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close this bookEnvironmental Education in the Schools (Peace Corps, 1993)
close this folderActivities, activities and more activities
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUsing the senses
View the documentAdopt-a-tree
View the documentDuplication
View the documentMusic/rap/dance/drama
View the documentGarbage shuffle
View the documentThe rain forest revue
View the documentThe all new water review
View the documentOriginal skit
View the documentBotswana adaptation
View the documentA conservation drama - Trouble in Tikonkowo
View the documentThe awful eight
View the documentRole plays and other simulations
View the documentThe commons dilemma
View the documentKey mangrove: A system in conflict
View the documentChange in a mangrove ecosystem
View the documentKey mangrove: A conflict of interests
View the documentPoints of view
View the documentMining on the moon
View the documentMining on the moon: Part 1
View the documentMining on the moon: Part 2
View the documentThe reading and writing connection
View the documentFolk stories
View the documentSelected quotes
View the documentA heated controversy
View the documentA heated controversy: Part 1
View the documentA heated controversy: Part 2
View the documentAn environmental education tool - The creative journal
View the documentCubatao: New life in the Valley of Death
View the documentA letter from the village health worker - Clean water for elemit
View the documentLife without oil
View the documentPoetry
View the documentAway with waste!
View the documentAway on the bay
View the documentPicture poetry
View the documentShades of meaning
View the documentPoetry trail
View the documentPoetry trail activity sheet
View the documentCartoons, fantasy, and creative
View the documentThe rare scare
View the documentCartoons and headlines
View the documentHoley ozone!
View the documentGuided imagery
View the documentFlight of fantasy
View the documentRiparian retreat
View the documentWater wings
View the documentDemonstrations
View the documentOur watery world
View the documentKeep on truckin'
View the documentHow do polyps build reefs?
View the documentInvestigations and experiments
View the documentAcid tests
View the documentAcid demonstrations: Part I
View the documentAcid demonstrations: Part II
View the documentAcid test follow-up
View the documentHow can an oil spill be cleaned up?
View the documentThe case for case studies
View the documentAre we creating deserts? - The Sahel famine
View the documentStudent information - Famine in the Sahel: A case study
View the documentDesertification
View the documentSustainable development
View the documentDefining sustainable development: Part 1
View the documentDefining sustainable development: Part 2
View the documentCase study: United States: Part 3
View the documentCase study: Thailand: Part 4
View the documentCase study: Tanzania: Part 5
View the documentMoral dilemmas
View the documentThe flying foxes of Samoa
View the documentHarry Carter's grain company
View the documentScenario: Harry Carter's grain company: Part 1
View the documentScenario: Harry Carter's grain company: Part 2
View the documentScenario: Harry Carter's grain company: Part 3
View the documentHard choices
View the documentStarving nation
View the documentConcept mapping and webbing
View the documentAqua words
View the documentInfusion activity for environmental health
View the documentIssue webbing
View the documentField trips
View the documentAt the dump and postcards from the field
View the documentThe garbage dump field trip worksheet
View the documentSeaside adventure
View the documentDebates
View the documentTough choices
View the documentThe issues
View the documentSurveys
View the documentGlass and metal waste questionnaire
View the documentModel questionnaire
View the documentData summary sheet
View the documentRivers through time
View the documentWhat do people think?
View the documentGames
View the documentPollution bingo
View the documentMammal know-it-all
View the documentMammal questions
View the documentBat and moth
View the documentBranching out: Bat math
View the documentThe urban explosion
View the documentFour urban activities
View the documentVandalism: Disordered communications
View the documentFlooded streets
View the documentGetting outside
View the documentExpanding sensory perception
View the documentWeather scavenger hunt
View the documentInsect bingo
View the documentResearch/guest speakers
View the documentDesert quest
View the documentValues and attitudes
View the documentRare bird eggs for sale
View the documentWhat would you do?
View the documentAgricultural practices (A)
View the documentAgricultural practices (B)
View the documentWhy save rain forests?
View the documentThinking about thinking skills
View the documentThe great swamp debate
View the documentGo with the flow
View the documentDragonfly pond
View the documentCooperative learning activities
View the documentJungle sleuths
View the documentAnswers to scenarios
View the documentSuper-sleuth scenarios: Part 1
View the documentSuper-sleuth scenarios: Part 2
View the documentWe can all be experts
View the documentExpert cards: Part 1
View the documentExpert cards: Part 2
View the documentRaters of the planet ECO
View the documentLiven up your classroom
View the documentA web on the wall
View the documentBuilding the bulletin board
View the documentMembers of the web
View the documentA look at four food chains
View the documentThe interdisciplinary connection
View the documentPollution pathways
View the documentTracking the radiation (day 2- day 10)
View the documentPollution pathways (A)
View the documentPollution pathways (B)
View the documentSizing up reserves
View the documentSizing up reserves (A)
View the documentScience/technology/society
View the documentChallenge technology
View the documentTechnology challenges
View the documentAdditional challenges (developed for the South Pacific)
View the documentThe ''good'' bacteria controversy
View the documentTaking action for the planet

Desert quest

Research the answers to desert-related questions. Discuss three unusual desert-related facts.



