This week we read the book I wish I'd Stood on Everest with Hillary and Norgay. We discussed how Hillary and Norgay reached their goals.
Arwyn: They cooperated. They used teamwork.
Siena: Even when things were difficult, they kept going.
Pieter: They need to keep practicing and practicing, and they needed to learn skills.
Emma: They never gave up.
Shotaro: They were brave.
Adam: They were not afraid.
Siena: They were risk takers.
Arwyn: And they were principled and caring. They were all those things.
Claire: They had to give up things sometimes and work at it.
Pieter: One time I wanted to go to a pizza party, but then I couldn't, because I had a soccer tournament so I had to go to it.
Teddy: Because you were part of a team.
Pieter: Yes. I didn't win, though. I came in third.
Siena: But it doesn't matter. It's about having fun.
Shotaro: And doing your best.
Before and after the reading, students asked questions about Mount Everest and the two climbers, prompting a discussion about what they knew about Mount Everest.
Lucy and Nora: Wait! Is this story actually true!
Griff: Yes, it's true. Mount Everest is in Nepal.
Frankie: And also China.
Pieter: Wait a second, how can it be in two places?
Aubrey: Because it's that big.
Frankie: And it's between both places.
Griff: It's the tallest mountain, the tallest in the world.
There were several questions we jotted down to research further:
Griff: How tall is Mount Everest?
Griff: Were Hillary and Norgay the first to climb other tall mountains?
Siena: What is the tallest mountain in Europe?
Shotaro: Why is Mount Everest so tall?
Johnny: How are mountains formed?
Griff: Are Hillary and Norgay still the only ones who have climbed it?
Teddy: How many people have climbed Mount Everest?
Claire: Has anyone ever died on Mount Everest?
Johnny: How do the sherpas fix the ladders over the crevasses?
Griff: Ms. Leah, have you ever climbed Mount Everest? Why would people want to climb Mount Everest if they might die doing so?
Shotaro: I think they do it because they want to be so high.
Siena: Or they want to be famous. Maybe they want to be famous.
This morning we watched a video on Mount Everest. Students took notes and sketched Mount Everest as they watched.
Pieter: Mount Everest is 8,800 meters. See? It says so there on the whiteboard.
Adam: Before Mount Everest was under the sea.
Siena: Then the land broke apart, and India crashed into the rest of Asia.
Shotaro: And the mountain is made of rock.
Lucy: With crystals.
Later we read the book a second time.
Claire: Why is climbing Mount Everest so dangerous?
Teddy: Because it is very hard to breathe.
Shotaro: There is not much air.
Siena: The air is thin.
Siena: You might fall into a crevasse.
Shotaro: Or fall off the rock. It's very slippery.
Griff: That's why they wear those things (crampons).
Frankie: And they use those axes.
Lucy: Also it's very, very cold.
Nora: You can freeze to death it's so cold.
Adam: That's why they are wearing all that clothes.
Griff: But you can also get a sunburn. The man in the video, his skin was very tanned.
Pieter: Because you are closer to the sun.
Griff: But how do the tents get there?
Siena: The porters bring them up. The porters carry everything.
Teddy: The sherpas.
Griff: Was Norgay a porter? He was a sherpa.
Johnny: I still don't know how the sherpas fix the ladders over the crevasses.
Griff: How long ago was it? That they were boys? 1920's? How old would they be then?
Emanie: It's 2015.
Griff: They would be very old. Are they still alive?
We will continue our inquiries into Sir Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norway and their climbing of Mt Everest.