Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Elementary (K-4)
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 air.
And polar weather happens there.
Take some warm clothes if you go.
Just how cold is it at forty or more below?
Polar winds blow on polar seas.
But there are no trees to catch that breeze.
Polar air puts on a show.
What is it that makes those auroras glow?
Antarctic winds blow cold air around.
But not much snow falls on the ground.
Antarctic air is cold and dry.
Arctic air, too. Do you know why?
North Pole, South Pole, both cold as ice.
Even in summer, not that nice.
And above the Antarctic and its pole
What is that? An ozone hole?
Emperor penguins are just wizards.
At surviving the Antarctic blizzards.
Polar birds fly in the cold polar air.
But do any penguins ever fly up there?
Polar air changes as seasons come and go.
It rains a little and, of course, there is some snow.
Winter. Summer. Polar air cools and warms.
But in spring are there any thunderstorms?
Not many clouds in the sky on polar nights.
Very dark even with so many stars in sight.
Arctic wolves howling at the polar Moon.
Is it the same one you might see in June?
All year round polar air goes up and down.
Over seas and over ground moving fast and all around.
If you went there on vacation, caught yourself a polar flight.
Would you pack wool jammies to stay warm at polar night?
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.
If you know the answer, then please do share.
What does changing polar ice have to do with polar air?
Polar Air Essential Questions:
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.
Comparing Earth's Poles
Here are some sites to find some printables for your polar book, mobile and/or diorama.
Earth Science Basics
Just About Polar Air
Antarctica's Climate Secrets
Beyond Polar Bears and Penguins
Digital Library for Earth System Science
Home to the Poles Virtual Bookshelf
NASA International Polar Year for Educators
Arctic and Antarctic Air: Are they the same or different?
Want to Connect Polar Ice to Polar Air? - Investigations Extension
What if? - Polar Ice and Polar Air Investigation Extension
Learn About Polar Air
Design an Polar Air Investigation