Antarctica

Barbara J. Feldman

Antarctica is a cold, dry, icy, mountainous continent that surrounds the South Pole. Although few animals can survive the extreme conditions in the interior of the continent, the surrounding seas are home to penguins, seals, whales, and many kinds of flying birds. Because of a 1959 international treaty to use Antarctica mainly for scientific research, we are learning much about our planet’s past and future from the scientists and teachers that work there.

  • Australian Antarctic Division: Educational Resources5 stars

    The Australian Antarctic Division is a research and environmental protection agency with an outstanding website. This page lists all the student resources found within its virtual doors. Best bets are Classroom Antarctica (a comprehensive set of lesson plans and activities for grades five to eight), Who's Eating Who? (a sixteen-page mystery about the disappearance of tiny krill from the Southern Ocean), and printable puzzles and games from children's author and illustrator Coral Tulloch. These include word searches, cut-and-fold templates, and an Antarctic Environment board game.

  • Cool Antarctica3 stars

    Before Paul Ward began his teaching career, he spent two years as a marine biologist in Antarctica. Cool Antarctica is a showcase for his pictures and "information to further promote the status of Antarctica a wonderful and unique part of our planet." Best clicks are the captioned slide show, Antarctica Fact File ("Antarctica was imagined by the ancient Greeks, but not even seen until 1820.") and the Antarctica History Exploration Time Line.

  • Gulf of Maine Aquarium: Antartica4 stars

    GMU has created seven classroom (or homeschool) activities and experiments to help students grasp Antarctic challenges. They vary in scope from planning an Antarctic expedition to brainstorming an imaginary Antarctic marine animal that is well-adapted for the cold climate. My favorite is the Blubber Glove. Using a bucket of ice, clear plastic bags, and a pound of solid vegetable shortening, students learn how blubber helps Antarctic animals stay warm and aids buoyancy.

  • National Geographic: Antarctica5 stars

    "This highest, driest, and coldest continent was referred to in the 17th century as Terra Australis Incognita - unknown southern land. Although the continent is still largely a mystery, what is known is that Antarctica's delicate ecosystem is in danger." Learn more with four National Geographic virtual exhibits, and the Xpeditions printable Antarctica map (look for it in the lower right-hand column.) Don't miss the fun CritterCam, where you explore a virtual Antarctica from the vantage of a leopard seal.

  • NOVA: Warnings from the Ice4 stars

    The educational television show "Warnings from the Ice" appeared on NOVA in 1998, but the companion website still has plenty to teach us. Learn how scientists use frozen ice-core layers as virtual time machines to explore the earth hundreds of thousands of years ago, and as recent as twenty years ago. Take the Antarctica quiz ("It's the driest place in the world, yet it contains 70 percent of the Earth's fresh water. Where is it?") And learn what scientists think would happen if West Antarctic Ice Sheet melted and global sea levels were raised as much as twenty feet.

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "Antarctica." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 28 Nov. 2007. Web. 29 Aug. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/antarctica/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published November 28, 2007. Last modified July 9, 2014.

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