By now you should hopefully be looking forward to Wednesday afternoons. Not on account of the fact that it is now technically downhill until the weekend, but because this is when we publish our blog posts serialising the Enchanted Kingdom educational eBook! Last week we were looking at flamingos and some lesson plans that could be built around the fiery underworld that is Lake Bogoria in Kenya. Today, we’re meeting the inhabitants of the Namib Desert…
Chapter 3: Surviving the Alien Sands
The Namib Desert, due to its inhospitable nature, is almost completely devoid of human habitation. It features the second highest sand dunes in the world and stretches more than 2000km across Africa. Understandably, survival in this part of the world is a real challenge. Enchanted Kingdom presents the few animals which live in the Namib Desert. These animals have to adapt to the harsh habitat. Snakes can only climb these high sand dunes through moving their bodies sideways. Shovel Snouted Lizards have to ‘dance’ to stop their feet from burning, by alternating which feet they are stood on. Chameleons are also present in these deserts as they are able to adapt their appearance to the habitat. In this project students will research, write and film (using green screen) a ‘Bear Grylls style’ survival program, set in the desert.
Learning objectives: To identify how creatures are adapted to their environment. To explore the impact of climate and weather on a place.
Project aim/question: Would you survive the harsh environment of the Namib Desert? Could you learn anything from the animals that live in this Enchanted Kingdom?
Key language: Adaption, Mutation, Food Chains, Food Webs.
The lesson plans within the Enchanted Kingdom eBook are split into three stages, typically with the first two providing the students with information and the third being the application of this knowledge in a creative activity. For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll keep it light by telling you what the information contained within the first two stages are, and then let you take a look at the eBook for lesson plan suggestions and further resources.
STAGE 1: What do we need to survive in a desert?
The Namib Desert is one of the driest on earth (less than 2cm a year) and rain very rarely falls. It’s also the oldest desert in the world (43 million years old) so life has had a long time to evolve survival tactics. A few tough grasses grow on some of the more stable dunes and form the basis of a food chain, but there’s hardly anything to eat here
STAGE 2: Is there anybody out there?
The Namib Desert is almost completely devoid of human habitation. The survival program should cover the risk factors involved which will help trekkers decide if this journey is for them.
Stage 3: Lights, Camera, Action!
To find out what the final stage of the lesson plan entails, you can look at the education eBook itself, where you’ll be treated to all sorts of beautiful images from the Enchanted Kingdom itself, as we all a further information on:
Suggested Curriculum Links
At the end of each chapter we’ve also included a number of links to resources relevant to the materials covered, and also Microsoft technologies that will be useful in completing the lesson plan.
Once again, here’s how the children at Broadclyst Community Primary School got on with this part of the Enchanted Kingdom educational eBook:
We hope you enjoyed this part of the journey, and hope you will join us again next week when we encounter the African Elephants of The Scorched Plains. So don’t forget! The elephants certainly won’t…!