Northern exposures

Lesson overview

An introduction to the polar regions and the Catlin Arctic Survey expeditions, this lesson focuses on the journey taken by the team members from their homes to the Arctic. Students will be able to compare the geographical similarities and differences between their local area and an extreme environment. Students will also use GIS, in the form of Google Earth, and multimedia content to develop their knowledge of the Arctic and Arctic Ocean.

Learning outcomes

  • Know about the polar regions
  • List differences and similarities between students’ local area and the Arctic
  • Describe the extreme life of a polar expedition
  • Know about adventurous geographical careers

Lesson steps

  1. A rude awakening: why was Charlie shocked? (15 mins)
    Using an audio file recorded by explorer Charlie Paton, students will hear what it is like to wake up with the Arctic sea ice opening up underneath your tent. Students develop their understanding of this extreme polar environment.
  2. Journey to the poles (15 mins)
    Students use the journey taken by the team members from their homes to the Arctic to explore similarities and differences with their local area. Use Google Earth, atlases and online weather data to develop this step.
  3. Living on the ice (20 mins)
    Using multimedia stimulus materials from the Discovery Zone, e.g. photos and videos, students write a diary entry imagining their first day as a member of the team at the Ice Base.
  4. Team profiles (10 mins)
    This lesson step enables students to learn more about the different members of the team, giving pointers for home learning and to discuss geographical careers.