarily at dusk and dawn? What other adaptations aid in its survival? What does it eat? Explain the stages of metamorphosis.Why are they considered jungle pests when in the caterpillar stage? What role might parasitic wasps play in the attempt to control destructive caterpillar activity?  What behaviors might the host exhibit to protect itself from parasitic invasion? What are its natural enemies? Diagram the owl butterfly’s position on the food chain. How might a decrease in the numbers of owl butterflies affect other creatures in the rainforest?

Explain how they reproduce. Definelekking, genic capture, hotshot hypothesis, hotspot model, black hole model, and genetic diversity. Demonstrate how the theory of natural selection is at play here.

2. Indigenous People of the Peruvian Rainforest

What language(s) are spoken? What is the ethnicity of the majority of inhabitants? From which area of the world did they most likely emigrate? What is the typical diet? In what ways does the rainforest provide for its inhabitants? Define shifting cultivationand sustainable existence. In what ways does depending on an environment with limited usable land mass impact a people? Why is malnutrition so prevalent? Why do people congregate in specific regions? How does competition for natural resources affect interdependence? What characteristics are unique to the indigenous people of the rainforest? How might tourism and outside economic development both negatively and positively affect the status quo? In what way are the indigenous people trying to protect their territory and culture?

3. Children of the Peruvian Rainforest

How are children educated? What factors interfere with their education? In what ways does this limit their choices for the future? Show how technology and social media be used to provide a more equitable educational opportunity. What resistance might you expect to the introduction of this idea?

How is rabies contracted in the rainforest? Who are the most likely victims? Why? What other diseases are transmitted by vampire bats? Why do you think a victim who is bitten is in danger of contracting more than one disease? What are some preventive measures that should be taken by tourists and indigenous people to protect themselves from vampire bats?  Why aren’t these practices widespread?

In what ways do cultural opposition and remote location adversely affect the children?

4.Impact of  Cultural & Societal Systems

How and why do places change over time? How have cultural, technologic, and societal systems impacted the environment of the rainforest? How does lack of technology decrease diffusion of cultureand limit exposure to outside culture?

How might indigenous people offer insightful suggestions for utilizing the resources of the rainforest while protecting its integrity?

Will the 21st Century be remembered as a time when the integrity of the Earth was destroyed or preserved? Support your answer.

5. Memoir

A memoir is a compelling first person story which focuses on a moment in time, rather than an overview of the author’s life. It’s a snapshot of an impactful event. The elements of memoir: truth, theme, voice, point of view, and musing or reflection. Your turn! You write a memoir! First, make a list of camera-worthy moments in time. Now, choose your topic and theme, tell your truthful memory, and add your feelings, insights and epiphanies. Yes, it’s that easy.

All rights reserved 2020


Saturday, March 14, 2020- Barnes & Noble, Massapequa, NY 12:00-4:00pm

March 2023
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