Education

Zambezi: Education Worksheet

SCHOOL LEVEL         
Upper Primary
Junior Secondary
Senior Secondary

EDUCATION DESCRIPTION
The Zambezi River flows through six countries and is Africa’s fourth-longest river. Meandering on its journey from source to sea, through flood and drought, it passes diversified environments from tropical jungle to savannah landscapes. Humans and animals interact with this lifeblood of the land. This beautifully filmed, two-part documentary inspires curiosity about a unique, interconnected ecosystem.

TEACHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Africa’s Zambezi River flows for some 2700 kilometres and through six countries on its journey from source to sea. In spite of being one of Africa’s four great rivers, it is one of the least known. Along its course and through its many changing environments, the Zambezi provides a haven and a resource for wild animals and people alike. As with most rivers, the story of the Zambezi is one of constant change, of life and death.

This two-part documentary examines the geographical characteristics of the river and its surroundings, from its humble uplands source, across the thundering rage of Victoria Falls, through the Kariba Dam until it fans out as a vast delta and disappears into the Indian Ocean.

Dramatic seasonal fluctuations in the river’s water level pose numerous challenges for its human and animal dependents. The documentary’s geographical focus includes climate, landforms and vegetation.

Fascinating animal behaviour sequences, indigenous hunting techniques and human survival strategies, combine in this documentary to engage students at all levels illustrating the partnership and challenges between natural landscapes and sustaining life.

With water scarcity and its resource management being one of the great issues of our time, this documentary reveals the impact of human intervention on the Zambezi River System.
 A marked contrast exists between the wild and harnessed sections of the river itself. The changes wrought by dam building beg questions about human activity, providing a platform for research and discussion at the advanced level of senior students.

Like the river itself, connecting this documentary is the water cycle, where the continuous transformation of water to vapour and back again ¬demonstrates the inputs and outputs to the system, and the integral way life is sustained in the great Zambezi catchment.


CURRICULUM POINTERS

Upper Primary
“Geographical inquiry starts with curiosity—with students wanting to understand and explain something that has caught their imagination. It begins with a ‘why’ question which seeks to explain what they have observed or discovered or become interested in. There is often also a ‘where’ and ‘why there’ question about location.”
Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography, 62. 2011

Junior Secondary
“Geographical understanding is the ability to see the relationships between items of knowledge; to construct explanatory frameworks and models to illustrate these relationships, and to weave them into an integrated whole. It is also the ability to use geographical knowledge to solve new problems by thinking and acting flexibly with what one knows.”
Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography, 58. 2011

Senior Secondary
“‘An essential educational outcome of learning geography is to be able to apply knowledge and conceptual understanding to new settings: that is ‘to “think geographically” about the changing world’ (Geographical Association 2009).”
Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography, 58. 2011


CURRICULUM OUTCOMES

Upper Primary
•    people and their origins
•    the interconnections and interdependence of places, comparisons of their own place with at least one other place outside Australia with a similar climate
•    why places and environments should be cared for sustainably and what this means
•    spatial patterns, local planning and the management of community issues.
Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography, 76. 2011

Junior Secondary
•    an understanding of the uniqueness of each place, as well as the similarities between places
•    an ability to think holistically in seeking answers to geographical questions
•    an understanding of the role of the environment and its resources in human life, and of the impact of humans on that environment
•    an understanding of the significance of location
•    an awareness of the interconnectedness of places, and of the consequences of these connections
Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography, 91. 2011

Senior Secondary
•    managing environmental risks (such as natural hazards, human health and environmental collapse)
•    sustaining environmental resources (including energy, water, biodiversity, soils and oceans)
•    the physical geography and management of a selected type of environment
•    the dynamics and management of landscapes
•    environmental change.
Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Geography, 100.  2011


STUDENT LEARNING TASKS

Upper Primary

Task 1
Download a map of Africa from
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/map/atlas/africa-geophysical.html
Save the map to your files, or print it and paste it into your workbook.
Use the zoom feature on the web page to find the Zambezi River.
In which country does the Zambezi start?
Which ocean does it flow into?
Name the six countries the Zambezi flows through from its source to the ocean.

Task 2
Download a map of Africa from
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/map/atlas/africa-geophysical.html
Save the map to your files. Then print it and paste it into your workbook.
Name a major dam along the Zambezi River.
Mark the location of this dam on the map in your workbook.

Task 3
Name three African tribes that live along the Zambezi River.
What is the name of the river god that one of the tribes believes in?
How do these people worship their god?
Where do they go when the river floods?

Task 4
Draw your own map of the Zambezi River.
Write the names of 5 animals that live near or in the river.
On your map, shade the areas the animals inhabit by the river.


Junior Secondary

Task 1
Download a map of Africa from
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/map/atlas/africa-geophysical.html
Save the map to your files. Then print it and paste it into your workbook.
Name the source and end-points of the river.
In which country does the Zambezi start?
Which ocean does it flow into?
Name the six countries the Zambezi flows through from its source to the ocean.
Take a piece of thread and lay it carefully along the river line.
Measure the length of the Zambezi River. Use the map scale for reference.

Task 2
Choose a major Australian river. Compare your chosen river with the Zambezi River. Draw up a table of two columns – one for each river, plus a third column in which to write headings of similarities and differences. Focusing on physical features, write down five similarities and five differences between the two rivers.

Task 3
Locate the Kariba Dam on a map.
Why was the Kariba Dam built? Describe its size.
How much water can it hold?
Who or what benefits from the dam?
Who or what is compromised as a result of the dam?
Name two advantages and two disadvantages to dam building.

Task 4
Draw a cross-section from the source of the Zambezi River to the ocean.
Draw a line to follow the journey of a drop of water, starting in a rain cloud above the source of the Zambezi River and returning, via the Indian Ocean to the same place.
Name three geographical features, three different tribes of African people and 12 animals you will see along the way. As a drop of water, which is your favourite place to be and why?


Senior Secondary

Task 1
Draw a cross-section to scale of the Zambezi River from the source to the ocean.

Draw a line to follow the journey of a drop of water, starting in a rain cloud above the source of the Zambezi River and returning, via the Indian Ocean to the same place.
Name and locate on the cross-section the following:
3 geographical features
3 indigenous tribe settlements  
3 animals and their habitat area within the catchment area

Task 2
Using the Zambezi River as a case study, research the impact of dams on a river catchment area. Include the following:

Explain the intention of the Kariba Dam.
Describe how the Kariba Dam changed the course of the Zambezi River.
What is the water capacity of the Kariba Dam?
Have flood levels been affected since the building of the dam?
What are the major uses of the Kariba Dam water resource?
Has the hydro-electricity generated the dam effected the surrounding area? How?

Nat Geo Snap!