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Teachers’ notes | What, Where, Why?

Learning objectives:

  • To develop numeracy skills through the interpretation of data
  • To gain an understanding of Antarctica’s relative size and geographical location
  • To understand how Antarctica was formed in relation to other continents

Sizing up Antarctica and The World Upside Down?

The multimedia versions could be completed as starter activities on the Interactive Whiteboard. If you choose to use the download version of The World Upside Down? the answers to the questions are as follows:

  • The nearest continent to Antarctica is South America.
  • From the Cape of Good Hope the distance is about 5,000 km.
  • From Cape Horn the distance is about 4,000 km.
  • It doesn’t matter where you go, travel away from Antarctica is always to the North! A trick question!

As an extension, you may choose to use satellite images of Antarctica to give students another perspective on Antarctica’s location. Visit the links section for relevant sites.

Measuring the ice

This is a download activity that uses thinking skills to interpret data on the thickness of Antarctica’s ice sheets.

The download, ‘Breaking up is hard to do’ explains the plate movements and evolution of Antarctica with questions to test students’ understanding of the processes. It also introduces a number of key terms linked to the glossary. It would be useful to download the sheet and print out copies for students before running the Going back in time animation.

Going back in time

This activity features an animation to introduce the idea of the evolution of Antarctica as a separate landmass. You can set the animation to full screen for use on the Interactive Whiteboard.

The download ‘On the move‘ asks students to add captions to four still images. As an extension, students could come up with their own captions.

Antarctica: the frozen continent

The download ‘Antarctica: the frozen continent‘ can be used to reinforce the characteristics of this extreme environment.