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A Lesson About Mount Everest

written by: Jacqueline Chinappi • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 8/2/2012

This history lesson of Mount Everest will allow students to learn hands on what it feels like to be an explorer as they will work with a compass as well as work with maps.

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    Mount Everest:


    Ask your students about Mount Everest. You may be surprised to learn that many have heard of or even know detailed facts about Mount Everest. Mount Everest is located in the Himalayan Mountains between Tibet and Nepal. Some facts you may want to discuss with the class beforehand are:

    • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.
    • Mount Everest is the highest point in the world.
    • It reaches 29,029 feet (8,848 m)
    • It was formed approximately 60 million years ago.
    • There have been several people who have reached the top of Mount Everest, the names and dates can be found here.

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    The Lesson Plan:

    1. Introduce the students to Mount Everest by reading:

    “The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest" by Steve Jenkins

    This book gives in great details historical facts especially about climbing Mount Everest. Some great questions to consider after or during reading this book would be:

    • Would you ever climb Mount Everest?
    • What would you need to climb Mount Everest?
    • What would you see on your way up to the top? Such as plants, animals, etc.

    2. Mount Everest is found between Nepal and Tibet. On a map show the students where Mount Everest is located. Distribute this map to students and have them draw the line where Mount Everest is located. You can take this time to speak about cultural facts regarding Nepal and Tibet. Some fun facts include:


    • Tibet is located in Asia, north of India
    • Terrain of Tibet is 70% grassland
    • Languages include Tibetan & Chinese
    • Ethnic Groups include Tibetans; Menba, Lhoba, Mongols, Hui, and Han Chinese
    • Currency is the Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)
    • Communist Government


    • Located between India and Tibet
    • Currency is the 1 Nepalese Rupee (NR)
    • Capital of Nepal is Kathmandu
    • Languages include Nepali as well as English

    3. Explain to the students that when explorers are going to explore or in this case climb the mountain they need certain tools to bring with them. Explain that one of these tools is a compass.

    • Explain what a compass does
    • What would a compass be needed for
    • Explain the directions (North, South, West, East)


    Hide certain items in the classroom and have students split up in groups of two. Have directions for each item, such as : Take two steps south, take one step north, etc. Starting with group one have them look for the first item on the list using a compass. Each group will go once and be timed to see how long it takes them to use the compass and find the item.

    After this lesson, students will not only have learned more about Mount Everest but will have used map skills and will have had hands on experience with a compass.