Paper and pencils, reference books

Holding a desert research contest is a great way to help your kids learn some fascinating desert facts. To get started, pass out copies of the questions listed on page 337. Then divide the group into five or six teams Tell the kids that they'll have a certain amount of time to answer as many of the questions as they can. For example, the deadline for answering questions might be two weeks from the day the contest begins. To find their answers, the kids will have to do some research and for some questions they may have to "dig" for the information they need. That could mean looking up information not only in encyclopedias but also in other reference books and maybe even periodicals (You can either give the kids some research time every day or so or let them work completely on their own time.)

Each team member can work on all of the questions, or else each person can be responsible for answering only one or two of the questions. (You might want to leave it up to each team to decide how to divide the workload.) Tell the kids that they don't have to find answers to all of the questions. But they won't receive points for unanswered questions or for questions answered incorrectly.

Have the kids write down the sources of their answers. (Even if they think they know an answer without having to look it up, they should try to find a source that backs up the answer.) Explain that, whenever they research something, it's important to keep records of their sources of information. That way they can easily find the information again if they need to refer back to it.

On the day of the deadline, have all of the teams neatly write their answers and reference sources on a piece of paper and hand them in. Then check their answers against the answers we provide. Score a point for each correct answer and 0 points for each unanswered question or wrong answer. (Keep in mind that some of the kids' answers may be a little different from ours for a couple of reasons. First, the kids may have to rely on older sources of information that have become outdated by newer research and findings. Second, some of our answers- especially those Involving numbers-are approximate, since exact answers aren't known and vary slightly from one source to the next. As long as the kids did their research they should probably get credit for an answer, even if it's different from ours.)

When you're finished checking the answers, go through all the questions with the kids. Then reveal the winning team!

1. What makes the skin of some Tuareg nomads turn blue?

2. Name four ways some desert people use camels.

3. What percentage of the earth's surface is desert?

4. What are gibbers and where are they found?

5. What important liquid energy source is found under many desert areas?

6. Many scientists think that certain kinds of desert plants are among the oldest living things in the world. Name one of these plants.

7. About how tall can a saguaro (sah-WAH-ro) cactus get to be?

8. What is a tagilmust?

9. What do Bushmen store in ostrich egg shells?

10. Why is oil sprayed on sand dunes in some deserts?

11. What well-known ancient culture thrived in a huge African oasis?

12. Where does a lot of water that irrigates California's Imperial Valley come from?

13. What continent has the largest desert and what is the desert's name?

14. What is a seif and what does the word seif mean?

15. The fruit of what cactus is a favorite of the Papago Indians?

16. What animal sometimes helps Australian Aborigines when they go hunting?

17. On which continent do scientists think the first camel evolved?

18. What valley represents the world's largest oasis?

19. Which desert-dwelling Native Americans are now known as the "ancient ones"?

20. Which large, stony desert did Genghis Khan and his troops ride through on their way to conquering China?

21. About how much water per person per day should you take with you on a trip into the desert?

22. What does the Mongolian word gobi mean?

23. How did the Joshua tree get its name?

24. What desert insects become very destructive when they gather in groups to swarm?

25. How can the oil of the desert plant called jojoba (ho-HO-ba) benefit the sperm whale?

26. Why do certain beetles in the Namib Desert often stand at the crest of a dune with their abdomens pointing up into the air?

27. What do the desert birds known as sandgrouse have in common with a sponge?

28. What is Pueblo Bonito and where is it located?

29. What substance do camels frequently carry to market in blocks?

30. What's a kuipad?


1. the dye in their clothing

2. Camels can be ridden, they can carry goods to market, they provide meat and milk, their skins can be used to make saddles and shoes, their hair can be woven into cloth, the fat in their humps can be melted down and used as a cooking oil, and their dung can be used as a fuel

3. about 15%

4. Gibbers are red stones that cover parts of some deserts in Australia.

5. oil

6. bristlecone pine, creosote bush

7. About 50 feet (15 meters) tall. The average saguaro is around 30-40 feet (9-12 meters) tall.

8. the veil that Tuareg men wear

9. water

10. Oil stabilized dunes so that vegetation can take root

11. the Egyptians

12. the Colorado River

13. Africa-the Sahara Desert

14. A seif is a type of sand dune named for its razor-thin edge. Seif is the Arab word for sword.

15. the Saguaro

16. the dingo, a type of wild dog

17. North America

18. the Nile Valley

19. the Anasazi

20 the Gobi

21. a gallon (3.81 )

22. pebbly plain

23. Mormon pioneers named this plant after the Biblical leader, Joshua. To them, the plant resembled Joshua pointing the way to the Promised Land.

24. desert locusts

25. Jojoba oil is very similar to sperm whale oil and can be used in place of it as a lubricant.

26. It's their way of getting water: The fog that condenses on their upraised bodies trickles down to their mouths.

27. A male sandgrouse's breast feathers are like a sponge in the sense that they can hold a lot of water. After soaking his breast feathers, a male flies back to his young and lets them drink the water he's brought.

28. It's a pueblo ruin in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

29. salt

30. the traditional long stick, made of saguaro ribs, that the Papago Indians use for harvesting saguaro fruit