At either pole of the planet, the icy Arctic and Antarctic are unique environments unlike anywhere else on earth. Animals and plants that live there have adapted to the freezing conditions.
The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, and the Antarctic is land surrounded by ocean.
Teach your children about the Arctic and Antarctic using our handy topic guide!
- Watch the short film 23 Degrees 5 Minutes, and try one of our teaching ideas based on it.
- This Oak National Academy lesson looks at the geography of the Arctic and Antarctic.
- Find the Arctic and Antarctic in an atlas or on Google Maps. How far away are they from where you are now?
- Create a factfile. These pages from WWF have lots of information about the Arctic and Antarctic.
- Write a story set in the Arctic or Antarctic.
- Create a list of vocabulary for describing icy and snowy environments.
- Use one of these amazing photos of polar bears in the abandoned buildings on Kolyuchin Island as a writing stimulus.
- Explore the adaptations of animals that live in the Arctic with this lesson plan from National Geographic.
- Download our Arctic and Antarctic Animals photos to use in your lessons.
- Our Habitats Pack includes some useful resources for teaching about Polar climates and the adaptations of the animals that live there.
- This site from Ohio State University has lots of reading resources about the Arctic and Antarctic.
Arctic and Antarctic Facts
- The Arctic and the Antarctic are located around Earth’s poles.
- While some people live permanently in the Arctic, the Antarctic is so inhospitable that no one makes their home there, although scientists work there.
- Due to their position on the world, the Arctic and Antarctic have no daylight at all for several months of the year, followed by several months when the sun never sets!
- The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) are spectacular lights in the sky that can be seen near the North Pole (and sometimes much further south), caused by particles from the sun hitting the Earth’s magnetic fields.
- Antarctica is a desert; there is very little rain or snow there.
Antarctica | Destination World
This short video is a good overview, perfect for introducing work on Antarctica.
Running Time: 2:57
The Arctic vs. the Antarctic
This video compares the Arctic and the Antarctic.
Running time: 4:24
Guess the Animal Sound Game
Younger children will enjoy this game of Arctic animal sounds.
Running time: 4:39
Polar Explorer: Jade Hameister
Learn about the experience of the youngest person ever to ski to the North Pole.
Running Time: 2:30
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!