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The Blue Nile and the White Nile flow into Sudan. The rivers are two different colours due to the soil and rocks they have scooped up on their journeys. The Blue and White Niles flow side by side until they reach Khartoum where they merge to become one river - the Nile. The Nile flows north out of Sudan and into Egypt where it supports Egypt's largest industry, farming, and its second biggest industry, tourism. The Nile is as much the centre of life in Egypt today as it was 3,000 years ago.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
12 October 2007

Classroom Ideas

This clip could be used to help children understand how the Nile helps sustain life along the valley. At the start of the clip the narrator points out the different colours of the Blue and White Nile. Pupils could be challenged to remember how the river became dirty. The weathering of the soil by ice and its subsequent erosion by the river is discussed in clip 'Journey of the Nile (pt 2/3)'. The teacher could pause the clip at 4 minutes 17 seconds and ask the class what the differences are between the land in the foreground and background (one difference that the pupils may notice is the lush vegetation in the foreground compared to the dry landscape behind.)

Children's ideas could be explored as to why the area in the foreground is good for farming, encouraging them to consider the importance of the Nile for irrigation. The teacher might also discuss with the pupils that when the Nile floods in this area the eroded soil from the highlands is deposited and this fertile soil then helps to fertilise the plants. The pupils could look at a satellite image of the Nile valley to discover how lush and green the land is in close proximity to the Nile in comparison to the surrounding Sahara Desert. A further image of the Earth at night could be used to show how the Nile is lit up in comparison to the surrounding area. The pupils could then locate the settlements such as Khartoum, mentioned in the clip using an atlas. As a final challenge the children could be asked to think of as many uses of a river as they can (ie drinking, washing, fishing, transport, irrigation, defence). This should enable them to understand why settlements are located close to rivers.