Friday, August 20, 2010

Geography Studies - Mount Everest

A few weeks ago, Crumpet saw a segment on PBS about Jordan Romero, a 13 year old boy who climbed Mount Everest. Crumpet decided he was going to climb mountains too, so I created a unit about Mt. Everest.

Apparently, Jordan Romero saw an exhibit about the Seven Summits Challenge. Serious mountain climbers try to climb the highest mountain on each continent, and Jordan decided he would like to try it. So far, he has climbed 6 of the mountains (he hasn't been to Antarctica yet). I took this opportunity to talk to Crumpet about the continents, and we marked the mountains on a world map.

Books we read for this study:
Mount Everest by Sarah De Capua : This was a great introduction to mountains and to Mount Everest for someone Crumpet's age. Very simple but it covered a lot of information.
Everest, a DK Eyewitness Book: This had beautiful pictures. We used it to check out the gear a mountain climber would have.
To the Top by S.A. Kramer: This was a biography of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the first two people to reach the summit of Everest. It was written for kids, and Crumpet and I both enjoyed it.
We also watched a National Geographic Movie: Everest 50 Years on the Mountain : Crumpet actually sat through most of this movie, and it gave us a great idea of what it's really like to be on Everest (NOT fun!!). It was filmed with the sons of Norgay and Hillary, and it was interesting to hear their memories. The movie skips back and forth through history though, which was a bit confusing for Crumpet.

We did a little research about the animals and plants that live on Mount Everest and then Crumpet painted this picture of the mountain:
The bottom line is the tree line. Trees grow below this line, and there are lots of plants and animals. Above that, there are fewer animals and the ground cover is mostly moss and lichen. The snow line is at the top. The snow never melts here, and no one lives above this line.

After painting, we decided to climb Mount Everest ourselves. We packed a bag full of dried foods (I reminded Crumpet of our dried food experiments and the reasons it would be important to bring it on our climb). We brought climbing ropes, a tent, a sleeping bag, and "oxygen" tanks. We no longer own hats or mittens (sigh, our life is rough :) and oddly, Crumpet refused to put on 8 layers of clothes, so imagine that he's all bundled up in these pictures, with big spiky boots on!
Here he is, setting off for base camp:
We had to beware of the "Yeti" on the mountain... This poor cat is so abused - Crumpet spent a lot of time trying to scare the "Yeti" away. She just ignored us, as usual.
Stringing ropes to help us cross the crevasses.
Camp #2 being set up:
At last, we reached the summit!
We narrowly escaped the Yeti, avalanches, and oxygen deprivation, but we made it. And we had a blast. Every day, Crumpet asks to play Everest again. I LOVE homeschooling!
For more geography posts, visit Children Grow Children Explore Children Learn.


  1. This is such a great study. I just love his climbing the mountain, clear to the top of the bed with the American Flag! I am proud of him, great climb!

    Thank you for joining in on the Geography/History link this week!

  2. My kids would love this. Actually that could work perfect with the book we just read

  3. This is so much fun - I love how you made it such a comprehensive experience for him. Poor Yeti - I feel for her :)