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Island Nation May Need to Move to New Home



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Grades 2-up

News Content

Rising sea levels have led to a plan to buy land where residents might someday recreate their country.

Anticipation Guide

Write the word Maldives on the board or a sheet of chart paper. Explain that the Maldives (pronounced MALL-deevz) is a nation made up of many islands in the Indian Ocean. Ask students to identify (or point out to them) the location of the Indian Ocean and the Maldives. Point out the nearest neighbors too -- India and the island nation of Sri Lanka. Write India and Sri Lanka next to Maldives because students will encounter those three country names in their reading.

News Words

Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: global, sea level, location, century, similar, and tourism. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:

  • The beachfront house is built only a few feet above _____. (sea level)
  • Cities like New York City and Las Vegas are popular travel spots; those cities earn lots of money from _____. (tourism)
  • Which baseball team was the winningest team of the past _____? (century)
  • Many scientists say that _____ warming is one of the most serious problems that world leaders need to solve. (global)
  • The Goodwill store will move to a new, bigger _____ in July. (location)
  • Maria and Suzanne were embarrassed that theyd worn _____ dresses to the party. (similar)

Read the News

Click for a printable version of this weeks news story Island Nation May Need to Move to New Home.

Reading the News

You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.

Students might first read the news story to themselves; then you might call on individual students to read sections of the news aloud for the class.

Photocopy the news story onto a transparency and project it onto a screen. (Or use your classroom computer's projector to project the story.) Read the story aloud as a class, or ask students to take turns reading it.

Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write notes in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

More Facts to Share

You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.

  • The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has forecast that sea levels in the Maldives will rise at least 7 inches by the end of the century. Country leaders have investigated many possibilities to protect the islands, including building a sea wall around them. But the most feasible plan seems to be one introduced by President Nasheed to set aside current income from tourism to buy land to which Maldives residents might eventually relocate. "We will invest in land," Nasheed told CNN. "We do not want to end up in refugee tents if the worst happens." Nasheed's government has said that it has broached the idea of purchasing land with several countries and found them to be "receptive."
  • Mohamed "Anni" Nasheed was elected president of the Maldives on October 28, 2008. He unseated Asia's longest-serving leader (President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom) in the country's first multi-party elections. Climate change is not the only challenge that faces the new president. He will have to tackle difficult issues that include rising unemployment, corruption, the threat of terrorism against the countrys Muslim population, and a serious drug epidemic. The 41-year-old president has said he will work to create affordable housing and medical care for everyone. Twenty-one percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • A December 2004 tsunami that left many of the Maldives under water, killed more than 250,000 people across Asia and Africa. About 100 residents of the Maldives (population 300,000) were killed by the tsunami. The capital city of Male (MAH-lee) was flooded, although sea walls protected it from a direct hit and further devastation.
  • Most residents of the Maldives are Muslim. The Maldives is the smallest Muslim nation in the world.
  • The Maldives' largest industry is tourism. Fishing is the second leading income producer. Manufacturing (largely garment production, boat building, and handicrafts) accounts for a smaller percent of the countrys revenue.
  • In the Maldives, the President is the head of the government. He appoints a cabinet. The President is nominated to a five-year term by a secret ballot of the Majlis (parliament), a nomination which is confirmed by national referendum. Only Muslim residents can vote in that referendum.

Comprehension Check

Recalling Detail

  • Who is Mohamed Anni" Nasheed? (He is the president of the Maldives.)
  • Why is he thinking of relocating the people of his country? (Sea levels are rising; he worries that someday many of his countrys islands might be under water.)
  • How many islands make up the country known as Maldives? (more than 1,000 islands; almost 1,200)
  • On how many of those islands do people live? (about 250 of them)
  • By how much has the sea level increased over the past century? (about 8 inches in many parts of the country)
  • How much money does the country earn each year from tourism? (about $1 billion)
  • Where is President Nasheed looking for new land? (in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia)
  • What is the name of the capital city of the Maldives? (Male, pronounced MAH-lee)

Think About the News
Discuss the Think About the News questions that appear on the students news page.

Follow-Up Activities

Geography Asia map. Have students use atlases and other library or online resources to label the country names on this outline map of Central and Southwest Asia. Point out that the Maldives are those light dashes alongside the maps Scale of Miles. Use this map as an answer key for this activity.

Math read a chart. Share with students the information on this chart that shows the worlds top 10 tourist destinations. Then invite students to use the information on the chart to answer the questions below it.

Country Number of
Tourists (2006)
1. France 79 million
2. Spain 58 million
3. United States 51 million
4. China 50 million
5. Italy 41 million
6. United Kingdom 31 million
7. Germany 24 million
8. Mexico 21 million
9. Austria 20 million
10. Russian Federation 20 million
  • Which country had the largest number of tourists in 2006? (France)
  • Which country had more tourists Spain or the United States? (Spain)
  • How many more tourists visited France than visited Spain? (21 million)
  • Which two countries on the chart had the same number of tourists in 2006? (Austria and the Russian Federation)
  • Did more tourists travel to Mexico or Italy? (Italy)
  • How many more? (20 million more tourists visited Italy than Mexico)
  • To which country did 31 million tourists travel? (United Kingdom)
  • How many countries had more tourists than the United States had? (two countries France and Spain)
  • How many more tourists traveled to Germany than to Austria? (4 million more traveled to Germany)
  • How many countries on the chart had at least 25 million tourists in 2006? (six countries)

Literature folktales of Asia. The Panchatantra is a legendary collection of short stories from India. Originally composed in the 2nd century B.C, the purpose of the stories was to instill moral values and governing skills in the young sons of the king. Share with students one such tale, The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit, which teaches a valuable lesson. Then arrange students into groups of nine. Print out the tale and give each student a paragraph to illustrate. Combine illustrations to create a bulletin board or book. Alternate plan: share several Panchatantra tales and have smaller groups illustrate multiple paragraphs of the tales. Set the tone by playing music of India while the students work. Your school or local library might have a CD of songs or you might us one of these online sources of Indian music midi files: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3


Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

National Standards

NA-M.K-4.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-M.5-8.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-M.9-12.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

MATHEMATICS: Representation
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena

NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions
NSS-G.K-12.5 Environment and Society

See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.

Article by Ellen Delisio and Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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