This unit has been developed to accompany the Mountaineering Section of the website, specifically involving the Duke of Abruzzi subsection. It may be used as part of the overall educational program developed for the website, as an independent unit, or as part of a Social Studies/History unit focusing on climbing history. The curriculum links provided are from the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education (WNCP), and Social Studies Common Curriculum Framework, and are one way of using the unit. However, you may adapt the unit to your grade level or your class’s focus and abilities.

The unit includes a number of effective educational strategies with which you may be familiar or not. One such is the KWL strategy used in lesson one. Students first brainstorm what they know about a topic, then what they want to know. Finally, they do the research and complete what they have learned. It is an effective scaffolding tool to encourage students to bring their own knowledge and experience to bear on a topic. In the second lesson, students use their powers of observation and deduction to examine changes in some climbing equipment. This is a good introduction to the unit on the evolution of climbing equipment. Other lessons focus on journal writing, interpreting researched data by simulating a talk show interview, creating a comic strip, and formal letter writing. It’s a wonderfully mixed bag, allowing for a wide range of student abilities and talents.

Lesson plans offered:

Lesson One: The Duke of Abruzzi and his summit of Mt. Elias
Lesson Two: Compare and Contrast between Historic and Modern Climbing

Lesson Three: A day in the life Of the Duke of Abruzzi during the summit of Mt. St. Elias
Lesson Four: The Talk Show interview with the Duke of Abruzzi
Lesson Five: You be the Comic!
Lesson Six: Dear Duke of Abruzzi
Quiz: The Duke of Abruzzi

Curricular Links:
Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education – Aboriginal Language and Culture Project.

Lesson One
  • Clarify and Extend: discuss the importance of reflecting on prior experiences and knowledge to revise conclusions and understanding.
  • Use Strategies and Cues: make connections between previous experiences, prior knowledge, and a variety of texts, and apply them to new contexts-use a variety of comprehension strategies [such as adjusting reading rate, summarizing main ideas, examining structured overviews, checking with peers…] to make sense of familiar and unfamiliar texts and remember ideas.
  • Plan and Focus: determine personal knowledge of a topic to generate possible areas of inquiry or research.
  • Organize, Record and Evaluate: make notes in point form, summarizing major ideas and supporting details; reference sources.

Lesson Two
  • Clarify and Extend: structure and restructure ideas and information in personally meaningful ways to clarify and extend understanding.
  • Respond to Texts: experience texts from a variety of genres [such as magazine articles, diaries, drama, advertisements…] and cultural traditions; compare own interests in a variety of texts to those of others.
  • Generate and Focus: identify and use a variety of organizational patterns [such as comparison and contrast, rising action, pyramid structure...] in own oral, written, and visual texts; compose effective introductions and conclusions.
  • Enhance and Improve: share own work in a variety of ways; appraise particular aspects [such as word choice, description, language usage, organization, audience appeal…] of own and others’ work using established criteria.

Lesson Three
  • Discover and Explore: experiment with memorable language to convey personal perceptions, feelings, experiences, thoughts, and ideas in various forms.
  • Understand Forms and Techniques: Create original texts [such as descriptions, panel discussions, impersonations, collages, timelines, documentary videos, journals or diaries…] to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques.

Lesson Four
  • Plan and Focus: formulate relevant main and subordinate questions on a topic to establish a purpose for gathering information.
  • Select and Process: access, record, and appraise personal and peer knowledge and understanding of a topic to establish an information base for inquiry or research.
  • Enhance and Improve: prepare compositions, reports, presentations, and inquiry or research projects using a variety of organizers [such as chapters, table of contents...].
  • Present and Share: prepare and share information on a topic using print, audio-visual, and dramatic forms to engage the audience.

Lesson Five
  • Plan and Focus: prepare and use a plan to access, gather, and record in own words relevant information.

Lesson Six
  • Discover and Explore: explore diverse ideas to develop conclusions, opinions, and understanding
  • Select and Process: recall, expand, and use a variety of skills [including visual and auditory] to access information and ideas from avariety of sources [such as subtitles, marginal notes and key words, electronic searches, previews and reviews, visual effects, sound effects…].
  • Generate and Focus: compose using specific forms [such as biographies, letters to the editor, newspaper articles, audio-visual presentations...] appropriate for content, audience, and purpose.
  • Enhance and Improve: share own work in a variety of ways; appraise particular aspects [such as word choice, description, language usage, organization, audience appeal…] of own and others’ work using established criteria.