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Extremes

Survival in the great deserts of the southern hemisphere

Cover Education Kit

Curriculum areas: Environment, geography, Indigenous culture & history, arts

Years: 4–10

Extremes: Survival in the Great Deserts of the Southern Hemisphere was an exhibition the National Museum of Australia developed in conjunction with research centres in three continents. From the sand seas and Skeleton Coast of Africa's Namib Desert, to the Red Centre of Australia, from the snow-capped volcanoes and moonscapes of Chile's Atacama Desert to the sand-ridges of the Kalahari – some of the world's greatest deserts lie in the southern hemisphere. The exhibition explored the natural and cultural history of these extreme environments, to find out how people coped with these remote, hot, dry, hard lands. This is history on a grand scale, beginning with the first migration of people into the deserts and sweeping forward in time to contemporary life in these regions.

Extremes: Survival in the Great Deserts of the Southern Hemisphere exhibition at the National Museum of Australia, was open from 26 December 2005 until 22 August 2006.

Education kit

This education package was written for students in years 4 through 10. It is aimed principally at teachers but may also be useful for students. The information and activities in this package complement the Extremes: Survival in the Great Deserts of the Southern Hemisphere exhibition and contains 12 sets of fact sheets on a range of topics including:

  • what is a desert?
  • plant and animal adaptations in the desert
  • scientific research in the desert
  • early inhabitants and contemporary societies of the southern deserts
  • cultural arts of desert peoples
  • rock art of desert peoples