Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Journey to Kilimanjaro

Viewing Ideas

Before Watching

  1. The mountains featured in this program are in Kenya and Tanzania (see Map. You may want to create a historical perspective for this program by comparing information about these countries found in old books with that presented in current literature. How have the descriptions of African people changed? How have the names of the countries changed? Why do your students think these changes have occurred?

After Watching

  1. The animals living on Kilimanjaro have adapted to conform to their habitats. However, not all animals, or even all members of the same species, have adapted in the same way. Various types of snakes, for instance, use different methods for subduing prey. Constrictors wrap their bodies around their intended meals, suffocating them. Venomous snakes poison their victims. Ask your students to compare these two methods. How are the different methods useful for animals in different habitats?

  2. A rat is quite small compared to an eland (a type of antelope found in the desert). Both of these animals can be found in the ecosystems of Kilimanjaro. Which creature seems better adapted to keeping warm on a cold night? Which one would stay cooler on a hot day? Why? The eland has a greater surface area, which allows more heat loss. To see how important the difference in surface area is to heat loss, conduct this simple experiment. Fill two buckets with ice and water. Ask a volunteer to put one hand in each bucket, clenching one hand into a fist and keeping the fingers on the other hand spread apart. How long can she keep the open hand, with its greater surface area, in the ice water? How long can she keep the closed fist in the ice water? What are some other examples of this principle?

Teacher's Guide
Journey to Kilimanjaro

Support provided by