This activity is part of the Mount Everest: What Goes Up Should Come Down unit.


1. Students view several examples of various Bill of Rights and determine their purpose.
    • Display for the class both of the following images of the United States Bill of Rights and discuss the contents as well as the stylistic differences between the two:
        • Ask students: If the United States Bill of Rights’ purpose is protecting citizens from the government, what is the purpose of Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights? Who is the audience it addresses? (Possible answers: protecting the outdoor experiences of childhood; children, parents.)
        • Ask: Why might people feel it is necessary to state these “rights”? (Possible answers: to protect the childhood experience from modern day technologies that might keep them indoors, or to protect children from too much structure, technology, and a sedentary lifestyle. To encourage people to let children experience the outdoors in all of its glory and messiness.)
    • Ask: What would a bill of rights developed to protect Everest look like? Begin developing a class-created Everest Bill of Rights by having students share their ideas on what should be included. Write students' responses on chart paper or a projected document.  
    • Ask: Of the Bills of Rights we’ve looked at, what impacts whether or not you would actually take the time to read it?
      • Try to get students to pull out the importance of visual appeal and readability. Connect to font style and size choices. Discuss whether students prefer sectioned off areas or bullet points.
      • Explain that as students move forward towards the culminating project, they will want to take visual appeal and readability into consideration because public documents meant to promote change and positive action only make a difference if people are willing to read them.

2. Students browse U.S. government-based websites that demonstrate governmental actions taken to protect specific environments to begin considering what Nepal and China’s responsibilities should be in protecting Everest.
    • Have students visit the National Park Service Timeline (Annotated) and identify protections provided to National Parks through United States regulations, such as the Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Wilderness Act of 1964. As they explore the timeline looking for regulations that have protected the environment, students should note: 1) the name of the regulation, 2) what it protected, and 3) the year it came into existence.
    • Ask: Based on this timeline, what types of governmental protections has the United States put into place to protect our unique natural areas? (Possible answers: the Yellowstone National Park Act of 1872 claimed over two million acres of land previously open to settlement, occupancy, or sale, and dedicated it and set it apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. Also, the Wilderness Act of 1964 established a preservation system and provided legal protection for parks that were threatened by development.)
    • Direct students to the Rules and Regulations of the Yellowstone National Park for further inspiration for their brainstorming. Point out a couple of the regulations, such as “The cutting or spoliation of timber within the Park is forbidden by law.” 
        • Ask: How is this an example of the government taking responsibility for protecting unique natural environments in the United States?
    • Ask: Based on reading you have done throughout this unit, what types of rules and regulations have we already learned about in regard to climbing Mount Everest? (Possible answer: Climbers must pay a fee.)

3. Students read two articles offering varying perspectives and collect examples of existing governmental regulations and proposed regulations to protect Everest on the Government’s Responsibilities Versus Individuals’ Responsibilities for Protecting Everest Venn-diagram.

4. Students participate in a whole-class wrap-up discussion.
  • Have students share in a round-robin class discussion on at least either one governmental responsibility they read about, or make a suggestion based on their reading about a proposed “right” for the class Everest Bill of Rights that was started at the beginning of the activity.  Record student responses on chart paper or a projected document.

Informal Assessment

Informally monitor students’ recordings on the Government's Responsibilities Versus Individuals’ Responsibilities for Protecting Everest worksheet to clarify any misunderstandings.

Extending the Learning

Debate Extension: As a class, read the article Everest Needs to Go More Commercial. Organize a class-wide debate on the topic allowing students to prepare their argument with other resources that have been used during the unit.

Subjects & Disciplines

  • Conservation
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
    • Civics

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Understand the importance of visual appeal and readability in public documents.
  • Understand that governments have some responsibility to protect natural spaces within their jurisdiction.
  • Analyze the purpose, implementation, and consequences of public policies that impact Mount Everest and other natural areas.
  • Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of political parties from those of citizens.
  • Brainstorm a list of potential rights for an Everest Bill of Rights.

Teaching Approach

  • Project-based learning

Teaching Methods

  • Brainstorming
  • Information organization
  • Reading

Skills Summary

This activity targets the following skills:

Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2:  Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.7:  Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1:  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12:  Key Ideas and Details, RH.6-8.1

The College, Career & Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards

  • D2.Civ.13.6-8:  Analyze the purposes, implementation, and consequences of public policies in multiple settings.
  • D2.Civ.1.6-8:  Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental contexts.
  • D2.Eco.2.6-8:  Evaluate alternative approaches or solutions to current economic issues in terms of benefits and costs for different groups and society as a whole.

What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Chart paper

Required Technology

  • Internet Access: Required
  • Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Monitor/screen, Projector, Speakers, Word processing software

Physical Space

  • Classroom


  • Heterogeneous grouping
  • Large-group instruction

Background Information

Unique natural areas like Mount Everest are some of our world’s most wonderful and awe-inspiring destinations. People travel from far and wide and invest great amounts of time, money, and personal energy for the opportunity to set foot even in Base Camp I, and then risk their lives to ascend and reach the summit. However, human interference in natural areas comes with its own consequences that can only be controlled through individuals and governments taking responsibility for the preservation of our natural world. Necessary laws and regulations are important in land and resource management, particularly as a means of imposing restraints. These restraints, whether local, national, or international, are designed to protect the environment from damage and abuse, and to explain the legal consequences of such damage for governments or private entities or individuals.

Prior Knowledge

  • The United States Bill of Rights exists as a safeguard for citizens of the United States from the government. It sets rules that the federal government must abide by when judging its citizens in order to protect people from corruption of power.


Bill of Rights

first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


visual representation of data. Also called information graphic or graphic.

land management

process of balancing the interests of development, resources, and sustainability for a region.


rule or law.


responsible management to ensure benefits are passed on to future generations.


use of resources in such a manner that they will never be exhausted.

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