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Winter Web: Activity 3: Visiting the Artic Circle or Why Does a Compass Point North

About this Daily Classroom Special
WinterWeb is an interactive site using the cold of winter as the focus of interdisciplinary activities.  WinterWeb was written by  Lottie Simms, teacher at  Lawton Chiles Middle School, in Miami, Florida and former Teachers Network web mentor.


The Arctic Circle is the invisible circle of latitude on the earth's surface at 66°33' north, marking the southern limit of the area where the sun does not rise on the winter solstice or set on the summer solstice - a geographic ring crowning the globe. It is approximately 1,650 miles from the North Pole. Scientists say the Arctic Circle "wanders".

The Arctic Circle is also the outermost parallel circle counted from the North Pole where we cannot see the sun rise over the horizon in the winter solstice. This phenomenon is called polarnight, or midwinter darkness, and occurs around December 21. Continuous day or night ranges from one day at the Arctic Circle to six months at the North Pole.

Objective:

The students will explore the "Cosmic Quest" to the Magnetic North Pole.

Standards:

National Council for Social Studies

Standard III - People, Places, & Environments

Standard IX - Global Connections

National Science Standards

Standard A - Science as Inquiry

Materials:

Computers with Internet Access

Wall Map of the World

Question Worksheet for each student 

Procedure:

Familiarize the students with the area of the globe known as the Arctic Circle by having them locate it on the large wall map.

Discuss the type of climate in the North Pole and the reasons for its low temperatures. Have the students compare the climate of the Arctic Circle with that of Antarctica (Activity 1).

Distribute copies of the Readiness Reading Activity and have students read silently or read aloud to answer the basic questions at the bottom of the reading passage.

Back to the Winter Web HomePage

 

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