We had polar animal adventure day in first grade last week. Polar animal adventure day is a theme day we have as a culminating activity for your polar animal unit. We set up six stations and rotated the first graders through them. Each station was about 15 minutes long. Here are the stations we had.
Blubber Adaptation Station
Our students put their hands in ice cold water and then used a blubber bag to put their hands in the cold water. We made blubber bags with Crisco. You fill a bag with Crisco and then place a second bag in the Crisco.
We also had some ice and salt out for the students to experiment with. Did you know that if you put enough salt on ice, you can life the ice with string?
Egg Passing Station
We have nylons filled with cotton. Students have to walk around with an egg on their feet. They also partner up and try to pass the egg, mimicking the emperor penguins.
Eye Adaptation Station
In our polar animal unit, we talked about the snowy owl and how they don’t move their eyes, they move their heads. Their heads can move in many different ways, this is an adaptation they have. We also talked about how whales syphop to assess the area above the water. So to mimic this, we made eye goggles by taping toilet paper rolls to safety goggles. The TP rolls were facing out, so when you had them on you couldn’t see straight ahead. First, we had students drop clothespins into a jar without the goggles. Then they tried the same activity with the goggles. They learned that they had to turn their head to see their hand and the target. This was weird and they had a blast!
At this station, we had penguins taped around the classroom. The penguins were taped at their approximate height. Students had paper measuring tape with one-inch increments marked on it. They had to go around the room and measure the various penguins. They wrote the name of the penguin next to the number on their measuring tape that correlated to its height.
Penguin Identification Station
At this station, we had penguins that were not labeled hanging up outside. Students had to use a penguin identification poster they had previously made to help them identify each of the penguins. They had fun with this, but it was a challenge.
At this station, the students used iPads to scan various QR codes and watch short videos about some of the polar animals we had learned about. They were able to choose their cards and watch they videos that they were interested in.
There you have it, our polar adventure day, the cliff notes version!
Polar Animal Resources
Here are some polar animal resources we used during this unit.
- Polar Animals Close Reads (TPT or The Teacher Bag)
- Polar Animals Interactive Notebook
- Polar Animal Words
- Penguins Nonfiction Unit (TPT or The Teacher Bag)
- Polar Bear Nonfiction Unit (TPT or The Teacher Bag)
- Whales and Dolphins Nonfiction Unit (TPT or The Teacher Bag)
- Owls Nonfiction Unit (TPT or The Teacher Bag)