The news of the Delaware sized Antarctica iceberg calving today captivated me. I find Antarctica fascinating, so of course, it’s played a prominent role in our homeschooling adventure. Over the years we’ve conducted iceberg and glacier science experiments, traveled the frigid terrain with Scott and Shackleton, watched penguins hatch, and created salt dough maps of the continent. Below I’ve put together some Antarctica resources for a variety of ages and interests. Hopefully you’ll find something useful here for either a unit study or a curious unschooler.
- The National Snow and Ice Data Center is a credible source for iceberg facts. Learn about what they are, how they form, where they are, and why they are important. The link is to a quick facts page, so it is a quick read for parents or a solid guide for upper elementary ages.
- Active Wild has a great Antarctica page filled with facts, pictures, animal links, and a video. This resource will appeal to a variety of age groups, most specifically ages 8 to 13.
- Antarctic Glaciers is a website for a more advanced student who wants to explore and learn more. This site is full of information. My favorite part is the Ask the Scientist feature.
- Massive Iceberg Breaks Off from Antarctica is a NASA article about the mammoth iceberg that calved today.
- NOVA’s Quest for the South Pole article is a brief outline of the Pole’s great explorers.
- The Shackleton Foundation has a brief bio of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his race for the South Pole
- Scott’s Last Expedition covers Scott’s and Amundsen’s races to the Pole. This site is a treasure trove of information. Explore the tabs on this resource for teachers resources and a game.
BOOKS AND DOCUMENTARIES
- Antarctica by Helen Cowcher (author and illustrator) is a beautiful book for ages 4 to 8 about some of the animals of Antarctica.
- March of the Penguins is a rated G documentary about Emperor Penguins. It is a gorgeous film loaded with facts and information.
- Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing is my favorite book about Shackleton and is appropriate for high school ages. It is difficult to put down.
- Antarctica: A Year On Ice is a breathtaking documentary. It is light on facts, but the cinematography is spellbinding. Younger viewers may get bored, but high schoolers interested in the landscape of Antarctica will enjoy it.
- The New York Times has a series called The Antarctica Series, but this isn’t just your ordinary newspaper series (pictured below). This is an app. A virtual reality app. Don’t worry, if you don’t have a vr cardboard viewer, you can opt for the 360 view. It is called NYTVR and it’s available on the both the App Store and Google Play. It’s free. The app hosts more than just the Antarctica Series, so there is more to explore. There are four videos in the Antarctica Series and they are amazing. Each video is 10-16 minute long. I’m hard pressed to choose a favorite, but I’m leaning towards Under a Cracked Sky. It is captivating.
- The Antarctic Wildlife Guide by My Digital Earth (pictured) is available at both the App Store and Google Play. It will cost you around $10, but it is absolutely worth it. You can use it in Antarctic unit studies or zoology classes.
- No Time For Flashcards posted a fantastic Iceberg Science Experiment to PBS Parents.
- Check out Almost Unschoolers’ post for an iceberg observation experiment.
- Steve Spangler’s Glacier Gak is sure to be a hit for a wide variety of ages.
- Hands-on Activity: Glaciers, Water and Wind, Oh My! on Teach Engineering is geared for upper elementary ages, but can be adapted for a homeschool setting for both younger and older children.
- Modeling Glacier Dynamics with Flubber is designed for middle and high school classrooms, but easily adapts to a homeschool setting.
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