Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Our World: Antarctica

This lesson was really fun. I had to wait until we had snow, a rarity in Colorado this winter, but I was prepared nonetheless. Before this lesson, I took a few of their smaller plastic toys and put them in some water in small cups and placed them in the freezer. When it was time for this lesson, I took them out and had created glaciers! 

This lesson was pretty much one giant sensory bin that lasted hours. It was too cold to play outside in the snow, so I brought the snow in! For this lesson, I am going to show you a bunch of images and then caption them with what we did with the lesson. It's a little easier this way since this was such a science based lesson and a lot of different conversations went into each part of the lesson as the snow melted or as it was added. 

One of our glaciers

 Henrik discovering that he cannot break a glacier with his hands. We talked about how we could get the object out of the glacier. He noticed that the water was coming off of glacier so we talked about why that was happening. After he realized that his hands were making the ice warm, we talked about how ice melts and that it would be a good way for his toys to come out of the glacier.

These are what our sensory bins looked like. Glaciers, different toys and snow! Here we talked about camouflage and what types of animals lived in places covered in snow: bright animals or white animals. And of course we had to talk about why that was! 

A penguin stuck in a glacier

Henrik wanted to know what was under all of that snow and what else could be stuck in the ice, we came up with a few different hypothesis and decided that there must be "millions of dinosaurs stick in the ice, forever". 

It's more fun to play with snow when you have a snow plow

As the snow melted we talked about why that was happening. We talked about what would happen if the world got warmer and all of the snow melted. We talked about how the snow turned to water and decided that the polar bears wouldn't have a home any more because "they can't swim like a fish or a penguin". Regardless of your global warming opinions, you can still teach your child about the effects of heat and cold on the environment of our animals. This was a great lesson for my boys because they really care a lot about animals and creatures and want the polar bears to keep having "ice to walk on".
A frog stuck in a glacier

Theodor was really concerned with the animals stuck in the glaciers, so to speed up the melting process, I gave them a bucket full of warm water. They placed the glaciers in the bucket and waited for them to melt. 

This was a fantastic lesson for my kids about nature, weather, and a whole world that we don't know a lot about. But we watched a few Frozen Planet episodes and watched penguins as they searched for food in a place where it's just too cold for anything else. They thought it was awesome.

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