Geography KS2 & KS3: Expedition to Guyana - the Makushi tribespeople

Four hundred years ago, English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh went to Guyana in search of El Dorado.

He was one of the first Englishmen the Makushi tribespeople had ever seen.

Four centuries on, a team of children from the UK have come to follow in Raleigh's footsteps.

They are the Serious Explorers and, just like Raleigh, they are relying on local tribespeople for help.

Nowadays, the Makushi dress in modern clothes, but for many of them their way of life has changed very little since Raleigh's day.

They still live along Guyana's rivers and rely heavily on the local environment for both food and materials.

While a few have access to technology like mobile phones, most have no electricity or running water.

The Serious Explorers are invited to join in a traditional celebration led by the local shaman and to participate in a Makushi banquet.

This clip is from the series Seriously Raleigh.

Teacher Notes

Investigate the area of the Makushi tribe.

What vegetation is there?

How do they live sustainably?

What is the weather like?

How does their food compare with ours?

How do their lives compare with ours?

The children could then research how we could live more sustainably. They could do this by using renewable energy packs around school.

Where is the best place to put solar panels? A wind turbine?

Children can produce their own vegetables for school meals or to sell at the school fair.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching Geography at KS2 and KS3 Level in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at 2nd and 3rd Level in Scotland.

More from Seriously Raleigh:

Expedition safety
Expedition to Guyana - endangered animals in the rainforest
Expedition to Guyana - exploring Mount Roraima
Expedition to Guyana - life in the rainforest
Expedition to Guyana - Mount Roraima (no narration)
Expedition to Guyana - navigating an ocean journey
Expedition to Guyana - planning an expedition
Expedition to Guyana - recreating Sir Walter Raleigh's search for El Dorado
Expedition to Guyana - rivers and waterfalls (no narration)
Expedition to Guyana - spending a night in the rainforest
Expedition to Guyana - transportation for local tribespeople