Fantastic ideas. :) I also incorporated Mt. Everest into our guided reading that week (one group), and they enjoyed being the experts on all things related. I found one through Reading A-Z, if you are interested.
And because I work with gifted and high achieving students, I had several students who started the research process of determing the origin of the Yeti by checking out books on cryptology. They had read that the second successful climber had seen a mysterious, large footprint.
After sharing many theories, I agree that when climbers have stated observing large footprints in the snow it is due to a human/animal foot that has expanded/melted in the sun.
Anyway, that was a fun component to our plans as well. It sounds like you are your students are going to have a blast with this activity!
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