Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth and one of the most fragile ecosystems
on the planet. Despite the presence of glaciers, sea ice, permafrost, limited
sunlight and fiercely cold temperatures, Antarctica still contains an abundance
of resources, both living and non-living. These resources attract the attention
of an increasing number of researchers and tourists from all over the world.
How does their presence affect this land and its resources?
Activity 1: Team Snapshot of Antarctica
class into appropriate teams. Review the instructions
and rubric with the students on the handout. Ask the students to prepare
a PowerPoint slide show or a poster in their teams. The student will need
time to research their topic.
all teams have completed their research, and PowerPoint or posters, select a team
member to present the information to the class.
Check for Understanding
students to complete the four-square "Antarctic
Ecosystems Organizer" as presentations are made.
presentations, lead a discussion addressing these questions:
- What types of environmental problems can result from the threat found?
is it difficult for polar ecosystems to recover from environmental damage?
has global warming affected Antarctica?
- Why do you think there are no
indigenous people in Antarctica?
2: Lab: -- Waste and Antarctic Ice
Distribute the lab
instructions. Review safety procedures based on the materials used in
Activity 3: Research and Tourism in Antarctica
the class into small groups. Distribute Research
and Tourism Handouts. One set of groups will explore research operations in
Antarctica, the other set of groups will explore tourism in Antarctica
sure that each member of the group has a task.
Students will need to use
the Internet, in addition to the resources provided, to answer the questions.
the students have completed their research and prepared their findings, lead a
- Would you like to go to Antarctica? Why or why not?
What aspect of travel to Antarctica would you like the most? What aspect would
you like the least?
- Should there be limits to research operations and
or tourism in Antarctica? If so, how would you limit research?
we limit the total number of people that visit Antarctic yearly? What would
the limit be and why?
Adapting this Lesson
Below Level Learners: Participate
by making labeled diagrams and sketches of projects.
Research and debate international agreements associated with Antarctic Treaties.
Discuss challenges to the treaties and risks for member nations.
Language Learners: Write out vocabulary lists related to polar ecosystems.