Teaching Students About Mount Everest
Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, has captured the imagination of people for centuries. Teaching students about Everest presents a unique opportunity for educators to incorporate geography, history, culture, and science into an engaging and informative lesson. This article will provide insights and tips on how to effectively teach students about this awe-inspiring natural wonder.
History and Geography of Mount Everest
Educators can begin their lesson by introducing students to the basic geographical aspects of Mount Everest. Located in the Himalayas on the border of Nepal and China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Everest rises 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level. Teachers can use maps, images, and videos to vividly illustrate the mountain’s location, prominence, and challenging features.
Discussing the history of its discovery will offer valuable insights into early exploration endeavors. It is important to mention George Everest – after whom the mountain was named – and Sir Andrew Waugh’s role in determining its height. In addition to examining early expeditions led by George Mallory in the 1920s or Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s triumphant ascent in 1953, teachers can discuss modern summit attempts and their impact on climbing culture.
Mount Everest holds great cultural significance for local communities. The Sherpa people consider it a sacred mountain and call it Chomolungma or Qomolangma (“Mother Goddess of the World”). Teachers can use this opportunity to teach students about these local cultures and traditions.
On the other hand, discussing Western fascination with conquering Everest can lead to engaging debates about various ethical issues regarding tourism, commercialism, and environmental problems in the region. Comparing such viewpoints would provide a comprehensive understanding of Everest’s cultural aspects.
Science and Environmental Education
Mount Everest offers great potential for science-related lessons as well. Educators can cover topics like geology, glaciers, climate change, and the physiological challenges faced by climbers. Students can also learn about the perils that climbers face, such as altitude sickness and treacherous weather conditions.
Environmental issues related to climbing Everest, like increased waste on the mountain and concerns over climate change melting glaciers, make great discussion topics for students to consider sustainable solutions.
Suggested Classroom Activities
Teaching about Mount Everest can be enhanced with activities aimed at engaging students in their learning process:
1. Virtual Field Trip: Utilize resources available online to facilitate a virtual tour of Mount Everest. Students can experience its beauty through images, videos, and first-hand accounts from mountaineers.
2. Everest Simulation: Organize a role-playing game where students participate as climbers attempting to summit Everest. They will have to plan their journey considering finances, supplies, and various challenges encountered along the way.
3. Creative Writing: Encourage students to write stories or poems inspired by Mount Everest. This activity enables them to apply their imagination while reinforcing the information they have gathered during the lesson.