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At-Home Activities: Polar Quest - Discover Natural Wonders

November 30 – December 4

Workshop Classes Activities

  1. Craft – Northern Lights

  2. Key Points – Polar Natural Wonders

  3. Collaborative – Sea Ice Experiment

  4. Language Arts – Oil Drilling Debate

  5. Math/Logic – Polar Temperatures

  6. Prepare for Adventure – Telegraph Science

  7. Big Activity – Aurora Science Project

  8. Movement - Freeze Tag

At-Home Activities

See a suggested week schedule at


  • various fiction and non-fiction books that relate to the poles

  • journal or lined paper

  • die

  • index cards or blank post cards

  • toothpicks

  • Styrofoam balls, gum drops, jelly beans, and/or mini marshmallows


  • Various fiction and non-fiction books that relate to the poles



  • “The Titanic hit the iceberg not because they could not see it coming but because they could not change direction.” - Dean Devlin

  • “When I look at the northern lights ... I see our ancestors dancing around a sacred fire, lighting the way for us when it's time for us to cross over from this physical world and join them.” - Molly Larkin

Language arts lesson

  • A how-to piece tells how to do something in step-by-step sequence. Here are six steps to follow when you write a how-to piece.

  1. Choose something you have done many times.

  2. Think about how you do it.

  3. Make a list of all the things you do.

  4. Review your list to make sure you haven’t left anything out.

  5. Rewrite your list into numbered steps.

  6. See if a friend can follow the steps.

Writing Activity

  • Write a how-to piece on something. You can write about how to wrap a present, how to make a sandwich, or how to bathe a dog, etc.


  • If I was stranded in the South Pole, I would want a trunk with these things in it...


Math Concept

  • One week is seven days. Two weeks (a fortnight) is fourteen days. How many days is three weeks?

Math Project

  • Counting by weeks, figure out how many days it is until • winter solstice • Christmas • New Year’s Day • your birthday

Math Concept

  • The shortest day of the year this year is December 21, winter solstice. In Southern California on that day, the sun rises around 6:50 AM and it sets around 4:40 PM, making the daytime only about ten hours long – this is shorter than the night!

  • The farther north you go on this planet, the shorter the days are in winter. As a matter of fact, at the north pole, there is no daytime for around 11 weeks. (How many days is 11 weeks?)

Math Project

  • Make a chart to show how many hours in a day on winter solstice in Murmansk, Russia; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cairo, Egypt; Fairbanks, Alaska; the city you live in, and two other cities of your choice.

Mental math

  • Think about some mental math problems that you frequently answer incorrectly. Write these down, along with their answers. Record yourself reading these problems, leaving a few seconds between the problem and the answer. Play the recording back, this time writing down the answers in the seconds before the answers are said. How many problems do you answer correctly? Repeat as necessary.

Math games

  • In this game, you and your opponent each have a pencil and a paper to keep your score. The goal is to score as close to 101 points as possible without going over. On your turn, you roll a die, deciding if it’s best to count the number at face value or to multiply it by 10. This number is added to your total. The game ends when someone gets 101 points or goes over -- whichever comes first.


Research and Report

  • Research about Narwhals. Collect at least five interesting facts. Make one postcard to highlight each of these facts.

Themed Fireworks Project

  • Use toothpics and candies to make molecule models:

6-week project

  • Edit your rough draft from last week to create a final draft of your written report.

  • Practice your oral report.

  • Finish your display.

  • Invite family and friends to see you present your report next week.


  • See the ice age fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

Other Ideas

  • Write a newspaper opinion piece about expanding oil drilling in Alaska.

  • Learn about glaciers:

  • See some videos about glaciers:

  • Read a book about the polar exploration: ◦ Trial by Ice: A Photobiography of Sir Ernest Shackleton ◦ Spirit of Endurance: The True Story of the Shackleton Expedition to the Antarctic

  • Watch some videos about the poles: ◦ ◦ ◦

  • Make a tundra diorama.

Go to to find out more about:

• field trips

• in-person classes

• online classes

• at-home materials


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