TERI A.: (knocking) Hello, I'm Teri. I live here in Death Valley,one of the driest and hottest places on Earth. I used to have a friend named Jairus who lived here, but he moved away to the rain forest.
"Hi, Jairus."Sometimes I think of you "in your nice, cool rain forest. Your friend, Teri."
JAIRUS P.: Hi, I'm Teri's friend, Jairus. I used to live in one of the driest places in the world but now I live in one of the wettest places in the world. This is the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington state. It rains over 12 feet a year here. It's kind of unusual because it's sunny today. What's neat about it is that it's a temperate rain forest. That means it's never too hot or too cold and it always rains a lot.
"Dear Teri, we've just had a ton of rain. "Everything in the rain forest seems to be alive. "Stay cool. Your friend, Jairus."
TERI: Here in Death Valley, we get about 1 1/2 inches of rain a year, and everything here has adapted to not need so much water. Death Valley is an extreme desert. I mean, when you live here, it's like living in an oven. The high every day is in the 120s somewhere, so it's really hot.
"Hi, Jairus. "It got up to 120 degrees today. "Hey, I was wondering, how long do you think one of those banana slugs would survive out here in Death Valley?"
JAIRUS: Not long. What's neat about banana slugs is that their slime is weird. Their color is cool, and the way they move is neat. What's neat about this rain forest is there's lots of animals—elk, bears, owls and, of course, bugs (grunts). This is a millipede. They spray acid and it unleashes this really bad smell.
"Dear Teri, the water here is fresh and cold, not like at Badwater."
TERI: You know how when you come out of swimming in the sea and you have... the salt dries on your skin, and you can see the salt and taste the salt? Well, that's kind of what happened here in Death Valley. This used to be a big lake, but the lake dried up and left the salt.
This is a spring that came up out of the ground, and when the water meets the salt, it becomes salty. So that's why they call it Badwater. Even here in Badwater, plants and animals have adapted to the extreme saltiness and heat. The pickleweed, for instance. It can drink this salty, hot water. And the insect larva—they have to live inside really salty and really hot water.
JAIRUS: This is a nurse log, an old tree that has fallen down. As it rots, it feeds the new trees that are growing on top of it. This is moss growing from a tree. It likes lots of water, but it doesn't like sun. Whoa! Because it rains here so much, these huge trees don't have to have deep roots.
TERI: This is a mesquite tree, and one of the main ways that it has adapted to deserts is by having really, really long roots. The roots go 40 feet deep down so they could get all the water that's down there. A lot of times, after I've come back from a hike, I think of Jairus, because where he lives, there's moisture everywhere. I mean, it rains every day.
JAIRUS: I hear it's going to rain soon. Got to go—bye.
TERI: Humans have adapted, but not well enough, so I better get out of the sun before I dry up and blow away. See ya!
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.