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Will Jordan Romero Be the Youngest Person to Scale Mount Everest?


Arts & Humanities
--Language Arts
--Physical Science
----Earth Science
Social Studies
--Current Events


Grades 2-up

News Content

A 13-year-old California boy hopes to become the youngest person to scale Mount Everest.

Anticipation Guide

Write the word continent on a board or chart. Ask students to identify the names of the worlds seven continents

  • Africa
  • Antarctica
  • Asia
  • Australia (Oceania)
  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America and to point out their locations on a world map.

    Next, write the word Everest on the board. Ask any students to share information they know about Mount Everest. Then you might share some additional facts:

    • Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It rises 29,029 feet above sea level.
    • The mountain, which is part of the Himalaya range in Asia, is located on the border between Nepal, and Tibet, China.
    • Many mountain climbers are drawn to Everest by the challenge of climbing to the highest point on Earth. By the end of the 2008 climbing season, about 2,700 people had attempted ascents to the summit.

    News Words

    Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: difficulty, achieve, accomplish, proven, attempt, and accompany. 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:

  • Sara will _____ her brother on his trip to the dentist. (accompany)
  • The kids didnt think they could raise that much money, but when they set their minds to the task they were able to _____ it. (accomplish or achieve)
  • In America, a person is assumed innocent until he or she is ____ guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. (proven)
  • In this weeks swim meet, Rob will _____ to break the team record in the 100-meter butterfly event. (attempt)
  • Carlton had _____ filling out the form because the questions were so complicated. (difficulty)
  • Our principal plans to kiss a pig if we _____ our goal of reading 1,000 books. (achieve or accomplish)

    Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this weeks news story Will Jordan Romero Make It to the Top of the World?.

    More Facts to Share

    You might share this CBS video in which Jordan talks about this planned trek up Mount Everest.


    Jordan Romero has already climbed the highest mountains on five of the seven continents:

    • Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), July 2006
    • Europe: Mount Elbrus (Russia), July 2007
    • South America: Aconcagua (Argentina), December 2007
    • North America: Mount Denali (aka McKinley) (Alaska), June 2008
    • Oceania (including Australia): Carstenz Pyramid (Indonesia), September 2009

    By the end of the 2008 climbing season, about 2,700 individuals had climbed Mount Everest. More than 200 had lost their lives in the attempt.

    Many climbers consider the climb up Mount Denali to be more technically difficult than the ascent to the peak of Everest. Weather conditions and breathing difficulties at high altitudes can make the Everest climb more brutal.

    "Mountain climbing requires a lot of mental training and making smart decisions. It's a metaphor for life," Jordan told the Associated Press. When pressed about the dangers of the climb, he said he considers himself ready and that his age should not be a consideration at all. I want to do something big," he told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and I just happen to be 13."

    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.
    Paul Romero, Jordans father, is a helicopter paramedic who lives in the ski town of Big Bear Lake, California. "This is [Jordans] quest and we're just along for the ride," he told the Associated Press. "We may or may not reach the summit this time. It might be a dress rehearsal."

    Jordan's mother, Leigh Anne Drake, is not a mountain climber, but she said she supports her son even if she is nervous. "I'm on a roller coaster," she said. "From the second he leaves my arms until he's back, it's like I can't breathe and I can't cry. But at the same time, I'm so overjoyed that's he's getting the chance to do and see all of these amazing things." She said Jordan is taking two months of homework to Nepal so he can keep up with school.

    The total cost of Jordans Everest expedition is about $150,000. Climbers must pay for a license to climb, which costs about $25,000 per climber. In addition, they pay their sherpas, or guides. Three sherpas will accompany Jordan, his father, and his fathers girlfriend.

    Atmospheric pressure at the peak of Everest is about a third that of sea-level. That can lead to breathing difficulties, mental sluggishness, and other serious medical problems. Those dangers as well as falls and avalanches have claimed the lives of many climbers.

    Temba Tsheri, a 16-year-old boy from Nepal, is the youngest climber to have conquered Everest to date. His record may soon fall.

    Jordan Romero and his team await the start of their climb from their base camp on the Chinese side of the mountain. They are spending a few weeks there getting acclimated to the conditions as they wait for the window of opportunity to begin the climb. You can follow the progress of their climb at

    Use the News

    Print out this weeks Use the News printable activity page for students. Or use the questions on that page to check student comprehension.

    Use the News: Answer Key
    Reading Comprehension. 1.g, 2.b, 3.j, 4.a, 5.h, 6.d, 7.e, 8.f, 9.i, 10.c.
    Language Practice: Word Use. 1.c, 2.b, 3.d, 4.a, 5.b, 6.a.

    Follow-Up Activities

    Geography. Provide students with a world outline map (alternate map source) and have them plot and label the locations of the worlds Seven Summits, the highest place on each of the seven continents.


    Mountain Feet (height) Location: Country (Continent)
    Everest 29,029 feet Nepal/Tibet (Asia)
    Aconcagua 22,840 feet Argentina (South America)
    Denali (Mount McKinley) 20,320 feet Alaska (North America)
    Kilimanjaro 19,339 feet Tanzania (Africa)
    Elbrus 18,481 feet Russia (Europe)
    Vinson Massif 16,067 feet Ellsworth Range (Antarctica)
    Carstensz Pyramid 16,023 feet Indonesia (Oceania)


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

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.7 Evaluating Data
    NL-ENG.K-12.8 Developing Research Skills
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    MATHEMATICS: Measurement
    GRADES Pre-K - 2
    NM-MEA.PK-2.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
    GRADES 3 - 5
    NM-MEA.3-5.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
    GRADES 6 - 8
    NM-MEA.6-8.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement
    GRADES 9 - 12
    NM-MEA.9-12.1 Understand Measurable Attributes of Objects and the Units, Systems, and Processes of Measurement

    GRADES K - 12
    NPH.K-12.3 Physical Activity
    NPH.K-12.4 Physical Fitness
    NPH.K-12.5 Responsible Behavior
    NPH.K-12.7 Understanding Challenges

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
    GRADES K - 12
    NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms

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

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
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