004 - Caves

Factual Question

What is a Karst environment?

What landforms are created in Karst environments?

Key Terminology

            • Fold mountain
            • Karst environment
            • Impermeable
            • Permeable
            • Porous

We will be defining the words above throughout the lesson, but if you are still unsure then click on the 'Useful Links' below.

Useful Links

Activity One - Mountains

You are used to seeing mountains every day as we can see them out of our classroom window. What you don't perhaps consider is how they impact your lives. It is difficult to live in mountainous areas which forces us to live in the flatter planes. We also use them at the weekends for our leisure pursuits of skiing, hiking or biking. But how are they actually formed? What is the physical geography behind their structure and do they change? Answer the following questions by using the youtube clip below.

      1. How are the Himalayas formed? These are an excellent example of a fold mountain range.
      2. Which two plate margins are converging?

Activity Two - Map Skills

Now you know how mountains are formed it useful to know where the largest mountain ranges on our planet are located. Collect a map of the world and mark on the mountains which are listed below. You could go old school on this and use an ATLAS from cupboard to do this activity.

                • Himalayas
                • Alps
                • Rockies
                • Andes
                • Carpathian
                • Atlas
                • Ural
Map of the World

Activity Three - Adventure

It has become a source of national pride for someone to conquer a mountain first. The higher and more dangerous the greater the prestige. Trying to summit a mountain is not without its risks and many people have died in their quest for personal or national glory. Watch the clip below and describe the equipment and conditions that people have climbed in to reach the forgotten mountain in Myanmar. While others summit mountains with very little!

Activity Four - Limestone Environments

Mountains can be created from many different rock types. We are going to focus on karst rock formations as this is what we will visit on the Medieval Pilgrimage towards the end of the school year. A karst rock is a limestone rock and it is classified as sedimentary. Collect a copy of the question grid and answer the questions using the youtube clips below.

    1. What is a karst environment?
    2. How is limestone formed?
    3. What does the word permeable mean?
    4. What does the word impermeable mean?
    5. What does the word porous mean?
    6. How does the water weather the limestone?
    7. With the aid of diagrams describe how the different landforms are created.
Year 8 - Karst Environments

Activity Four - Leaflet and Models

Your task is to develop a guide on Lucidpress to describe what the different landforms that can be found in a limestone cave look like and to explain how they are created. This leaflet is aimed at informing Year 7s about the processes that create change. Try and include the following landforms in your guide:

                      • Clints
                      • Grykes
                      • Swallow Hole (also known as a sink hole)
                      • Cavern or Cave
                      • Stalagmite
                      • Stalactite
                      • Gorge


      1. Description of the landform.
      2. A diagram of photo of the landform.
      3. An explanation of how the landform is formed (this is the process).


To present this guide you will be using Lucidpress. Remember that the information is more important than the actual look of the guide, so all the writing needs to be done first. Do think about how you will display your work in a logical and sequential order. Remember to:

                    • It can be in the form of a leaflet or an A4 page guide
                    • Spell check your work
                    • Diagrams should have figure numbers and titles
                    • All work that is not yours needs to be sourced in the bibliography

Activity Five - Model Making

Along with the guide you will be asked to create a model which will illustrate all the features you have included in your guide. To do this you can either make or buy play dough.

This is possibly the easiest play dough recipe ever. It takes about 5 minutes to make and best of all there is no cooking. Just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Simple as that. It’s great for making with kids and will last for ages. You can add glitter to the mix for added sparkle and even some peppermint oil to make it smell great.

You will need:

                    • 1 cups plain flour
                    • 1/2 cup of salt
                    • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar (optional)
                    • 1 tablespoons of cooking oil
                    • Food colouring
                    • Glitter (optional)
                    • Peppermint oil (optional)
                    • 1 cups of boiling water
                    • 1 colour or more if you have them


  1. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. As soon as it starts to bond together and is hard to mix, take it out of the bowl throw it on a board and knead until it takes on the look and consistency of play dough. It will be hot when you take it out of the bowl so be careful.
  2. This recipe is great if you’re planning on making a couple of batches in different colours but if your just making one batch you can quite happily double the amounts.
  3. Don’t worry if you have no cream of tartar it makes the play dough more elastic but you can still make this play dough recipe without cream of tartar. Also I have found that while liquid food colourings work fine, Gel food colouring produces a brighter more vivid colour.

Example of a model from a previous year.

Example of Model

How will my work be assessed?

The leaflet be assessed by using Criteria A - Knowing and Understanding and C - Communicating.