Enchanted Kingdom eBook – Chapter 6: Traversing the Frozen Spires

So far on our journey through the Enchanted Kingdom we’ve encountered all sorts of plants, wildlife and geological phenomena. If you’ve missed any of the previous chapters in this blog serialisation of the Enchanted Kingdom Educational eBook, then you can find them here:

Enchanted Kingdom eBook – Chapter 1: Enter the Mysterious Forests of Central Africa
Enchanted Kingdom eBook – Chapter 2: Brave the Fiery Underworld
Enchanted Kingdom eBook – Chapter 3: Surviving the Alien Sands
Enchanted Kingdom eBook – Chapter 4: Journey the Scorched Plains
Enchanted Kingdom eBook - Chapter 5: Voyage of the Fantastical Seas

This week we are heading to central Africa, and looking at how the variations in temperature can affect the behaviours and physiology of life on Mount Kenya…

Chapter 6: Traversing the Frozen Spires

Chapter 6 - Traversing the Frozen Spires

Mount Kenya in central Africa is so high that every day is summer, and every night is winter. The animals and plants must adapt to the brutal conditions in order to survive. At night, the Giant Groundsel plant tucks its leaves closely together as if wrapping up in a blanket to prevent itself from freezing. Geladas live in these volatile mountains. Their long fur keeps them warm at night whilst they hide in caves, and as the sun rises every morning they climb to the top of the mountain to play.

Each night the water on Mount Kenya freezes, creating a Crystal Kingdom.Yet in the day streams and rivers are vibrant with energy.

In this project, students will investigate the properties of materials and create a composite material that could be used to insulate and protect the equipment of the Enchanted Kingdom film crew on Mount Kenya or in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia.

Learning objectives: To develop an understanding of materials that insulate against hot and cold temperatures. Develop an understanding of the forces exerted on a falling object. Draw simple conclusions, make predictions for new values, suggest improvements and raise further questions.on a place.
Project aim/question: To design, build and evaluate a rugged kit bag that could be used by the Enchanted Kingdom Film Crew.
Key language: Gravity, Air Resistance, Potential Energy, Insulate.

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: Unpacking the problem

Unpacking the problem The high mountains of tropical Africa are a unique environment. The Enchanted Kingdom crew filmed on Mount Kenya, which is about 17,000 feet high (5199m) and right on the equator. At night things change dramatically. Whatever the weather during the day, the skies often clear at night. With clear skies at such a high altitude, temperatures plummet as low as minus 10°C. Frost forms and everything begins to freeze solid. Shallow streams freeze over. Larger ones keep flowing but the splashes and dripping water create many icicles and coat the bankside vegetation with a layer of ice.

STAGE 2: Design and Build Phase

Right on the equator, the clouds hide a mountainous world so high that snow falls and glaciers cling to the slopes. It’s a world of unique giant plants, where nature beats to a magical rhythm, of summer every day and winter every night. Plunging temperatures after dark transform it into a Crystal Kingdom, as everything freezes. So as not to freeze to death the plants wrap themselves in a blanket of leaves.

Stage 3: The Test

The practical learning activities of this chapter of the Enchanted Kingdom educational eBook are based around the challenges faced by the film in having to look after their equipment while in a location with such extremes in climate variation. In groups students are going to compete with each other to design and make a durable equipment case. Stage 3 will see those designs put to the test!

As with all chapters of the eBook itself, you’ll find plenty of beautiful images from the Enchanted Kingdom itself, as we all a further information on:

  • Enrichment Activities
  • Suggested Curriculum Links
  • Differentiation Guidelines

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:

Join us again next week for Chapter 7 – Mecurial Waters: Africa’s great rivers.

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