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The Big Enquiry Question: 

Is a desert all cacti and camels?

Look at this photo. Is it typical of a desert?

(Photograph taken by Jon Adams, a teacher at the Ruwaiis International School in Ruwaiis United Arab Emirates.)

Click on the camel below to read a letter from students who live in a desert.

The Key Questions

  1. What do you think a desert is like?
  2. What are the deserts of the world really like?

The Purpose of the Enquiry (Key Stage 2 Years 5 or 6)

There are large areas of the world that can be called 'hot deserts'. 

  • What picture do we have of these areas in our minds? 
  • Do we think that they really are all camels and cacti?

The main purpose of this enquiry is to look at the real hot deserts of the world and to get a true picture of them. You will use your ICT skills in the production of the two posters. 

Your Task: You are going to produce two posters using some of the given web pages with the following titles. 
  • What I thought a desert was like. 
  • What I did not know about a desert.

Each page has suggested side headings so that the details can be sorted as they are added, but others can be added. The information can be written or can be in the form of a photograph. Make the page exciting by using different styles, sizes and colours of writing. Make sure that pictures have titles. I would suggest that the work is done in a word processor either on A4 with the pictures being kept quite small or on A3 paper, or a desk top publishing package which may allow the production of even larger wall posters or banners. It is suggested that certain keywords are researched at the start of the exercise to help a fuller understanding of the project.


Handy hint !!!! To add a picture from the Internet to your poster page:

Click the right mouse button over a picture, then click copy (with the left mouse button). Open your working page and click your right button on your mouse again. Click paste. You can move the picture around and change the size. Make sure that you give each picture a heading.

To add words or phrases directly from a web page: Highlight the required words. Click edit and copy. Go to your working page and click edit then paste. It is then possible to change the style, size, colour and position of the writing.

The Enquiry

Click on the first sun to get work sheet 1. Click on the second sun to get work sheet 2.



Find out the meaning of the following words to make sure that you can understand the work on deserts.









You may come across other words that you do not understand.  Please add these to your key word page.

http://www.m-w.com/  is an online dictionary which may help you.

2. Web Sites

Search all or some of the following web sites to find out about the hot deserts of the world. Sites with a  * are definitely worth a visit, so start with these if you are short on time. They will give you a good range of information.

Look at a map of the deserts of the world, and find out which are the largest deserts in the world and what a desert is like.

Find out all you wanted to know (and more) about camels!

* Look at these photographs of the Atacama desert in South America and add words to your work pages to describe what you can see.

Find out about Death Valley in the USA

Some more information and lots of photos on Death Valley

Look at pictures of the Mojave Desert in the USA.  This page might take a little while to load!

* Animals and plants of the desert

http://www.vegasresidences.com/imageslasvegas.htm* Is this really a desert?

Pictures of the United Arab Emirates in the Arabian desert.

*Life in Algeria, one of Oxfam’s On the Line countries

*Western Sahara Refugee camp through the eyes of Omar, aged 12 and
Salma, aged 13