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Topic(s):

Cryosphere, Elementary (K-4)

 

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 water.

Polar Water

Polar water moves around.
In the sea, air and on the ground.
Fluffy clouds up in the sky.
How did water get up so high?

Polar water changes states.
It freezes, melts and evaporates.
From solid to liquid to gas and back.
This cycle has a name. Is it Jack?

Arctic rivers freeze or run.
Polar bears on ice packs sun.
Polar oceans, ice and snow.
Is drifting ice a berg or floe?

On polar land, the water's fresh.
The seas are salty, what fish like best.
The Arctic sun warms the frozen ground.
But does permafrost stay around?

Down in the Antarctic, seals on a rocky beach.
Penguins in icy water, swimming out of reach.
Out in the polar oceans, whales come and go.
Sprays of water in the air. Was that a whale hole blow?

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 having to think once or twice.
Will polar water be changed by changing polar ice?


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

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:

iceberg
Iceberg foating in a polar sea. It is much bigger than what you see. Most of it is under the water. Now how can that be? Go here to read an e-book about floating ice in the Arctic and Antartic. Use the Play button to have it read to you. Image: clipart.com



frozen tundra
Snow and ice cover the Arctic tundra in winter. In spite of all the ice and snow and oceans the Arctic and Antarctic are very dry places. How does water come and go or stay around at our poles? Go here to learn about the Water Cycle. Image: clipart.com



sea pack ice
In summer sea ice melts and open ocean waters appear. Sea ice forms along the polar coasts and out in the polar oceans. How much does polar sea ice grow and shrink with the changing of the seasons? Go here to watch Antarctic sea ice grow and shrink. Go here to watch Arctic sea ice grow and shrink. Image: clipart.com



Antarctic Glacier
Glaciers are fresh water rivers of ice that flow across, down and through mountains in the Arctic and Antarctic. They move very slowly, about 10 inches per day. But some glaciers are moving much faster. Watch this video to learn about one fast moving glacier in Greenland.
Image Credit: CoolAntarctica.com



Glacial Ice Coast
Icebergs are chunks of ice floating in the ocean. Icebergs form when huge pieces of glacial and sea ice breaks off (calving) and fall into the sea. If you think icebergs just float along quietly watch this video and see what happens when an iceberg rolls over and breaks apart. Image: clipart.com



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 some 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:

  • Water Cycle - Interactive Water Cycle for Kids from the USGS. Select Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced viewing level.
  • 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 Water (Cycle B)
Use these resrouces to learn more about polar water.


 

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 Polar Oceans. 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.

 

Exploring Ice Worlds (Cycle C)
Collection of hands-on investigations for ages 8-13 that explore the properties of ice, ice in the solar system and ice and Earth.

 

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 Water: Are they the same or are they different? (Cycle A)
What do you know about polar water? Want to learn more?

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

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 Water Book (Cycle A)
Use what you know and what you can find out to make a book about polar water.
Make a Polar Water Book for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Make a Polar Water Mobile (Cycle A)
Use what you know and what you can find out to make a mobile about polar water.
Make a Polar Water Mobile for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Polar Water in a Shoebox (Cycle A)
Use what you know and what you can find out about polar water to make a diorama.
Polar Water in Shoebox for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

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

 

Want to Connect Polar Water to Polar Ice? Investigations Extension (Cycle A)
Now that you've completed your polar water mobile, diorama, book or Venn diagram, see how many ways you can connect polar ice to polar water.
Polar Water and Polar Ice Extension for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

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

 

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

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

    Difficulty: beginner

     

    Design an Polar Water Investigation (Cycle C)
    Use what you've learned to design an investigation that allows students to explore their own questions and these Essential Questions about Earth's polar water.

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

    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
      • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
        • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
          • Understanding about scientific inquiry
        • Physical Science (Std B)
          • Properties of objects and materials
        • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
          • Properties of earth materials
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