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The Polar Regions: Antarctic Information

Antarctic Antics

This collection of 5 web sites have been chosen to support a multimedia research project on Antarctica to be built by students in Grades 3-4. Click on one of the View buttons to see the lesson. Resource contributed by Nancy McCormick.

ISTE Student Technology Standard 3: Uses technology productivity tools
ISTE Student Technology Standard 4: Uses technology communications tools
Geography World In Spatial Terms Standard 1: Understands characteristics and uses of maps, globes, etc.
Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands physical and human characteristics of place


The Endurance - Shackelton

This information is provided on relatively short pages with very short excerpts from the diaries of the explorers. A relatively quick way to gain an appreciation of the polar explorer, Shackelton and his crew. Developing and reviewing a glossary before starting to read this site may help young or struggling readers as some vocabulary is difficult. Easy to navigate within this site to find the answers to specific questions.

World History Era of Revolutions Standard 35: Understands patterns of nationalism, state-building, and social reform in Europe and the Americas from 1830 to 1914
Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography Environment and Society Standard 15: Understands how physical systems affect human systems
Uses of Geography Standard 17: Understands how geography is used to interpret the past


Race for the South Pole (1909-1912)

This site gives a short introduction to two other explorers of Antarctica. These would be useful for students doing research on famous persons or those specifically studying history of polar regions. The photos of the men are superb and the map although somewhat sketchy is helpful in understanding the expeditions. The timeline format is quite easy to read and could be used to assist students in creating their own explorer timeline.

World History Era of Revolutions Standard 35: Understands patterns of nationalism, state-building, and social reform in Europe and the Americas from 1830 to 1914
Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 1: Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, etc.
Uses of Geography Standard 17: Understands how geography is used to interpret the past
Geography Environment and Society Standard 15: Understands how physical systems affect human systems


Antarctica Automatic Weather Stations

How cold does it really get in Antarctica? Use the data here to determine which areas of Antarctica are warmer than others or use archived data to plot changes in temperature over several months. It'll make you glad you don't have to live there


Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment
Nature of Science Standard 11: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
Nature of Science Standard 12: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry
Mathematics Standard 6: Understands and applies basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis


Warnings From The Ice

This web site which accompanies the NOVA film of the same name has a plethora of facts about this frozen continent. It's a great place for students to do research on changes in this continent over time (see Ice Core Timeline) or to simply gather facts on the continent and the wildlife who live there (Antarctic Almanac). A glossary at this site is good preparation for students who will be using more advanced sites for research or reading the diaries of explorers.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure
Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment


McMurdo LTER Data

This site provides access to much data about the weather, streams, lakes, glaciers and soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment
Nature of Science Standard 11: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
Nature of Science Standard 12: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry
Mathematics Standard 6: Understands and applies basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis


Cool Antarctica Fact File

Written at a level understandable by students in grades 5-12, this site provides answers to many of the questions people have about Antarctica, such as: a) what's it like; b) weather and solar phenomena; c) the animals; and d) sea ice and icebergs. In addition there is a large section devoted to the History of Antarctica. Many of the pages have graphics that really add to a student's understanding.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment
Nature of Science Standard 11: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
Nature of Science Standard 12: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry


Mt. Erebus Volcano Observatory

Great movies and video of eruptions of Mt. Erebus to add to your unit on volcanoes. It is hard to believe that an active volcano exists in Antarctica. Some nice maps of the geology of the region.

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Knows the Earth's composition and structure


Diving Under Antarctic Ice

This site helps students understand what it is like to work as a diver for a scientific expedition in Antarctica. There are jobs available for people who think this would be an interesting profession. Many graphics make this site attractive and the text is broken into short, and fascinating chunks. Reading level is good for most students in grades 5-12. Note that the graphics are not to be used in student projects without written permission!

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment
Nature of Science Standard 11: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
Nature of Science Standard 12: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry


Summer On Ice

Written by a student, this site provides several quick facts in an easy-to-read format. One very useful part is a comparison of the North Pole and South Pole.

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Geography World in Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment


Life At The End Of The World

A slide show by a geologist explaining many facts about Antarctica. Simple, yet interesting. It gives a clear picture of a field season on the ice and some of the challenges involved. Very little reading required, so would be excellent for ESL or students with learning challenges. Also available in Japanese.

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place


Information Sheets From Antarctica - New Zealand

You can't go wrong with these authoritative 1-5 page information sheets about most aspects of Antarctica. A great place for student research for middle-high school students. The information was produced by the New Zealand Antarctic Institute which manages Scott Base.

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place


Understanding Polar Weather

USA Today brings you this informative comparison of weather in Antarctica and the Arctic. This is also a good way to view current weather, forecasts, and climate guides for the Polar Regions. Suitable for upper elementary and middle school.

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place
Earth and Space Sciences: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle.


Secrets Of The Ice

A very rich site from the Museum of Science where students, grades 4-12, can learn a lot about the environment of Antarctica and the Ice Core research being done there. Lots of things to read and see here.

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place.
Earth and Space Sciences: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle.
Nature of Science: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry.


Zoom School Antarctica

Geared to the young elementary student, this site provides online activities, easy-to-read information, jokes, maps, etc.

Geography Places and Regions Standard 4: Understands the physical and human characteristics of place.


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Quick Peek!
 


A mass of pink shrimp-like crustaceans. These are probably dead since they are pink.

KRILL
Photo by Stephen Nicol.
Copyright: Australian Antarctic Division.

Antarctic krill are the principal food of whales, but are much bigger than most people think. Find out how big they are and whether they are an endangered species by visiting Time to Krill.

 
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Quick Fact!
 

If all the ice in Antarctica melted, it would raise the level of the world's oceans by over 200 feet (60 meters). While this is not expected to happen in the near future, it is clear that higher global temperatures may have a substantial effect on ice flow and calving of icebergs, thus raising sea-level.

 
 
 
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