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Teachers’ notes | Journey South

Learning objectives:

  • To empathise with people in Antarctica at different times in history
  • To read and use latitude and longitude co-ordinates on a map
  • To understand the changes in technology used in Antarctica over time
  • To compare and interpret use of language of today with the past

A letter never sent

This is a starter activity that requires students to closely study the letter’s contents to uncover clues. The letter dates back to the winter of 1944, written by a British serviceman stationed at ‘Base A’ at Port Lockroy, a secret British military base on Antarctica during World War II. Port Lockroy remained a base for scientific research until 1962. Later it became a site of historical importance, and now it is a living museum, visited by thousands of tourists every year.

The race to the Pole

This is a challenging activity using longitude and latitude co-ordinates whilst learning about explorations to Antarctica in the past. The download version provides more guidance on how to read latitude and longitude co-ordinates. It also provides more opportunity to focus in on the history of exploration to Antarctica as students are asked to choose what they think are the five most important events.

Other sites that focus on Antarctica’s history of exploration are available through the links section.

The answers to the map co-ordinates activity are as follows:


What (not) to wear

This is a more light-hearted activity to consider how clothing and technology has improved since the first explorations to Antarctica. The download version is designed to print out and use as a sorting activity.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

This is a literacy-focused activity to enable students to gain a deeper insight into this extract from Coleridge’s poem set in Antarctica’s waters. To read and interpret the prose the download version requires students to illustrate the different verses with images of their choice.

Acting responsibly

This activity would be a useful follow-up to What (not) to wear to consider and empathise with conditions for people living and working in Antarctica, both past and present.