Limestone in the World


Students will:
· discover where the longest and deepest caves in the world are located.
· correlate the presence of limestone with the location of long and deep caves.

· Large, laminated world map
· Names and locations of 50 longest and 50 deepest caves in the world, on small strips of paper from the website and
· 2 large dry-erase markers (different colors)
· The book Caves by Stephen Kramer or the map on the website
· Hat or bowl
· World atlas and/or geography text


1. Tell the class that they are going to locate the longest and deepest cave in the world.Walk around the room, allowing each student to pick one cave name/location out of the hat or bowl.Repeat until all of the caves have been distributed.The caves are listed by length in meters.Cave lengths change as more cave is discovered.To find the most up-to-date information have the students connect to the National Speleological Society's website and research cave lengths.

2. Give the students enough time to research the location of their caves, using a geography text or atlas.You may need to help the students with some of the more obscure cave locations.

3. As soon as a student knows the location of one or more of their caves, they may locate it and mark it on the large world map, using a dry-erase marker.Make sure that all caves are marked in one color.The other dry-erase marker is for your use later on.

4. Once all of the caves have been located, ask the students why they think the caves are located where they are.Is there a certain rock type that is best for cave formation?The students may remember from the video that 95% of caves are formed in limestone.With the other marker color, shade the areas of the map where large limestone deposits are found, using the map on page 14 of the book, Caves or the map on the website

5. Do the students see a connection between the locations of limestone deposits and the locations of caves?Which caves are not located in limestone regions?Why is there no limestone in Hawaii?Discuss lava tubes and other non-limestone caves.Are there any large deposits of limestone in the world that do not contain extensive caves?Why?In some areas, exploration of caves may be difficult for political reasons (such as China).

Last updated: December 27, 2017

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