The Classroom Package: Where to Begin - The Galapagos Islands

Through OneWorld Classrooms Galapagos content, y our students may 'travel' to the Galapagos and visit schools there. So, before you pack your bags, try the warm-up activities below.

1. Where on the Globe are the Galapagos Islands?
2. Where on the Map are the Galapagos Islands?
3. How to Get to the Galapagos Islands
4. Things That Go to Make Up a Life ((K and up)
5. Similarities and Differences (4 and up)
6. Packing Your Bags I (Math Activity) (K-3)
7. Packing Your Bags II (Math Activity) (4 and up)

1. Where on the Globe are the Galapagos Islands? - Use the globe to locate the Galapagos Islands. In which ocean do they lie? Are most of the islands north of the equator or south of the equator? What other countries of the world straddle the equator? What is the approximate longitude and latitude of the islands? Which Central American countries, US states and Canadian provinces or territories share the same latitude? Approximately, how far off the coast of Ecuador are the islands located? What other islands are the Galapagos nearest neighbors and to which countries do they belong? Where are the Hawaiian Islands in relation to the Galapagos?

To which country do the Galapagos belong? What is the capital of this country? Which South American countries neighbor this country? Have students identify their own continent and country on the globe and note where their state/country is in relation to the Galapagos, Ecuador and South America. Have students locate the other countries of South America (Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, French Guyana and Suriname). Have them locate the Andes mountains, the Amazon River and the Amazon Rain Forest. Which large rivers flow out of Ecuador into the Amazon? How do the underwater mountains that form the Galapagos compare with the Andes in size?

2. Exploring the Islands with Maps? - Here are several online maps of the Galapagos: -- An interactive map from the National Science Teacher's Association Web Site. -- An interactive map from Galapagos Geology on the Web that links to information and photos of each major island. This site has excellent aerial shots of the islands, including one on the home page of all of the major islands. -- This one, from a tour agency site, is an excellent map for printing --with an enlarged version available. - An interactive map from PBS's Cool Science with facts about each island.

While examining the maps, have your students answer the following questions:

Which island is the largest? Which major island is farthest east, west, south, north? Which islands consist of more than one volcano? Which islands are north of the equator? Which island is closest to mainland Ecuador? Which is closest to Coco Island of Costa Rica? How would you describe the shapes of the islands? Can you theorize which island is oldest and why?

Note: During the course of the project, we will be visiting San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabela Islands.

3. How to Get to the Galapagos Islands - After completing the above activities, have students pick an island and trace a route from your school to a school on that island. Ask students in what direction(s) they will travel and by what set of means they might go (car, bus, taxi, train, ship, small airplane, small boat, jet, donkey, bike or feet). Have them estimate the distance in miles or kilometers and have them estimate a travel time, given their various modes of transportation. When you receive your E-mail Reports from the islands, you'll be able to compare your routes with the actual route taken by Paul and Lilia.

4. Things That Go to Make Up a Life (K and up) - Brainstorm with your students to create a long list of things that make up their lives (allow a wide range of responses both general and very specific). Have students determine which items on the list are general and which are specific, then have them break up the items into categories, listing specific items under general categories. The overall list should provide a snapshot of the life and culture of your students. Next, have your students do the activity considering the lives of children who live in the Galapagos. Save the list and when your Galapagos unit is complete, review it to determine how accurate your snapshot was. Modify the list based on what you learned by completing the project and discuss it as a cultural snapshot.

5. Similarities and Differences (4 and up) - A key social skill for all children is to understand that people are all similar in ways and different in ways. Discuss similarities and differences between students in your own classroom. Encourage students to speak of similarities and differences in a inclusive and inoffensive way. Both should be celebrated: similarities bind us as human beings and differences make us special and able to make unique contributions to the world around us. After, using the list you made in Things That Go to Make Up a Life (above), discuss ways that students in your class are similar to and different from Galapagos children. Revisit the discussion at the completion of the project.

6. Packing Your Bags I (Math Activity) (K-3) - Have your students make a list of which items they would bring with them if they were traveling to the Galapagos for five weeks (as project coordinators Paul Hurteau and Lilia Cai will to complete the project). Have them take into consideration the weather and the environment as well as health and entertainment. Also have them consider what activities they would be doing in the Galapagos and consider what items you might be able to purchase or acquire there. Make sure they list how many of each item they would bring. When they've completed the list, have them add up the total number of items. Next, tell them they have to fit all of their items into one large suitcase. Have them prioritize the items eliminating those that are least important. Next have them estimate how many of each item they could fit in the suitcase. If possible, have each student bring in one item on the list (or something of similar size that could represent the item - i.e. a small box instead of a camera). Bring in a large suitcase and see if you can fit all of your items into it. If not, have students prioritize further until they can get everything in. Compare the number of items on the original list with the number of items that actually fit in the suitcase.

7. Packing Your Bags II (Math Activity) (4 and up) - Modify Packing Your Bags I (above) by telling your students, after they have made their initial list of items, that the airline they will be flying to the Galapagos has a baggage limit of 70 pounds or (rounding off) 30 kilograms. Have students estimate the weight of all the items on their list, then prioritize considering their estimations and the weight limit. When they've pared the list down, have them bring in the items and check them for actual weight, comparing the results with their estimates.



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Amazon Rain Forest  
The Galapagos Islands

Latin America Classrom Travel Resources

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