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Interpreting the Evidence

Mountains of Western China, 1928

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Era:

    Turn of the Century and WWI (1890 - 1930)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Global History and Geography

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:


  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Mountains of Western China, 1928 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
Mountains in Western China, 1928.
Historical Context
China is the third largest country in the world.  The landscape is diverse, with mountains, hills, plateaus, plains, basins, deserts, and even subtropical forests.  The topography of China resembles a staircase, with the highest elevations in the western part of the country and the lowest elevations in the eastern part of the country.  On the top “step” in western China is the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which is called “the roof of the world.”  This plateau is home to the Himalaya mountain range and the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (or Mount Qomolangma).  Located on China’s border with Nepal, Mount Everest rises a staggering 8,844 meters above sea level.
Essential Question
How does geography influence the development of a society?
Check for Understanding
Describe the scene in the photograph and discuss the impact of geography on Chinese civilization.
Historical Challenges
Make a timeline of the history of human attempts to climb Mount Everest. Had a human reached the summit of Mount Everest at the time this photograph was taken?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Of only 19 mountains in the world that are more than 7000 meters high, seven are in China. How many feet high are these mountains? How many feet high is Mount Everest?
Science: How were the Himalaya Mountains formed?
Science: What wildlife might live in the area shown in the photograph?