1 hr 40 mins
The peak of Mount Everest, highest point on Earth, illuminated by the sun.

Students investigate current Nepalese and Chinese regulations related to tourism and Mount Everest expeditions in order to understand what is being done to support the sustainability of Mount Everest. Students begin brainstorming ideas to develop a class-created Mount Everest Bill of Rights.    


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. Through an exploration of the Leave No Trace website, students identify practices that would be relevant to climbing Everest.
    • Engage students in an opening discussion to predict what it means to "leave no trace." Discussion questions include:
        • In what ways has human activity changed Everest?
        • Which of those changes are having the biggest impact on the mountain?
        • There is an organization we'll explore today called "Leave No Trace." What do you think it would mean to Leave No Trace on Everest?
    • Record student responses to the questions on the board or chart paper.
    • Distribute a copy of Government's Responsibilities vs. Individuals' Responsibilities for Protecting Everest to each student.
    • Share with students that Leave No Trace is an organization that focuses on supporting individuals in considering how they can reduce their impact on the environment.
    • Have students read both the Leave No Trace: Seven Principles and Leave No Trace: Problems We Solve and add what they learn about individual responsibility and action to their organizer.
    • After they read, lead a brief discussion.
        • How could Leave No Trace impact the challenges facing Everest?
        • What other protections does Everest need?

2. Using U.S. government-based websites that demonstrate governmental actions taken to protect specific environments, students begin to consider how the U.S. government has taken action to protect the natural environment.
    • Share with students that governments around the world also take action to protect the natural environments.
    • 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 is 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. Have students collect examples of existing governmental regulations and proposed regulations to protect Everest.

4. Facilitate students participating in a whole-class wrap-up discussion.
  • Lead a full class discussion asking: 
      • What actions can individuals take to best protect the natural environment of Everest?
      • What government actions do you think would be most effective in protecting Everest?
      • How can individuals best be incentivized to protect Everest?
      • Are actions by individuals or actions by governments most important in protecting Everest?

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.

1 hr 40 mins
Leave No Trace is a research, education, and initiative designed to help people minimize their impact on the outdoors.

Students consider the responsibilities of mountaineers and other outdoor tourists and compare and contrast their responsibilities to those of the government to protect Mount Everest. Students complete a class-created Everest Bill of Rights and begin considering how one of the rights could be used for an infographic promoting responsible use of outdoor recreational areas.    


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.

1 hr 30 mins
Mount Everest is the highest point on Earth standing at approximately 8,850 meters (29,035 Feet).

Students design and create a clearly written and visually appealing infographic focused on one of the rights from a class-created Everest Bill of Rights. 


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. Students participate in a gallery walk of several examples of infographic in order to preview their final product.
  • Using the lesson image, lead students in a brief warm-up discussion about the power of images to convey information using the following questions:
      • If you had the choice of learning through reading or learning through looking at images, which would you choose? Why?
      • What makes an image a powerful learning tool?
  • Set up a gallery walk of infographics suitable for your class. Infographic examples could include one of the following:
  • Distribute a copy of the Infographic Gallery Walk Reflection to each student and have students choose one of the infographics they viewed during the gallery walk to answer questions about.
  • Lead a brief discussion to ensure students understand the key elements of infographics.

2. Facilitate student teams, creating an infographic to educate their community on their proposed Rights of Mount Everest.

3. Guide students in planning their infographic.
  • Have students select one of the rights from the class-created Everest Bill of Rights list developed in Protecting Mount Everest: The Rights of the Mountain and have them complete their Rights of Mount Everest Infographic Planner on their selected right. Have students submit their completed planner for teacher approval prior to creating the infographic to allow an opportunity for any necessary guidance or redirection.

4. Support students in creating their infographic and lead a gallery walk.
  • Have students create an infographic on one of the rights of Everest. 
  • When students have finished with their infographics, hang the infographics in the classroom or hallway and have students participate in a gallery walk. Prior to the walk, establish the purpose. Examples include:
      • As you view each infographic, identify elements of each graphic that exemplifies visual appeal. Leave a compliment for the creator on a sticky note.
      • As you view each infographic, identify which three most clearly present their ideas. You may place a sticker next to the three infographics you select.


Use the provided rubric to assess students’ culminating projects:

  • Student products should demonstrate a clear understanding of the responsibilities of citizens and governments in protecting natural areas.
  • Student products should demonstrate an understanding of the purpose and implementation of public policies.
  • Student products should explain potential approaches or solutions to current economic and environmental issues that show clear consideration to potential benefits and costs for different groups and society as a whole.
  • Student products should be organized, succinct, visually appealing, and appropriate to the selected audience and purpose.

Extending the Learning

Community Service Extension: Have students participate in a cleanup of a local hiking trail, park, green space, or another natural area.

Art Extension: Have students use materials from local area cleanup to create an upcycled artistic visual that promotes awareness of environmental concerns within our natural recreation areas.

Community Involvement Extension: Students apply the rights they developed for Mount Everest to the natural areas in their community. They create another infographic and share those with a relevant government agency or civic organization.

Subjects & Disciplines

  • Conservation
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
    • Civics


Students will:

  • Analyze the purpose, implementation, and consequences of public policies that impact Mount Everest and other natural areas.
  • Analyze the purpose, implementation, and consequences of public policies that impact Mount Everest and other natural areas.
  • Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of governments from those of citizens.
  • Produce clear infographics that are persuasive and evidence-based.
  • Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens from those of governments in keeping Everest healthy and clean.

Teaching Approach

  • Project-based learning

Teaching Methods

  • Brainstorming
  • Information organization
  • Modeling
  • Multimedia instruction
  • Reading
  • Reflection
  • Writing

Skills Summary

This lesson 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.6.7: 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.6.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly. 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.  Reading Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12: Key Ideas and Details, RH.6-8.1 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.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. 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
  • Internet access: Required
  • Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, Monitor/screen, Printer, Projector, Speakers, Word processing software

Physical Space

  • Classroom
  • Community center


  • None


  • Heterogeneous grouping
  • Individualized instruction
  • Large-group instruction

Accessibility Notes

  • None

Background Information

Unique natural areas like Mount Everest are some of our world’s most wonderful and awe-inspiring destinations. People travel far and wide and invest great amounts of time, money, and personal energy for the opportunity to step 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.


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

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.
  • Infographics present information visually and succinctly. They integrate design, writing, and analysis with the bulk of the information you want to convey.
  • 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.

Recommended Prior Lessons


Bill of Rights

first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.


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." 


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


first step or move in a plan.

land management

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

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.


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


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


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