Level: Year 9
Afghanistan has been described as a crossroads on The Silk Road, where it was a nucleus of cultural, artistic and economic activity. But how does Afghanistan’s geographic position explain its importance in world affairs today and throughout history?
Task 1: Map the layer
- Begin with the blank map provided on this worksheet. Add in the countries that neighbour Afghanistan. Refer to an atlas or a map online. Find maps online using Google maps.
- Now begin adding layers to your map by overlaying A4 tracing paper or clear sheets, one at a time. You may find coloured pens, pencils or textas useful in this activity. Continue referring to your atlas or online references. On the first extra sheet, trace Afghanistan’s outline and add in key physical features —mountains, rivers, plains.
- On the next sheet, again trace Afghanistan’s outline and then add in the major cities and regions.
- On the next sheet, within a new outline, indicate vegetation zones across the country, such as desert, forest and grasslands.
Task 2: Evaluate Afghanistan’s key assets
In small groups, refer to your maps and discuss the following questions.
- What is Afghanistan at the centre of?
- How would the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush affect Afghanistan’s relationships with its neighbours, now and in the past?
- In what ways does its position in central Asia make Afghanistan strategically important? To whom is it important?
- How does its position make it important for trade in the area?
Task 3: Fill in the picture
- Add extra overlay sheets and indicate each of the following elements.
Review the information you have collated on your maps. In terms of its development, how good is Afghanistan’s current position...
- economic activity
- land use
- ethnic distribution and language groups
- population density
- the four archaeological sites featured in the Hidden Treasures exhibition at Melbourne Museum – Tepe Fullol, Ai Khanum, Begram and Tillya Tepe.
Note: For more information go to The United Nations Indicators of Development (PDF at Human Development Report)
Task 4: Conclude— Is Afghanistan a developed country?
- From what you have discovered so far, is it possible to describe Afghanistan as a developed country? Why? What does this mean for the people who live there and the future of the country? Outline your views in a descriptive paragraph.
- Share your written conclusions with the rest of the class.