North Pole Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

We all know why the North Pole becomes popular in December. In this lesson, explore beyond the holiday images and discover the climate, wildlife, and unique aspects of the northernmost point on the globe!

Where Exactly is the North Pole?

Where is the most northern place in the world? You might know it as the location of Santa's workshop, but let's explore the history, environment and wildlife of the North Pole. It is located in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, which is frozen almost entirely year round. If you were to stand exactly on the North Pole, the only direction you could travel is south!

The North Pole is located at the most northern point of the Earth.
North Pole map

History of Exploration

The North Pole has been popular for explorers to attempt to visit for hundreds of years. Many exploration trips ended either in disaster or in the explorers turning around and returning home due to harsh weather conditions. Frederick Cook was an American explorer who first claimed to discover the North Pole in 1908. Another U.S. explorer, Robert Peary also made this claim a year later. These claims have not been proven by scientists or those who study history. Currently there are many explorations that travel to the North Pole, many by airplane, boat, or submarine.

Climate and Wildlife

We all know the North Pole is cold, but the weather there is like summertime compared to the South Pole. That is, if you consider average winter temperatures of -22 degrees Fahrenheit to be like summertime weather! The summer temperatures average around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Definitely don't pack your shorts and flip flops for a North Pole vacation!

Because it is so cold year-round, there are not many animals that can survive this environment. Many people think polar bears are common in the North Pole but they actually do not travel that far north. There are several species of birds that travel to the North Pole, including the Arctic snow bunting and the Arctic tern. The tern travels to and from the South and North Poles every year!

The Arctic snow bunting is one of the few animals that can survive the climate of the North Pole.
Arctic Snow Bunting

Sea life is limited as well. In the Arctic Ocean near the North Pole scientists have found shrimp and fish including the Arctic cod. However, many sea animals do not travel far enough north to reach the North Pole.

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