Environment Display – Antarctica

Model and Diorama, originally uploaded by Mulsanne.

Today’s classroom display has an environmental theme in honour of Blog Action Day. I love this project which was done as part of the International Polar Year .

Dee, the teacher writes:

I began with a classroom standard, a KWL chart. On the KWL chart, students first listed what they knew (K) about Antarctica. Next, they listed questions they wanted (W) answered. Eventually, they would list what they learned (L) on the last part of the chart. The students asked some very good questions. Where do icebergs come from? What do blue whales eat in the waters surrounding Antarctica? How tall are emperor penguins? How did Shackleton and his men survive being trapped in ice? Why don’t fish freeze in the cold waters? What’s on the ocean floor? These were just a few of the questions they listed.

Not content with getting groups doing lots of online and book based research the children were able to follow and interact with the expedition team on their blog. The display came about because:

……we decided we wanted a visual representation to go along with our research. “Our Visit to The Ice” was created to provide us an avenue for artistic expression.

And it certainly did that! Have a look at all these detailed models:
Model of Palmer
Diorama
My particular favourite is a model of Shacklton’s Endurance trapped in the ice:
Model of Endurance
But the penguins are cute too :-)
Penguins in Formation

I think my students would agree that “Our Visit to The Ice” was the next best thing to a field trip to Antarctica.

I chose this display because I can’t think of anything better to be exploring with children than the wonders of such a unique and threatened environment. This is one of those projects that brings the unfamiliar to life for children and gives opportunities for deep learning. Those children will remember this project and I hope their generation will forgive ours for not taking better care of this fragile and special place.
Note Any earnings from today’s post will be donated to Common Ground a UK based charity. (As of 16/10/07 = $3)

Update: If any UK schools fancy doing something similar there are some UK teachers heading South in a few weeks . You can follow their exploits here and here – you can also find lots of lovely resources in their blog sidebars. If you create any displays based on the project please let me know :-)

4 thoughts on “Environment Display – Antarctica”

  1. Pingback: Never mind the technology, where’s the learning? » Blog Archive » Blog Action Day
  2. I am really interested to know what the students thought about their learning. What comments did they make during the process? I love the visual representation of Antartica and wonder how the answers to their questions could be incoporated into the display.

  3. Hi Di
    Dee also says:

    Each student chose a question to research. A variety of resources were used to find the answers to the questions. Some students read books while others used Internet resources. I encouraged them to find more than one source for their information. Students carefully compiled their findings into a few sentences or paragraphs of information to eagerly share with classmates.

    I think they may have used their answers to make the small informative signs that you can see on the detail photos. You can read the whole post here:
    http://antarctica.uab.edu/blog/423/

Leave a Reply