The first woman to summit Mount Everest: Junko Tabei also survived an avalanche!

This learning block represents one week’s work. Aim to watch at least one video and choose at least one activity or project to complete.

There are two videos to choose from about Junko Tabei. The first is suitable for younger kids, and the second will appear to older students. Watch one or both!

Choose an activity

Learn About Avalanches (And Make One!)

In 1975, Junko Tabei and her expedition group attempted to climb Mount Everest. When they reached 6300 meters (20700 feet), they made camp. While they slept in their tents, an avalanche struck their camp! Junko Tabei was buried in the snow! Thankfully, everyone survived, but Junko was hurt. She spent two days recovering before continuing on to reach the summit.

This project has two videos. The first one will show you a demonstration of how avalanches happen.

In the second video, you will see how to make your own model of an avalanche at home!

You will need:
– a large, sturdy piece of cardboard or wood (not too heavy for you to lift)
– road salt or fine gravel
– cornmeal
– flour
– small toy figures for trees, people, animals, etc. (optional)

 Don’t forget to take a photo for your portfolio when you are done!

Meet a Kid who Climbed the Seven Summits

In this video, you will meet a kid who climbed the Seven Summits, just like Junko Tabei! Watch the video to learn more about the process he went through to reach the summit of Mount Everest! Does this video inspire you to reach for a challenge of your own?

Make Your Own Walking Stick

If you are interested in hiking, you may also love making your own walking stick to carry with you! This video will guide you through the process of making your own walking stick using simple tools.

NOTE: This project requires tools which can be dangerous. Do NOT try this project without talking to your grownup(s) first! You should NEVER push a sharp tool toward yourself. You will also need to check with an adult before collecting a branch to use for your walking stick.

You will need:
– a large, sturdy branch (not too heavy for you to carry)
– a small handsaw
– a C-clamp, if you have one
– a tape measure
– a chisel, a utility knife, a draw knife, or a rasp
– sandpaper, if you have it

Take a photo of your finished walking stick and add it to your portfolio!

Meet a Mountaineer

In this video, you will meet a mountaineer! Listen to her describe her climbs on the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. As you listen, ask yourself:

– Would you ever climb a mountain?
– What sounds scariest about her experience?
– What sounds most exciting about her experience?
– Do you feel the risks of mountain climbing are worth it? Why or why not?

Books About Junko Tabei


Click on the books below to buy them from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library!

Junko Tabei: One Step At A Time Read Aloud

Junko, Queen of the Mountains Read Aloud

NOw Let’s Have some fun!