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Antarctica Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Learning about Antarctica can be a great way for students to get excited about geography. This lesson offers activities that will make it fun for students to study Antarctica.

Studying Antarctica

Are you trying to get your students to know more about world geography? One way to do this is to get them engrossed in a study of the continents. A continent that most students have heard of but few know very much about is Antarctica. Yet between its interesting history of exploration, its extreme and unusual climate, and the beloved animals that live there, Antarctica has much to offer young geographers. The activities in this lesson are oriented toward teaching students about Antarctica while appealing to a variety of learning styles and strengths.

Visual Activities

This section offers activities designed to be useful for visual learners. These kinds of students learn best while using images to make sense of content and graphic organizers to incorporate new knowledge and information.

Map Making

Break your students into small groups for this activity. Each group is responsible for using paper and pencils to make a two-dimensional map of Antarctica. Each map should include a legend, shading for climate variations, and pattern for elevations. Then, have groups make clay models to go along with their maps. In addition to the features included on the map, their models should incorporate surrounding oceans and other important landforms such as icebergs. When the clay dries, students can paint their models.

Animal Collage

One of the most interesting aspects of Antarctica has to do with the different species that live there. Ask students to work in partnerships or small groups to research the penguins, seals and other animals that call Antarctica their home. Then, have students look through catalogues, magazines, or online to find images of these animals. They should cut and paste the images they find to create a collage of Antarctica's fauna. Then, bring them together to discuss what these species have in common and what adaptations enable them to live in such an unusual climate.

Travel Guide

This can be a really fun activity for students to work on in partnerships. Ask each pair to take charge of creating a travel guide for others who might be interested in visiting or exploring Antarctica. Their guide should include images, fun facts, and key safety information about the continent. It is fine for the travel guides to be humorous as long as they also contain true facts about Antarctica. When students are finished, give them a chance to showcase the brochures they came up with and reflect on what was interesting or challenging about this activity.

Verbal Activities

The activities in this section rely on students' abilities to read, write, speak and listen. Learners who rely on language are especially likely to thrive on these activities.

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