Math, Science, and Technology

Life in the Arctic

Essential Questions
· How have animals adapted to live in the extreme conditions of the Arctic?

Enduring Understandings
· The Arctic ecosystem is a delicate balance of connectedness of animals, plants and their environment where a change in one part of the system will cause ripples throughout.

· What will students understand as a result of this unit?
· Because of the location of the Arctic at the pole the intensity of energy from the sun reaching the surface is low compared with other places on the plante and consequently there are colder temperatures and in addition periods of the year when there is no sun or 24 hours of sun.
· Ice in difference forms is at the heart of the different Arctic ecosystems.
· Melting of the ice as temperatures increase causes dramatic changes to the ecosystem. These changes can be part of the natural seasonal changes.
· The absence of sunlight during the winter plus snow and ice cover and 24 hour sun during the summer has dramatic consequences on plant growth.
· Animals' survival is based on delicate adaptations to take advantage of these seasonal changes.
· If a species can evolve ways to survive the Arctic winter than the different ecosystems can provide rich food sources and not too many predators.
· Surviving the winter can often mean behavioral adaptations such as hibernation and migration - visiting the Arctic just for the spring and summer
· Animal adaptations often happen in sync increasing the connectedness among different species.
Please see the full lesson plans below:
Life in the Arctic
Exercise - Creating Hexagon Mosaic
Polar Bears