Science Sunday: The Polar World
The North Pole is located at the top of the Earth. The Arctic area consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, the United States, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland. Temperatures as low as -70 degrees Celsius have been recorded in Northern Greenland. Arctic ice contains approximately ten percent of the world’s fresh water.
The South Pole is located at the bottom of the Earth surrounded by the continent of Antarctica, which is the coldest, driest, and windiest place on Earth. In some areas, the ice is almost 5 kilometers thick. There are no permanent inhabitants of Antarctica, only scientists who live there for short periods of time. The Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Indian Oceans all meet in this area.
Animals that live in these polar regions have special adaptations to allow them to survive and thrive in such cold environments. Other interesting phenomena, such as the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) and the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis), can be seen near the North and South Poles.
See if you can answer these questions using the resources linked below: (This type of investigation is called a “webquest”, and you often learn loads of other information while searching for the answers to specific questions.)
– Because of the permafrost, the layer of ice just under the surface of the ground, what cannot grow in the Arctic and Antarctic?
– How many babies do mother polar bears typically give birth to at one time?
– What do walruses use their long tusks for?
– Name three kinds of whales that live near Antarctica.
– How many layers of hair do reindeer have?
– How fast can penguins swim?
– Explain why the northern lights and southern lights occur at the Earth’s Poles and not in other areas of the world.
– What is unusual about the fur of arctic foxes?
– This type of owl lives farther north than any other.
– Name an environmental threat that is currently impacting the Arctic.
Read About It
Polar and Tundra Regions
World Wildlife Fund https://www.worldwildlife.org/habitats/polar-regions
National Geographic Kids https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/nature/habitats/article/polar
DK Find Out https://www.dkfindout.com/us/animals-and-nature/habitats-and-ecosystems/arctic/
Polar Bear Facts
World Wildlife Fund
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/reindeer-caribou
Australian Antarctic Program https://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/animals/
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
What Are the Northern Lights? https://www.highlightskids.com/explore/science-questions/what-are-the-northern-lights
Watch & Learn
A Walk Through the Arctic for Kids
How Narwhals Use Their Tusks to Hunt Fish
Play & Learn
Discovery Education’s Living With Polar Bears Virtual Field Trip https://www.discoveryeducation.com/learn/tundra-connections/
Snow Volcano Science Experiment https://www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com/snow-volcano-science-experiment/
30 Cool Winter Science Experiments https://www.weareteachers.com/winter-science/
Highlights 14 Winter-Themed Science Experiments https://www.highlights.com/parents/family-activities/14-winter-science-experiments
Arctic Animals Memory Game
National Geographic Kahoot Game to Test Your Knowledge of Antarctica
Fun Activities (coloring pages, word searches, etc.)
Paper Walrus Craft for Kids https://iheartcraftythings.com/paper-walrus-craft-for-kids.html
Popsicle Stick Arctic Wolves https://onelittleproject.com/popsicle-stick-arctic-wolves/
Egg Carton Penguin Craft https://www.diythought.com/egg-carton-penguin-craft/
Create Your Own Snow Dough https://www.123homeschool4me.com/antarctica-activity-with-snow-dough_70/
Polar animals printables https://easypeasylearners.com/free-polar-animals-do-a-dot-printables/
Arctic animals coloring pages http://www.supercoloring.com/coloring-pages/tags/arctic-animals
Dot to Dot
Polar Bear dot to dot: http://www.supercoloring.com/dot-to-dots/polar-bear
Humpback Whale dot to dot: https://www.connectthedots101.com/worksheet/2232-Humpback-Whale-dot-to-dot
Lesson Plans, Projects, and Resources
Arctic Animals worksheets: https://www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com/free-arctic-animals-worksheets/
The Magic School Bus in the Arctic Lesson Plan: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plans/teaching-content/magic-school-bus-arctic-lesson-plan/