Mount Everest: What Goes Up Should Come Down Unit Driving Question: How can we enjoy and explore unique natural areas while still protecting our environment?

Protecting Everest Lesson Driving Question: What actions can be taken to protect Everest and other natural areas?


1. Engage students in learning about the Bill of Rights and Rights of Nature.
  • Facilitate a discussion to elicit prior knowledge on the Bill of Rights by asking: 
      • How many of you have heard the phrase, "you have the right to remain silent?"
      • How many of you have heard the phrase, "You have a right to free speech?"
      • When you've heard these phrases, what did they mean? Why would someone say them?
  • Share with students that these statements come from the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Consitution. Share that the purpose of these rights is to ensure everyone can know how they are protected from the actions of others.
  • Show students the video of the news report Toledo Votes on Lake Erie Bill of Rights During Special Election and discuss:
      •  What rights are mentioned in the video? (The right to live.)
      • How would establishing the rights of nature protect the lake?
      • What would these rights mean for government responsibilities?
      • What would these rights mean for individual responsibilities?

2. Facilitate students developing a Bill of Rights for Mount Everest. 
  • Divide the class into groups of four and have them look back at their notes from this unit.
  • Prompt teams to brainstorm at least three rights that Everest needs to protect itself from people.
  • Ask each team to share their rights with the class listing them on the board. Then lead the class in a discussion to combine similar rights and add to the list until they feel they have a complete list of rights.
  • Save the student-generated list for later use.

3. Engage students in a writing activity to connect the Everest Bill of Rights to the Government's Responsibilities vs. Individuals' Responsibilities for Protecting Everest.

  • Ask students to choose one of the rights from the class-created list an respond to the following questions in writing:
      • What are two ways governments can protect this right?
      • What are two ways individuals can protect this right?
      • Whi is in the best position to protect this right, governments, or individuals? Why?

Informal Assessment

Write a reflective response analyzing one of the class-created rights of Everest for two ways the government can realize that right, and two ways individuals can realize it (four ways total).

Extending the Learning

Students can extend their writing to an evidence-based five-paragraph essay.

Subjects & Disciplines

  • Conservation
  • Social Studies

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens from those of governments in keeping Everest healthy and clean.

Teaching Approach

  • Project-based learning

Teaching Methods

  • Modeling
  • Multimedia instruction
  • 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.RI.6.7:  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.WHST.6-8.1.B:  Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources. 
  • WHST.6-8.4:  Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

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

  • 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.
  • D4.2.6-8.:  Construct explanations using reasoning, correct sequence, examples, and details with relevant information and data, while acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of the explanations.

What You’ll Need

Required Technology

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

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

  • Governmental agencies of the United States keep accessible records of their laws, policies and regulations, and responsible citizens read about and understand their rights and responsibilities.



member of a country, state, or town who shares responsibilities for the area and benefits from being a member.


behavior of a person in terms of their community.

global citizen

person who recognizes the rights and responsibilities, according to the UN Global Education First Initiative, "associated with the interconnected global challenges that call for far-reaching changes in how we think and act for the dignity of fellow human beings." 

Mount Everest

highest spot on Earth, approximately 8,850 meters (29,035 feet). Mount Everest is part of the Himalaya and straddles the border of Nepal and China.


trash, garbage.


rule or law.


being accountable and reliable for an action or situation.


able to be continued at the same rate for a long period of time.

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