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Topic(s):

Cryosphere, Elementary (K-4), Lithosphere

 

Scenario:

Earth's Polar Places

The Arctic and Antarctic are cold, polar places.
With air, land, living things and water, too.
On a globe, two circles outline their spaces.

Antarctica is a continent. The Arctic, it is not.
North and South poles are magnetic.
On a globe, each pole is just a dot.

Earth's poles have polar ice caps.
No, not some kind of polar hats.
If you look you can see them on polar maps.

Now take your time.
And read this rhyme.
About Earth's polar land.


Polar Land

Polar land under ice and snow.
Can't see it much in winter though.
In summer on beaches there are rocks.
But could I walk there without shoes and socks?

Flat, cold land in polar places.
On the horizon fills polar spaces.
Some polar land can be very bumpy.
Do polar mountains make it lumpy?

The South Pole is not all snow and ice.
There's rocky land. Oh, how nice.
The North Pole is all white and bare.
But is there any land under there?

The Rock Cycle works on polar land.
Big, then little rocks turn to dirt and sand.
They freeze, they thaw. They spilt and crack.
In the Arctic dirt, is that a caribou track?

Polar land is not much like my home.
Colder and dryer with more space to roam.
I think if I went there, I might get lost.
If I did, could I get bitten by permafrost?

A Polar Problem?

Polar ice is changing fast.
Some wonder if it will it last.

Antarctic ice sheets break.
Floating icebergs the pieces make.

In the Arctic sea ice floes.
Melt in summer, in winter grow.

All of us trying to understand.
How will changing polar ice change polar land?


Polar Land Essential Questions:
  • How is Arctic land like Antarctic land. How is it different?
  • How is polar land like land in your neighborhood? How is it different?
  • Why is polar land important to polar life?
  • How does polar land interact with polar ice?
  • How would changes in the amount of polar ice change polar land?

With the support of NASA and in recognition and celebration of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008, this and other ESSEA modules focusing on polar topics have been created in hopes of increasing the awareness, understanding and interest of school-age children in polar conditions and research.

To view a NASA video about IPY click here.

 

Date: 5/29/2009

Scenario Images:

winter fox
An Arctic fox sleeps on the frozen tundra. There is tundra in the Antarctic, too, but no foxes lives there. Go here to read an e-book about another Arctic mammal. Use the Play button to have the book read to you. Image: clipart.com



Antarctica
Antarctica has mountains. How did they get so big? Did rocks on Antarctic beaches come from the mountains? How do rocks change? Go here to learn more about how rocks can change, the paths of the Rock Cycle. Image: clipart.com



tundra winter
In the Artic and Antarctic things grow on the rocks. Polar rocks tell polar stories about what happened a long time ago. Go here to read about someone who studies rocks. Use the Play button to have the book read to you. Image: clipart.com



tundra
Summer on the Artic tundra. Read this e-book to learn more about the Arctic tundra. Use the Play button to have the book read to you. Image: clipart.com



Mt. Erebus
Mt. Erebus, Ross Island in the Antarctic.
Read this e-book to learn more about this active volcano. Use the Play button to have the book read to you.
Image Credit: Wikipedia



Resources:

 

Comparing Earth's Poles (Cycle A)
The following resources provide comparison information and more about Earth's polar regions.


Here are some sites to find printables for your polar book, mobile and/or diorama.

 

Earth Science Basics (Cycle A)
Need information about Earth's cycles, systems and processes? These resources are for you:

  • Visit an Earth Science Museum. Use the elevator to explore the different floors and learn about Earth's systems, cycles, dinosaurs and more. For kids and teachers.
  • K-4 Earth Science Modules. Four online modules for K-4 students and teachers that include information, games and hands-on investigations exploring biomes, weather and climate, remote sensing and Earth's systems.

 

Just About Polar Land (Cycle B)
Use these resources to learn more about polar land.


 

Antarctica's Climate Secrets (Cycle C)
Complete curriculum with all the tools you'll need.

