• Mount Rainier peeks through clouds, viewed across subalpine wildflowers and glacial moraine.

    Mount Rainier

    National Park Washington

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International Cooperation

As Sister Mountains, these two iconic mountains can show us similarities and differences between the natural and cultural resources of two different nations. The lesson plans provide a beginning point for the teacher to educate students on similarities and differences that they would experience either at Mount Rainier or Mount Fuji. These lessons provide the students opportunities to explore and share the mountain near them. The lessons include comparisons of Mount Rainier and Mount Fuji; exploration and sharing of sites on both mountains through the creation of postcards; and lessons focusing on safe travel on the short hikes the students are likely to participate in.

 
A group of Mount Rainier Teacher-Rangers and Japanese Teachers standing in a line in front of Reflection Lake at Mount Rainier during the 2010 Sister Mountain Workshop.
Mount Rainier teacher-rangers and Japanese participants of the 2010 Sister Mountain workshop in front of Reflection Lake at Mount Rainier.
NPS Photo
 

Lessons:

Postcards to a Friend
Students document a field trip or virtual climb of Mount Rainier and Mount Fuji by writing a postcard to a friend describing what they have seen and experienced.

Finding Similarities and Differences
Mount Fuji (Fuji-san in Japanese), which is the tallest mountain in Japan, has been a sister mountain of Mount Rainier since April 30, 1936. Both of the mountains have similar and different characteristics in type of volcano, ecosystems, culture, and history. The students will explore these similarities and differences through presentations, research and videos of both mountains.

Map Reading
Students will be introduced to the basic skills necessary to read a map, specifically a topographic map, in a national park. Students will practice by orienting a map to magnetic north and/or true north. Students will also have the ability to practice land navigation around their school based on a course set up by the instructor.

Staying Alive! The Ten Essentials for a Trip
Students will be introduced to the basic ten essentials necessary for taking a short, three to five mile hiking trip to a local park, national park, or other outdoor trip. The students will participate in a series of scenarios assessing their knowledge of the ten essentials and preparedness for surviving common situations they might face on a short hiking trip.

Did You Know?

Northwest face of Mount Rainier and Emmons Glacier as seen from Sunrise.

Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states at 35 square miles of snow and ice with Emmons Glacier being the largest by surface area with 4.3 square miles of ice. The Emmons is best viewed from Sunrise on the NE side of the mountain.