Geography of Mount Everest

Part of:

Google Expeditions
Lesson Overview

In this lesson students will use Google Expeditions to explore the physical and human characteristics of Mount Everest. They will explore the mountains relationship with tectonic plates and be able to locate Everest on physical or digital maps.

Learning outcomes:
  • Recognise the features that distinguish a mountain and how its formed
  • Be able to identify mountains on a physical or digital map
  • Discuss how humans use and effect mountains
  • Be able to label key physical features of a mountain
  • Consider human impact on mountains

Expedition Prep Checklist:

Download the Google Expeditions App on all devices and select the expedition Mount Everest.

Explore the expedition, review descriptions and identify points of interest.

Lesson steps
  1. Introduction (10 mins)
    Locate Mount Everest on the world map using Google Earth. Ask students: What is a mountain? How are they formed? Students write a description of Mount Everest’s location referring to the continent, country, mountain range, and their own location.
  2. Activity one (10 mins)
    Students mark the location of Everest on the blank map of the world on Student Sheet. Students plan a route from the school to Everest listing the countries that they would need to travel through to get to Everest.
  3. Activity two (10 mins)
    Present statement on board or desks ‘Humans should not be allowed on mountains’ and explain that there’s an imaginary line across the classroom. One end is 100% agree, middle is 50% and the other end is 100% disagree. Students decide what percentage they’re at and record their reason. Then they should physically stand in the place corresponding to their answer and be ready to justify their decisions.
    Select students from different places in the line to give their reason. Students are free to move themselves according to the different reasons they hear, but they’ll need to be able to explain their movement. Students go back to their recording and write whether they changed their mind and what reasons there were for this.
  4. Expedition (15 mins)
    Draw attention to key vocabulary and encourage students to use these words while on expedition. Students work in pairs and make their way through each scene from Base Camp upwards. Students note any impacts that humans have on the mountain. Students compare notes with other pairs. Students use two different coloured highlighters to indicate positive / negative impacts.
  5. Activity three (15 mins)
    Students colour their map (adding any additional features, e.g. their home town and country, the countries where Mount Everest is located, the surrounding countries, and physical features such as mountain ranges). They then use their map as a centre piece of an A3 poster entitled ‘Should you climb Everest?’ They surround it with pictures of the mountain and facts for and against climbing Everest.
    Students then write a ‘When you climb Mount Everest’ guide to have the least negative impact on the mountain. This should include an introduction to the mountain and a conclusion summing up what they’ve learned.
  6. Extension
    Students explore further expeditions to identify the human impact on mountainous areas. Students read ‘Forget the bucket list, forget the ego. If you want to be a hero, stop conquering Everest’ and write a 300-word response piece.
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