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Home>K-12 Resources>Antarctic Lessons

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The Polar Regions: Antarctic Lessons

 
Elementary Middle School High School

Appropriate for Grades K-6

Bancroft Arensen Explore Antarctica Curriculum

Downloadable curricula are provided here for Grades K-6 (one for each grade level). You can pick and choose specific lessons, such as "What's for Dinner in Antarctica", or can download an entire curriculum. This curriculum uses material from the Bancroft Arenson expedition. Some links at the expedition site no longer work, but these are great lessons.

Standards: inference, analysis, reflection, communication, problem-solving
Nature of Science: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry (Evidence and Reasoning in Inquiry).
Life Sciences: Understands relationships among organisms and their environment.


Antarctica - Early Explorers

This lesson designed for students in Grades 3-4 provides links to 5 sites along with questions to be answered at each site. Students will have the best luck if they choose the View in Frames button to get started. The reading levels of some of the selected sites may be difficult for some students. Students may need to scroll down to see the timeline content on the first site. Resource contributed by Dale Cockrill, a 3-4 teacher.

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


Today's Forecast - Antarctica

Students in grades 3-5 should enjoy this activity which involves graphing the temperature in the Antarctic. Students will also get practice converting data from Fahrenheit to Celsius and from Celsius to Fahrenheit. Unit designed by teacher who was part of the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic program.

Earth Science Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Math Standard 4: Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement


Cyber Hunt: Explore Antarctica

A lesson for students in grades 3-4 that takes students to a series of sites where students are to fill in the answers to questions posed by the teacher. A complete and quick scavenger-hunt type lesson with the sites that have the answers already identified. Click on a View button to see the sites and questions.

Geography World In Spatial Terms Standard 1: Understands characteristics and uses of maps, globes, etc.
Geography World In Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment.

Life Sciences Standard 6: Understands relationships between organisms and their physical environment


Lessons About the South Pole

Suggestions for activities relating to insulation, time zones, temperature, and solar energy. These activities are probably most appropriate for grades 3-5.

Geography Environment and Society Standard 15: Understands how physical systems affect human systems
Geography World In Spatial Terms Standard 1: Understands characteristics and uses of maps, globes, etc.
Geography World In Spatial Terms Standard 2: Knows location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment.


Learning to Take Scientific Notes

Uses an edible sediment core simulation to stimulate the interest of students in grades 4-6 in scientific work occurring on Cape Roberts. Teaches data collection in a very fun way. The unit designed by a fourth grade teacher associated with the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic program.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


Appropriate for Grades 5-9

Antarctica: The Frozen Continent

Designed for middle school students, this lesson provides links to 5 sites along with factual and higher-order thinking questions for each of the sites. Illustrates how to use a few sites intensively to teach students quite a bit about a topic. Choose either View button to go to the content of this Track. Contributed by Jaime Rearley.

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


Classroom Antarctica

Designed for middle school students, this rich set of lessons from our colleagues in Australia will introduce students to Antarctica and some of its rich history. This is a great site for teaching students to use scientific data (see Unit 5, for an example) and teachers will find many useful resources to support the units. Much of it is in PDF format so once you download it you have it forever. This is a must-see!

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
Life Sciences Standard 6: Understands relationships among organisms and their physical environment
Nature of Science Standard 12: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry


It Came From Outer Space

This TEA classroom lesson helps middle school students understand why Antarctica is a great place to locate meteorites. Use the links at the bottom of the lesson to locate the necessary resources. You can contact the teacher who designed this lesson if you have any questions.

Earth Science Standard 3: Understands the composition and structure of the universe and the Earth's place in it


Live From Antarctica Teacher's Guide

Each of the links entitled Program #, outlines a full lesson plan to help upper elementary or middle school students learn about the topic. There are many hands-on experiments described such as: fossil making (Project 2); making a CO2 Test box (Project 3); and measuring impact of global warming on sea level rise (Project 4). Project 1 provides opportunities to work with maps to better understand the concepts. An excellent resource!

Standards: conducting experiments, mapping, charting, inference, analysis, reflection, communication.


Fossils of Antarctica - Glencoe

In this WebQuest, students do some Internet research on the fossils of Antarctica. They learn what fossils have been found in Antarctica, and what those fossils indicate about the climate and location of the continent millions of years ago. Students also learn why so few fossils have been found in Antarctica. Finally, students answer some questions about the fossils of Antarctica, based on their Internet research.

Standards: inference, analysis, reflection, communication, problem-solving
Nature of Science: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
Life Sciences: Understands relationships among organisms and their environment.


Antarctica: A WebQuest

Middle school students should enjoy this webquest which asks the question of whether the Antarctic should be opened for commercial and/or recreational use.

Standards: inference, analysis, reflection, communication, problem-solving
Nature of Science: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry (Evidence and Reasoning in Inquiry).
Nature of Science: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
Physical Sciences: Understands the sources and properties of energy.
Life Sciences: Understands relationships among organisms and their environment.



Appropriate For Grades 9-12

Caring For Antarctica

The teacher's manual and student modules for the LearnZ Antarctica expedition is designed for high school students. This manual includes all the details and many of the needed student handouts. Students can really learn a lot through the activities outlined, but you will need to review the material and information carefully beforehand to be sure that you have all the materials needed. LearnZ has new expeditions every semester, so you may want to use this interactive site to support learning about other places too.

Standards: conducting experiments, mapping, charting, inference, analysis, reflection, communication.
Life Sciences Standard 6: Understands relationships between organisms and their physical environment


International Symposium On Environmental Issues

Is there a relationship between the ozone layer and phytoplankton? What effect might that have on the food chain in Antarctica. These are questions that students in grades 9-10 try to answer in this WebQuest.

Standards: inference, analysis, reflection, communication, problem-solving
Nature of Science: Understands the nature of scientific inquiry (Evidence and Reasoning in Inquiry).
Life Sciences: Understands relationships among organisms and their environment.
Earth and Space Sciences: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle.

 

 

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Quick Peek!
 

 

Five children in classroom with two having hands inside a blubber glove in small basins of water.

Students in a third grade class try out the blubber glove experiment that is outlined at Live from Antarctica.

 
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Quick Fact!
  The Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 nations in 1959 and ratified in 1961. Learn more about what this treaty contains that allows different nations to study this continent at Classroom Antarctica.  
 
 
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