the Arctic and Antarctic

Animals of the Arctic Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn about the interesting adaptations that help some Arctic animals survive.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

The two polar regions at the very ends of the Earth are among the coldest, windiest, and most remote places on the planet. A huge, frozen MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "The Top of the Top" is a good one for the first slide? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Ask students to speculate why it's often difficult to gather detailed information on Arctic animals. (Harsh climate makes observation difficult, long migrations make animals hard to track, etc.)
  2. Write about it: Ask students to pretend they are writing a travel brochure for the Arctic region. Have them use persuasive writing to try to convince potential travelers why they should visit such a cold environment.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on the Arctic and Antarctic.


Animals of the Arctic Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to Arctic animals by reading the definition and using the word in a sentence.



The Arctic
Grade: 5 - 8
Students use what they know about the Arctic along with reference materials to fill out an Arctic region knowledge chart.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Arctic & Antarctic

Discover the icy wastes of the polar regions and the remarkable plants and animals that survive in such hostile conditions.

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