Establish Prior Knowledge
Call on students to share what they know about Antarctica, its climate, and its wildlife. Discuss the challenges scientists face as they conduct research in this part of the world.
Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Have students work in small teams to explore Antarctica. Assign each team one of the following research topics:
Describe the geography and geology of Antarctica.
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/%7Ekpt/terraquest/va/science/geography/geography.html - C
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/%7Ekpt/terraquest/va/science/geology/geology.html - B
Describe the weather and climate of Antarctica
Describe Antarctic animals and the adaptations that allow them to live in this harsh environment.
Describe the Antarctic ice cap, glaciers, pack ice, sea ice, and icebergs.
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/%7Ekpt/terraquest/va/science/snow/snow.html - A
Describe the marine and terrestrial environments of Antarctica.
Describe the effect of global warming and ozone depletion in Antarctica
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/%7Ekpt/terraquest/va/ecology/ecology.html - B
Call on teams to share their findings with the rest of the class. You can use the following questions to wrap-up the activity:
- What have you learned about Antarctica that you didn’t know before?
- What new questions do you have about this continent and the research that is being conducted there?