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.
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Polar Animal Adventure Day
Polar Animal adventure day is a day that students look forward to every year. They hear about it from former students and siblings. Here is a round-up of our favorite activities.
1. 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. For added fun, place a thermometer in the water so students can see how cold the water is.
We also had some ice and salt out for the students to experiment with. Did you know that if you put enough salt on the ice, you can lift the ice with a string?
2. 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.
3. 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 spyhop to assess the area above the water. So to mimic this, we made eye goggles by taping toilet paper rolls to safety goggles. The toilet paper 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 they had to turn their head to see their hand and the target. This was weird and they had a blast!
4. Penguin Height Measuring
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 penguin’s name next to the number on their measuring tape that correlated to its height.
5. 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.
6. Polar Animal QR Codes
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 the videos that they were interested in.
At each station, we had various polar animal books for students to look at if they finished the activity early.
Polar Animal Resources
Here are some polar animal resources we used during our polar animal adventure day.