Arctic Science

This is so cool!  You can now explore the Arctic in real-time with Google Maps:

During our Arctic unit, we talk about what animals eat.
A lot of arctic animals eat fish so we have a fish tasting day. This just involves using a can of tuna and/or a can of salmon. We pretend to be hungry animals and eat up the arctic fish. Some of the kids love it and others don’t. This then can also be used as a math activity to graph the likes and dislikes.

This idea involves making a purchase, but I assure you it is worth it. Living in S. California I don’t have much access to snow. I discovered that Lakeshore has a material called InstaSnow that looks and feels like the real thing. It even stays cold! I put some of this in a small plastic pool, or you can put it in a bucket or sensory table, and add some arctic animals (plastic toys). The kids love it:-)

Color recognition game: Matching the fish to the penguin.
Create a file folder game by adding clip art penguins in different colors. Ask the children to match colored clip art pictures of fish to their coordinating penguin.

Blubber Glove – To demonstrate how the blubber keeps the seals, whales, etc. warm we make a blubber glove. Take a quart size zip bag and put a large amount of Crisco in it. Turn the same size zip bag inside out and zip the tops together. Tuck the one bag inside the other and duct tape the top shut so it can’t accidentally open. Squish the Crisco about so that it is evenly distributed. I also make one sandwiched bag with nothing in between. One child will place a hand in each bag and place in a basin of water and ice (I hold the edges above the water line). They can quickly identify which gets cold fastest, and can see why the Crisco one stays warm. It’s the most fun when you have real snow to float in the water! Mini icebergs!

When we study the Polar Regions, I begin with the North – the Arctic. We build an igloo using a pop-up tent, and cover it with quilt batting. I put a quilt and a box of theme-related books inside. We learn about the Inuit, polar bears, seals, Arctic foxes and hares, etc. Then it all comes down, and we move to the Antarctic. It’s Penguin time!