Polar Adventure: Read All About It!

Social Studies

Students follow a real-life adventure in the North or South Pole and then chronicle it by writing a newspaper article or making a timeline.

What You Need

  • Books, magazines, and/or Internet access
  • Paper and pencils
  • Rolls of paper

What to Do

  1. Ask students what they know about the North and South Poles. What do they think it is like there? What would they take with them if they were going there? What might happen on their trip?
  2. Tell students they are going to investigate reports of an adventure to the North Pole or the South Pole and then either write a newspaper article or make a timeline summarizing the adventure.
  3. Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group either the Arctic region (North Pole) or Antarctic region (South Pole). Tell each group to focus on either a recent or a historic expedition to their region.
  4. Give students time to research their explorers. If you have Internet access, students can use the Web sites listed below.
  5. Guide students in discussions to decide what form their report will take. Possible forms include timelines, newspaper reports, and annotated maps.
  6. Display the reports on a bulletin board or assemble them into a class album. Lead a class discussion about the similarities and differences between the Arctic and Antarctica.

Internet Resources

The American Experience: Alone on the Ice/Robert Peary
Here you can learn about Robert Peary, who discovered the North Pole along with Matthew Henson and four Inuit guides.

Polar Passage
Four men set out to sail around the Arctic polar cap in an open boat. You can follow their experiences at this Web site.

Frozen Toes-Arctic Millennium Expedition
Here you can follow a team as they trek across Canada's Arctic.

Shackleton's Antarctic Odyssey
Ernest Shackleton led an expedition to the Antarctic that became one of history's great survival stories. Here you can learn about both Shackleton and a recent expedition that followed in his path.

Antarctic Philatelic Home Page
This Web site focuses on the postal history of Antarctica. You will find information about exploration at the South Pole under The Explorers.

2001 Antarctic Expedition
Spend eight weeks with an expedition that set out to learn about Antarctic seals.


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