to the EverestNews.com Lesson plans developed by
Kevin Cherilla ( base camp manager of the NFB
2001 Everest Expedition and 7th and 8th grade
physical education teacher from Phoenix, Arizona)
and the staff at EverestNews.com, the largest
mountaineering publication in the world.
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6 // Mountain Villages
The student will explain what life would be like in a
typical Himalayan village in Nepal. The student will
compare their life with the life of a child living in
a small village high up in the Himalaya Mountains.
1. The teacher will review with the class that the
only major city in Nepal is Kathmandu. The rest of the
people of Nepal live in small villages.
2. Tell the class that Mr. Cherilla and the Mount
Everest team will be traveling through and staying in
many tiny villages as they make their way to base
3. Give the names of the following villages to the
class as you locate them on the map of Mount Everest.
Bazaar (click here to see a picture of Namche)
The map may spell these words differently. These
village names are Sherpa (the people who reside in the
area) words, and the Sherpa language is not a written
language, so the villages are spelled phonetically.
4. Relay to the class that there is very little
information regarding each of these villages, so the
reading section is just an overview of what the
village might be like.
1. Have the students read the information regarding a
Himalayan village and answer the comprehension
2. Have the students choose one of the villages listed
above and search the Internet for pictures and
information to share with the class.
3. Discuss the differences between these villages and
the student's town. Be sure to include technological
advances and entertainment in the discussion.
1. Have the class replicate what a typical Himalayan
village home would look like. The model can be either
two-dimensional or three-dimensional.
2. Discuss what kind of effect the tourism attraction
of Mount Everest might have on these small villages.
Are expeditions to the summit beneficial to the area
As one travels outside of Kathmandu toward the summit
of Mount Everest, life becomes dramatically different.
The small villages of this part of Nepal are the homes
of Sherpas, most of whom are Buddhists and many of
whom have proven to be quite adept in mountain
climbing. There are no roads connecting these villages
to one another which makes for a very isolated
One typical site you could encounter in these desolate
places is farming. Every possible inch of arable soil
is used to grow potatoes, barley, or bitter buckwheat.
These plots of vegetation have been terraced on the
slopes of the mountains.
Since most Sherpas are devout Buddhists, you can
expect to see stupas, prayer flags, and mani stones. A
stupa is a religious monument that is most often made
of stones. Prayer flags are often hung outside a homes
and religious monument, and are said to bring
happiness, long-life and prosperity to those who
planted them. Finally, mani stones are flat rocks that
are carved with religious symbols. Yaks are also a common site along the Himalaya
Mountains. These animals are used for food, clothing,
shelter, and transport. The yak can carry double the
load of a person and is extremely adept at high
altitudes between 10,000 and 18,000 feet.
The mountain region of Nepal is a world unto itself.
The altitude, isolation, and tradition make the
villages of this area unique.
Locate on a map three small villages near Mount
Everest that Mr. Cherilla and the climbers will visit.
2. How does the topography of the land affect the life
of the Sherpas?
3. What are some common sites found in your city that
describe you adequately?
1. Lisa Choegyal, Insight Guides Nepal, Langenscheidt
Publishers Inc., New York, 11378, p. 79-85.
2. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Coyright 1994-1999,
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
State Standard - SS3 E4 Demonstrate understanding of
the characteristics, purposes and use of geographic
tools to located and analyze information about people,
places and environments, with emphasis on:
1 ways to display geographic information and
characteristics and purposes of maps, globes, aerial
photographs, charts and satellite images.
2 constructing and interpreting maps, charts and
geographic databases using geographic information.
3 drawing an accurate map after being given a
description of a place.
4 identifying and locating physical and cultural
features in their own and nearby communities in the
United States, and in regions of the world, and the
relationship between them.
E5 Describe natural and human characteristics of
places and use this knowledge to define regions, their
relationships with other regions and their patterns of
change, with emphasis on:
1 common characteristics of regions at local, national
and international scales on the basis of climate,
landforms, ecosystems and culture.
2 patterns of climate, landforms and ecosystems in a
4 the concept of region and how and why regions
5 relationships and interactions among regions.