Environments around the world
You could introduce this topic by asking the question ‘what are the different environments around the world?’ Ask the children to give their suggestions and have a class discussion on what could be listed under the heading ‘Environments around the world’. Focus on the ones this issue of the magazine discusses.
Before looking at any environment closely, you could identify them on a map of the world. You could give the children a paper copy of your map or one similar to this map.
World map by Hoshie
Ask the children to identify the countries that they know, including the UK and also the continents and oceans. How many do the class know? You could use an interactive map from the internet to check. Label those they mention and then find out the capital cities of the countries and mark them in the correct place. The children could mark their copies of the maps in the same way, or you could give them atlases and ask them to find out first and then together check on your map. You could ask them which their favourite holiday destination is, make a tally and then ask them to show this as a bar graph, pictogram or pie chart. You could find the mode of this information.
Together, highlight or shade the areas which are polar regions, rainforests, deserts and major mountain ranges. You could estimate the proportion of each within the world as a fraction. You could translate this into a ratio. Find out what they already know about these areas. Ask the children to tell you the names of the various mountain ranges and the highest peaks. If they don’t know any, you could ask them to find out using books or the internet.
You could explore the latitudes these regions are found in and discuss what is meant by degrees north or south, east or west. This could lead into some compass work. Identify the countries and their capital cities in each of these environments. You could choose some of these cities and, if you can find a scale, work out the distances from these to London or your closest city in miles and/or kilometres. If you haven’t a scale you could ask the children to estimate how far it is from a given fact, e.g. the distance from London to New York is approximately 2 983 miles. They could do this using a piece of string, ruler and their map. You could find out the approximate distances given on a relevant website and see how close the children were.
You could consider the parts of the world that are not shaded; do they know what these are? You could talk about the temperate region, of which the UK is part.
Can they tell you what makes these different environments? Briefly discuss the characteristics of each and find out the details of the rainfall and temperatures in various countries within each region. Plot these on line or bar graphs. Find the modes, means and medians of the information. Make a graph to show some from each region so that you can compare more easily.
You could link with science and discuss the angle of Earth’s axial tilt in relation to the sun and also the earth’s movement around it, which determine the climate in these regions.
Now look at the environments around the world in more detail!
Page header - Transarctic Mountains by Hannes Grobe some rights reserved
World map - image by Hoshie some rights reserved
Navigation - world photograph courtesy of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center some rights reserved
Navigation - desert photograph by Hamed Saber some rights reserved
Navigation - cities photograph by E.Hoba some rights reserved
Navigation - rainforests photograph by tauntingpanda some rights reserved
Navigation - polar regions photograph by 23am.com some rights reserved
Navigation - mountains photograph by Dino Olivieri some rights reserved