the Arctic and Antarctic

Animals of the Antarctic Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn about the interesting adaptations that help some Antarctic 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 if they were surprised to find out that penguins are only found in the wild in Antarctica (not in the Arctic). Ask them what else they learned from the slideshow and encourage them to talk about why they would like to know more about.
  2. Write about it: Tell students that there are research stations in the Antarctic. Ask them to write a few sentences explaining what they think life would be like for a person who works in one of those stations. Ask them to think about how humans might cope with such a harsh 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 Antarctic Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to Antarctic animals by reading the definition and using the word in a sentence.



Tourists on Antarctica
Grade: 5 - 8
Students research the effect of tourism on the Antarctic ecosystem and write arguments about whether Antarctic tourism should be continued.



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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