Continent Study: Antarctica – Resources for Antarctic and Arctic Circle

antarctic-button

I’ve been a bit remiss about geographical studies in our little home school.  We have covered bits and pieces alongside our history but I haven’t spend inordinate amount of hours on it.  This year, being an all or nothing kind of a person, I intend to go a bit mad by covering a heap of geography whilst studying the Tudor Explorers.  In addition I will also be roping the older ones into the little girls continent studies.

I had thought to cover both polar regions to go along with the little ones Five in a Row (FIAR) studies, but as I was planning it I found some incredible resources and I personally found the continent of Antarctica so very interesting I made the decision to add a whole new unit study to our already completely packed schedule.  Nuts, right?

We will carry out our continent studies every other Wednesday afternoon for just one hour.  This means there won’t be much time to study this unit for the older ones.  The younger ones will have extra study time tied in with their FIAR studies and I will also use up some of our morning meeting time for a read aloud linked to Antarctica.

I have a few books which the older ones can flick through.  They are more suited to the younger set but as I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and learnt lots of new things, I thought the older ones would probably gain something from reading them also.  The left set are a few picture books, the right set contain some of A6’s reading books for this term:

Ribbet collageantartica

In addition to the picture books I have a couple of books especially for the older children and two dvds for all the children to watch about penguins, one of the few animals hardy enough to live in the Antarctica all year round:

Ribbet collageantarctica2

I have also downloaded and printed off some magazines from this site.  I have printed the easier ones for my younger two and the harder ones for my older three:

Ribbet collageantarctica3

To make it all very exciting, I have found some stamps from the Antarctica, which I intend to stick on an envelope, pop in the magazines and write each child’s name and address on them.  Each Wednesday, my mum has kindly agreed to post them through the door at around the same time as the post man (she lives next door).  Receiving their own mail through the post is always very exciting, so I am hoping the idea of Antartica Magazines arriving form Antartica will very much float their boat and create a great deal of excitement towards their new study.  I have also photocopied old editions of The South Pole Times written in the 1930’s, just for a bit of added extra fun:

DSC_0620antarctica

The children will also be making a dough map of Antarctica, a diorama, writing an essay comparing the north and south polar regions, researching what is going on in Antarctica right now, scientifically speaking and presenting the information in whatever way they wish, using this report to guide them:

DSC_0619antarctica

And last but not least we will be dipping our toes into experimenting with a bit of Readers’ Theatre.  I have downloaded a play written about the Antartica, where the children take on the parts of the animals which live there:

Ribbet collageantartica4

If we have time (ahem) I’m going to get the children to carry out some planning for the youngest ever expedition to Antarctica!  I got this idea from this website which has many links to help them out.

Hopefully this will be an interesting study into the continent which claims to be untouched by man.

21 comments

  1. My boys are brilliant geographers – embarrassingly better than me by miles – due to their interest in football, YoYo fruit roll-up Round the World cards (sadly they’ve discontinued this line) and a Christmas present of a scratch-off map of the world made up of the names of food. I particularly loved that last one; it reminded me of http://ourfamilyfoodadventures.com/. It doesn’t sound like you really have enough time to add anything more but I thought I’d pass along the ideas anyway!

  2. Looks like an excellent unit study. One of my all time favorite penguin books is Mr. Popper’s Penguins. It is a fun little fictional tale. It amazes me that you find so many different resources to go along with your studies. Stamps from Antarctica. Who knew? I’m looking forward to your future posts.

    Have a lovely day, Claire.

    1. You know me – I’m the biggest kid of all. We spent huge amounts of time making snow and ice for our map from shaving foam today. I have waaay too much fun!

  3. I didn’t see it in your resource pictures, but your older children might enjoy reading about Earnest Shackleton. There is a rather popular book called”Endurance” that chronicles his adventures in the Antarctic, and my kids also enjoyed listening to a “Your Story Hour” cd recording of the Shackleton story. Those aren’t specifically geography resources, but it certainly brings home the lessons of how different the polar regions are from us temperate climaters, and also how difficult it is to survive.

    1. I smiled at your suggestion, Dana. I am related to Shackleton on my mum’s side, so we will definitely be doing some sort of study on him. How could I not, he’s family!! Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. It will be so interesting to read about how you’re exploring Antarctica with such varied ages – once again I wish I was a homeschooler – your ideas are just so fun & inspiring!

  5. I wanted to ask what the specific website was you downloaded the readers theatre from, as well as the title. Love your blog!

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