Student View

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

Students will learn how to read a polar map.

KEY STANDARDS

RH.6-8.1, RH.6-8.2, RH.6-8.7, RI.6-8.4, RI.6-8.10, SL.6-8.1, W.6-8.3, WHST.6-8.4, WHST.6-8.7

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

• Incorporate this article into a unit on Antarctica.

• Pair this piece with a talk on the history of exploration of the North and South poles.

• Reinforce geography skills with our mapreading activity.

Before Reading

1. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
(5 MINUTES)

Help students find Antarctica on a globe. Ask: What do you know about Antarctica? What adjectives might best describe the weather there?

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Read & Analyze

2. INDEPENDENT READING
(10 MINUTES)

Have students read the article on their own, writing down any comments or questions.


3. CLOSE-READING QUESTIONS
(10 MINUTES)

Have students write their answers to each question, or use these prompts to guide a discussion.

  • COMPARE AND CONTRAST: How was Colin O’Brady’s Antarctica feat different from previous crossings?
    (O’Brady crossed the continent solo, without any assistance. He carried all of his supplies and food by himself. Previous explorers had the help of people, dogs, or other assistance.)
  • CLOSE READING: What challenges did O’Brady face during his trek?
    (He faced temperatures as low as 80ºF below zero, winds up to 60 miles per hour, exhaustion, and crevasses. He had to pull all of his food and gear on a sled.)

Extend & Assess

4. FEATURED SKILL: READING A POLAR MAP

Reinforce students’ geography skills by assigning the skills sheet Reading a Map: Crossing Antarctica. Ask: Why might O’Brady have chosen the route he did?

DIFFERENTIATING

Lower Level Have students write a journal entry from O’Brady’s perspective, using details from the article.

Higher Level Have students research and write a short biography of another notable Antarctic explorer, such as Roald Amundsen or Ernest Henry Shackleton. Ask: How did that explorer’s experience compare with O’Brady’s?

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