 

Beyond Polar Bears and Penguins (Cycle C)
An online magazine integrating science, literacy, and the polar regions. A goldmine for K-5 teachers. Full of activities, resources, information and classroom strategies. This issue of Beyond Polar Bears and Penguins online magazine explores Earth's poles via a Sense of Place. Includes misconceptions, activities, recommended books and more. Additional archived issues are available here.

 

Digital Library for Earth System Science (Cycle C)
The ultimate resource for Earth Science lesson plans, investigations and publications.

 

NASA International Polar Year for Educators (Cycle C)
One-stop site for useful classroom materials. Find videos, images, reading materials, curriculum-based lesson plans, posters, and more, all through our easy-to-use, searchable NASA Polar Express database. All of these items are free to download to support your teaching activities.

 

Understanding Science (Cycle C)
The mission of Understanding Science is to provide a fun, accessible, and free resource that accurately communicates what science is and how it really works. Check out the Teaching Resources page for grade level appropriate ideas and information.

 

Sample Investigations:

 

Arctic and Antarctic Land - How are they alike and how are they different? (Cycle A)
What do you know about polar land? Want to learn more?

Read these e-books to learn about our polar regions. Use the Play button to have them read to you. Pay close attention to parts that talk about polar land.

Want to try a harder one?
The Top and Bottom of the World
Use what you've learned from the e-books and what you can find out to complete one of the following Cycle A investigations.
For Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Make a Polar Land Book (Cycle A)
Create your own polar land book.
Polar Land Book For Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Make a Polar Land Mobile (Cycle A)
Make an Arctic or Antarctic mobile.
Polar Land Mobile For Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Making a Polar Land Diorama (Cycle A)
Use what you've learned about polar land to make a polar land diorama.
Making a Polar Land Diorama for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Polar Land Venn Diagram (Cycle A)
Use a Venn diagram to explore how the Arctic and Antarctic land are the same and how they are different.
Venn Diagram for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Taking a Bite Out of Polar Land (Cycle A)
Make edible models of the Arctic, Antarctic and the land where you live.
Taking a Bite Out of Polar Land For Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Want to Connect Polar Land to Polar Ice? - Investigations Extension (Cycle A)
Now that you've completed your polar land mobile, diorama, book or Venn diagram or taken a bite out of the Arctic or Antarctic, see how many ways you can connect polar ice to polar land.
Polar Land and Polar Ice Extension for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

What If? - Polar Land and Polar Ice Investigation Extension (Cycle A)
Polar ice is disappearing in some polar places. Think about all of the ways you connected polar land to Polar Land and Polar Ice Investigations Extension and explore "What would it be like if?"
What if? Extension for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Learn About Polar Land (Cycle B)
Work with your team to find answers to questions of your own and these Essential Questions about Earth's polar land:
Polar Land Essential Questions:

  • How is Arctic land like Antarctic land. How is it different?
  • How is polar land like land in your neighborhood? How is it different?
  • Why is polar land important to polar life?
  • How does polar land interact with polar ice?
  • How would changes in the amount of polar ice change polar land?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Design a Polar Land Investigation (Cycle C)
Using what you've learned, design an investigation that allows students to explore questions of their own and these Essential Questions about Earth's polar land:
Polar Land Essential Questions:

  • How is Arctic land like Antarctic land. How is it different?
  • How is polar land like land in your neighborhood? How is it different?
  • Why is polar land important to polar life?
  • How does polar land interact with polar ice?
  • How would changes in the amount of polar ice change polar land?

Difficulty: beginner

 

 

Standards:

  • Science
    National Science Education Standards - Science Content Standards http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/overview.html#content The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education.
    • K-12 UNIFYING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
      The understandings and abilities associated with the following concepts and processes need to be developed throughout a student's educational experiences:
      • Systems, order, and organization
      • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • Constancy, change, and measurement
      • Evolution and equilibrium
      • Form and function
    • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
      • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • Physical Science (Std B)
        • Properties of objects and materials
      • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
        • Properties of earth materials
      • History and Nature of Science (Std G)
        • Science as a human endeavor
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