Lesson One: Objectives
By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:
    • Describe an Arctic Ecosystem
    • Differentiate between an Arctic and an Antarctic Ecosystem
    • Identify animals of an Arctic Ecosystem
    • Identify plants of an Arctic Ecosystem


Engage: Activate Prior Knowledge; Generate Interest

Display a picture of a polar bear. Ask students to list things they would find where the polar bear lives. D9C3772F-B141-1FCD-1C052BEA1D61FCB9.jpg Write the responses on the board or on chart paper. Do not correct them if they list things that would not be found in the Arctic, plan to revisit the list after they have explored the concept.

DE Polar Bear Photo
Pictures of polar bears at www.polarbearsinternational.org

Explore: Allowing Students to Experience Content

Explain to students that a polar bear lives in the Arctic. Explain that they will now be exploring what can be found in the Arctic. Explain that they are going to watch a short animation, they should watch and try to remember everything that they learn about the Arctic.

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Show the DE animation Arctic. After the animation, ask the students what they learned. Add responses to your list from before.

Ask students if they saw any penguins in the animation. If “penguin” was on the original list ask students if they still think that penguins are found where polar bears are found.

Explain to the students that they will be watching another animation. This time about the Antarctic. Show the DE animation Antarctic.

Link to DE Animation Arctic
Link to DE Animation Antarctic
Youtube video and song called 3-2-1 Contact: Arctic/Antarctic that compares the Arctic and Antarctic.

Explain: Firm Up Understanding; Allow Students to Explain What They Know

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Make a new chart on the board. This time comparing Arctic to Antarctic. Have students tell you which items from your original list belong on the Arctic side and which on the Antarctic.

A Venn Diagram is also a good tool to allow the students compare and contrast the Arctic and the Antarctic.

Explore: Allowing Students to Experience Content

Explain to the students that you will now be exploring different animals of the Arctic.
Divide students into groups of 2 or 3 and have them play the Arctic animals card game.
Arctic animals card game: For each group, print out two copies of the Arctic animals flash cards.
Have students place cards picture side down and mix them up. Students take turns turning two cards at a time to make a match.

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To make a similar game for Antarctic animals, use these picture cards.
To learn more about the animals of the Antarctic, visit this website

Elaborate: Allow Students to Apply What They Know

As a class, gather the materials to make an Arctic Sensory Box similar to the one in this picture.

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Project: Have students write a poem about an arctic or antarctic ecosystem. The poem should include information about the location, climate, and animals found in that ecosystem.

Here is a great resource for doing poetry with students.

Evaluate: Check for Understanding

Have students color and complete the Arctic Animals review sheet.

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This online activity can be used to evaluate understanding with older students who can read.

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