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Arctic Animals. By: Jen Holecek & Jenny Dexter. IllInoIs Learning Standards. Language Arts / Writing 3.B.1b Demonstrate focus, organization, elaboration and integration and written compositions (e.g., short stories, letters, essays, reports).

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Arctic animals

Arctic Animals

By: Jen Holecek & Jenny Dexter

Arctic animals

IllInoIs Learning Standards

  • Language Arts / Writing

    • 3.B.1b Demonstrate focus, organization, elaboration and integration and written compositions (e.g., short stories, letters, essays, reports).

    • 3.C.1a Write for a variety of purposes including description, information, explanation, persuasion and narration.

  • Science

    • 11.B.1a Given a simple design problem, formulate possible solutions.

    • 12.B.1a Describe and compare characteristics of living things in relationship to their environment.

    • 12.B.2a Describe relationships among various organisms in their environments (e.g., predator/pray, parasite/host, food chains and food webs).

    • 12.E.1b Identify and describe patterns of weather and seasonal change.

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Bundle up! The Arctic Region is in need of YOUR help! You have each been specially chosen by the Defenders of Wildlife Agency to participate in an action packed adventure of a lifetime. Listen carefully!

You will each be given an expedition ticket to travel to and explore the Arctic Region in hopes to save one of the endangered Arctic animals living there. Your job is to observe and study one specific Arctic animal as it moves among its habitat and faces deadly threats. But, BEWARE, do not get too close for not every animal is friendly! Ready to dive on in…

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Your MIssIon:

Upon your return back home, you will be expected to work hand-in-hand with the Defenders of Wildlife Agency to raise AWARENESS of the danger these Arctic animals face and the ways in which individuals can HELP!

Are you up for the challenge? Grab your parka, a pair of binoculars, and a journal and lets get started on your trek across the Arctic…

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The Team Task

  • The explorers will be divided into teams of five to showcase their Arctic animal using a variety of resources in an awareness brochure.

  • Each team member will be assigned a special role to perform. All of the members’ contributions and help will be needed to create the team’s final brochure.

  • Together the team will present their ideas to the class and then their brochure will be given to and displayed at the Defenders of Wildlife Center!

  • Using Microsoft Publisher the tri-fold brochure should be informational yet grab the attention of all age visitors. Keep readers aware and entertained by including the responses to all the questions, fun facts, and pictures of your Arctic animal from your journey. DON’T FORGET TO USE LOTS OF COLOR!

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The Process

Each Group’s Arctic Animal:

Group 1: Walrus

Group 2: Polar Bear

Group 3: Penguin

Group 4: Arctic Fox

Group 5: Killer Whale (Orca)

  • Role of Each Team Member:

  • Reporter

    • Two students will be assigned the role of a reporter. Each student will be responsible for researching information and facts about their team’s arctic animal that will be helpful in answering the questions provided.

  • Photographer

    • One student will have the role of the team photographer. This person will be in charge of capturing their team’s arctic animal in their environment during the expedition. This student may also use the resources provided to find any additional pictures for the brochure.

  • Journalist

    • One student will be the journalist of the team. This student will have to write out responses to the given questions using the information found by the reporters. These responses describing the team’s arctic animal will then be included in the final brochure.

  • Editor

    • The remaining student will act as the editor on the team. This person will be accountable for collecting each of the team member’s work and putting together the final brochure to present to the class.

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ActIvIty QuestIons

  • What type of foods does this Arctic animal’s diet consist of? Be specific.

  • In what area(s) of the Arctic Region may this animal be seen or found?

  • How is the ongoing climate change and/or human behavior threatening to this endangered Arctic animal? Explain thoroughly.

  • What can we do as individuals to help save this endangered Arctic animal and make their home better suitable for them to survive? What could we do as a whole class to make a difference?

  • As a short story, describe in your own words a day in the life of this Arctic animal. What does their day normally consist of from when they wake up in the morning to when they fall asleep at night? Be creative!

  • From what you have learned thus far from your expedition and research, would your team enjoy living in the Arctic Region as this endangered animal? Why or why not?



