Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Highights for Kids

I found some cool facts about Taiwan on this Highlight magazine website for kids.

I will have to show them to my 1st graders. They love this kind of stuff.

Q Where is Taiwan?

A Taiwan is an island in the Pacific Ocean just off the east coast of China. It is separated from China by the Taiwan Strait. The tropic of Cancer runs through the middle of Taiwan. This means that the southern part of Taiwan is in the “Tropics.”

Q Does Taiwan have any nicknames?

A Taiwan is sometimes called “Ilha Formosa,” which means “beautiful island” in Portuguese. Portuguese sailors gave Taiwan this name in the sixteenth century. Taiwan is also part of the Republic of China, which includes the islands Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and a number of smaller islands.

Q What is the land like?

A Taiwan has a diverse landscape. It has mountain ranges, foothills, tablelands (flat, elevated regions), and coastal plains and basins. The Chungyang Shanmo (Central Mountain Range) covers two-thirds of the country. The highest peak in this range is called Yu Shan (Mount Jade), which reaches 12,959 feet (3,950 meters).

Q What is the temperature like?

A There are two seasons in Taiwan: the hot season, which lasts from May to October; and the cool season, which lasts from November to March. During the summer (hot season), the temperature in low-lying coastal regions can rise to 95 degrees F (35 degree C). In winter, temperatures can go down to 41 degrees F (5 degrees C). Coastal regions are very humid, though, which can make the hot seem hotter and the cool seem cooler. In the mountains of Taiwan, temperatures stay a bit cooler year-round. In the coldest months, you might even find snow on the peaks of high mountains.

Q What is Taiwan’s most extreme weather?

A Taiwan has typhoons, violent tropical cyclones that begin in the ocean but can sweep across land. The typhoon season in Taiwan lasts from mid-August until early October, and up to six storms might hit Taiwan during that season each year. Hurricanes are another type of tropical cyclone. An intense tropical cyclone is named “typhoon” or “hurricane” depending on where on the globe it occurs.

Q What animals live in Taiwan?

A Mammals living in Taiwan include black bears, wild boars, rock-monkeys, mongooses, leopards, sambars (a type of large deer), dolphins, and whales. Amphibians include many types of tree frogs and salamanders. Reptiles include lizards, turtles, and snakes. There are also different types of insects, fishes, and birds.

Q How big is Taiwan?

A Taiwan is about 242 miles (390 km) long and 87 miles (140 km) wide at its widest point. Its total area is nearly 13,900 square miles (36,000 square km), which means its size is between that of Maine and Indiana.

Q What is the largest city in Taiwan?

A Taiwan’s largest city is Taipei, which is located on the northern tip of the island.

Q How many people live in Taiwan?

A The population of Taiwan is more than 22 million. That means that on average, there are 1,595 persons per square mile (616 persons per square kilometer). In Taipei, Taiwan's most crowded urban area, there are an average of 25,219 persons living in each square mile (9,737 per square km). So a space the size of a football field in Taipei would contain the homes of 44 people. Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, second only to Bangladesh.

Q What language do they speak?

A While Taiwan has more than one hundred actively spoken Chinese dialects, its national language is Mandarin, which is also the national language of the Chinese Mainland. Southern Fujianese (also called Taiwanese) and Hakka are two major dialects also spoken by many of the island’s inhabitants. Mandarin is used as a universal language so that everyone can communicate with one other. It is spoken in government, school, and other public functions. Less formal conversations are held in dialect.

Q What sort of government does Taiwan have?

A Like the United States, Taiwan is a democracy—a system in which government officials are elected by the people.

Q What sort of things does Taiwan produce?

A The making of electronic devices for computers and other machinery is the major industry in Taiwan. Most consumer electronics (computers, games, CD/DVD players, etc.) contain components manufactured in Taiwan. The other major industries include plastics, chemicals, machinery, and agriculture.

1 comment:

  1. I used to read Highlights magazine when I went to the dentist. It was such a treat.