Learning About Sherpas

Contributor :

Diane L. Abraham

Action Plan

During my travels, I will be having meetings to discuss and enrich my action/lesson plan. I will make connections with schools visited there, for potential pen pal or online classroom collaboration with students. I will be staying with families in Nepal, learning their food culture and cooking, as well as cooking from Indian women.

Pre-Departure Preparation

My plan on bringing my GEEO experience into classrooms is as follows: My sixth grade students will complete a study of Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey to the Top of Everest by Jamling Norgay. This book weaves the story of the first complete ascent of Mt. Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, with an ascent by Jamling Norgay, the Sherpa's son. Also woven into the story is the way that Buddhist beliefs work into planning, execution and completing the climb. In addition to reading strategies for an expository text, my students will learn about the life of Sherpas and the dangers of climbing Mt. Everest. Following that, my students will study Buried in the Sky by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan, a story about an August 2008 disaster, when eleven climbers lost their lives on K2, the world's second highest, but most dangerous peak. Two Sherpas survived, and this book, written by my nephew and stepdaughter, reveals their astonishing story. I will have a culminating event for my students, their families and colleagues, staging an Indian and Nepalese dinner and music/dance evening, using the cooking and cultural skills I learned from my time there.

Preparation During Travel

I have been, and will continue to, research the geography, landmarks, culture, customs and people of India and Nepal, as well as completely familiarize myself with the route our trip is taking.