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ActIvIty Resources


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AddItIonal Resources


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I want you to begin researching your team’s arctic animal using the resources provided. However, you are not restricted to only these resources. If you find another website/video/etc. you wish to explore, be sure to first check with me so that I can confirm it is a reliable source.

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CongratulatIons Explorers!

You have done it! The Defenders of Wildlife Agency can not thank you enough for your time, expertise, and excitement you brought to the expedition and in creating the brochures. You and your team members have brought us one step closer to saving the endangered Arctic animals! Due to all your work, millions of people are more aware of the danger these animals face each and every day and what can be done to PROTECT them. We hope you have enjoyed this adventure to the Arctic Region and are very proud of your accomplishments as a team!

Thanks for all of your help! You’re the best!

Come back anytime! We loved having you!

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  • Teacher Evaluation:

    • Each student will be evaluated by the teacher. The student’s grade will be determined based upon how well they successfully completed their role and responsibilities they were assigned to among their team. The level of participation while presenting their team’s final brochure will also be a part of each student’s grade. The areas I will look at include organization, creative content, presentation, and teamwork.

  • Student Evaluation:

    • Every student will also be given the opportunity to evaluate the members of their team. Here, you will comment on each member’s preparedness, focus, teamwork, and attitude that was displayed while working with them. Be honest, for these evaluations will ONLY be looked at by the teacher. With caution, these evaluations will be factored into each student’s final grade.

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Teacher EvaluatIon:

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Student EvaluatIon:

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AddItIonal ActIvIty #1

Using all of the information learned about your team’s Arctic animal and the environment they call “home”, work together to create any type of poem. It must be at least 6 lines long and include any of the information you have previously researched on your animal. Then, make it into a Wordle and print it out. Copies will be made of each team’s word cloud and handed out to the class! (

This is an example of a Wordle on Arctic Animals!

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AddItIonal ActIvIty #2

Individually, pair up with a classmate that was not on your expedition team and that studied a different Arctic animal than you. Briefly discuss the Arctic animal that you researched with one another. Then, work with your partner to complete a Venn Diagram that compares/contrasts the two Arctic animals. Be sure to have at least 4 points in each part of the diagram!

This example shows the similarities and differences of 3 Arctic animals but you only have to discuss 2 with your partner!

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AddItIonal ActIvIty #3

Using the same Arctic animal that you have been studying, create your very own diorama of the animal in its natural habitat. Your diorama needs to be in a shoe box. Each diorama must be creative, neat, and exhibit: 1. Sources of food, water, and shelter for the animal 2. Predators and safety 3. Accurate depiction of the animal Use your imagination! Once completed, you will each be expected to present your finished product to the class.

This diorama example displays the habitat of the Blue Whale!

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AddItIonal ActIvIty #4


Individually, head to the Defenders of Wildlife Homepage and read about how you can adopt an animal to help save the endangered species! Click on the different animals to learn more about them and the danger they face.

Pretend you adopted the animal of your choice! Name your new pet. Then, in a paragraph or more, explain why you chose this animal to adopt. Also, describe in detail how you would want your contributions (money) to be used to help save the life of your newly adopted animal.

Finally, draw and color a picture of yourself with your adopted animal to go along with your written assignment!

See, I SAVED A LIFE and adopted an Arctic Fox!

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AddItIonal ActIvIty #5

Message Format:

Dear Shell CEO Mr. Peter Voser,

Create a Personalized Message.

(Don’t Destroy The Arctic!)


[Your Name]

[Your Address, City, State, Zip Code]

A global fleet of Arctic destroyers is speeding towards one of the last unspoiled places on Earth. The ships are part of the Shell oil company’s mission to drill in the pristine waters off the coasts of the Arctic. Home to numerous species, a spill or accident in these waters would be disastrous.

Join people from around the world to take action and demand the company to stop its plans to put the fragile Arctic at risk. In other words, write a letter to the Shell CEO (Mr. Peter Voser) explaining HOW the Arctic will negatively be impacted and WHY this is such an important matter.

Arctic animals

References For Further Study

For additional resources, check out some of these great books, magazines, and movies!




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