Imagine that you could create a mountain out of something unusual and place it near where you live. What material would you use to create the mountain? Why?
Why do you think salt has been so valuable at certain times in history that people used it as currency and called it "the white gold?"
Based on what you know about the formation of mountains, how is Muntanya de Sal like other mountains? How is it different?
Why do you think people stopped mining at Muntanya de Sal and turned into a cultural park? What would you do with an unusual mountain like this?
- As a class, brainstorm a list of mountains around the world. Invite students who have seen any of these mountains in real life to describe what the mountains were like. Encourage them to also share anything they know about how the mountains were formed.
- Select one mountain prior to conducting this activity or encourage students to select their own. Then have students conduct research to learn more about the mountain they are investigating.
- Instruct students to write a brief scientific paper about their mountain. Challenge them to describe in detail what the mountain looks like and how it was formed.
- Provide a variety of art supplies. Give students time to draw a picture or create a 3-D model of their mountain. Challenge them to be as accurate as possible.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
It takes time—lots of time—to make a mountain. Watch the video in this Smithsonian magazine article to explore the processes that affect mountain evolution.
In 1788, a British mariner passed by the majestic, snow-covered mountains of northwest Washington. The peaks seemed the perfect dwelling place for Greek gods, so he named them the Olympic Mountains. Watch this Smithsonian Channel video to learn more about this mountain chain.
In 1775, the now-legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap—a notch in the Appalachian Mountains located near the intersection of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. The trail, known as the Wilderness Road, then passed through the interior of Kentucky and to the Ohio River. Use this collection materials from the Smithsonian Learning Lab to learn more about Boone’s pioneering path.
Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn about the Navajo climber who is leading a social media campaign to spread awareness of the indigenous names of peaks.
On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary scaled the peak of Mount Everest, becoming an instant celebrity. Invite students to listen to these snippets from a Smithsonian Folkways interview with Hillary to learn more about this great mountaineer and his expeditions.
Read this Smithsonian Magazine article to learn why Mount Everest is just a peewee when compared with such giants as Mount Olympus on Mars.
From the mountainous Kyrgyzstan, Jew’s harps, fiddles, plucked stringed instruments and powerful voices transmit the vibrant rhythms of nomadism and the serene atmosphere of the Kyrgyz mountains. Watch this video from the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to see and hear musicians perform in this musical language, which as contemporary as it is ancient.