Issuu on Google+

fall 2009

printed issue no. 3

Selected materials from Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears, a free online magazine designed to help elementary educators integrate science and literacy through the study of the polar regions.

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RESEARCH IN THE FIELD: DR. HUBERT STAUDIGEL

Mt. Erebus, Then and Now (Issue 9) by Carol Landis, Byrd Polar Research Center

MT. ER

E

BUS---T •Large HE FA st activ CTS: e volca •Summ no on A i ntarct •Uppe t elevation: 3 ica r porti ,795 m on i (1 (made of laye s a stratovol 2,451 ft) cano rs of ig erupti neous ons, fo r r o m ck the low i er port ng steep slop from ion is a es) and (made of sh shallow fluid lava, fo ield volcano r ming b s l o pes •Mt. E road, rebus i ) s 1 mil the up lion ye pe ars o than 1 r portion bei 0 ng form ld, with •Conti 0,000 years ed less nuously ago active since 1 972 Waitt, USGS. Photo: Richard a. tic rc ta An Island, Mt. Erebus, Ross

The plume of steam from Mt. Erebus typically drifts silently upward and gets carried aside by the winds. With the extreme wind and temperature conditions, can you imagine living there? There are scientists who thrive in such harsh environments. Huts provide shelter and a place to eat so that these adventurers can spend more time near the crater. According to Dr. Hubert Staudigel, geophysicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Mt. Erebus is a fantastic lab for volcanologists. In 2003, Hubert and his Scripps colleague, Cathy Constable, were at McMurdo Station for their first study of the volcanic history of Mt. Erebus and the McMurdo Sound region. Their plan: to collect 70 rock samples in ten days...ten really good days. "The rim of the volcano can be really inhospitable,” says Hubert. “The winds Eruption videos from the Mt. Erebus Volcano are horrific. You can’t work when it's really Observatory: http://erebus.nmt.edu/video/ windy and cold. You just have to wait it out." (continued on page 20) HIGHLIGHTS FROM BEYOND PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS

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fall 2009 printed issue No. 3

PR O F E S S ION A L LE AR NI NG: M AM MALS Common Misconceptions About Polar Mammals (Issue 10) by Jessica Fries-Gaither, Ohio State University

Students tend to classify animals (including mammals) using criteria such as movement, number of legs, body covering, and habitat. These criteria can lead students to classify some animals incorrectly. For example, marine mammals such as whales are often believed to be fish. Some students might believe that only large land mammals are animals. Students also develop their ability to classify animals as they age. Students in the primary grades often form animal groups by See next di!erent status page for (organisms that fly, Formativ e organisms that live assessment in the water) and do probes! not use a hierarchical system of classification. In the upper-elementary grades, students tend to use mutually exclusive groups based on observable features and concepts. It is not until middle school that students can use a hierarchical classification system to group animals. In some cases, the structure of science units can cause confusion and misconceptions. Research has shown that some students may believe that insects are not animals because the organisms were introduced and studied in separate units. Teachers should be careful to relate such units (insects, birds, mammals) back to a larger discussion of animals.

Misconceptions: Polar Mammals Students may think...

Instead of thinking...

Photo: Ansgar Walk

No mammals live in (or around) Antarctica.

Although Antarctica has no terrestrial mammals, many marine mammals (whales and seals) inhabit the Southern Ocean.

Polar bears are the only mammals in the Arctic.

The Arctic is home to a wide variety of terrestrial mammals (caribou, musk ox, lemmings, rabbits) and marine mammals (seals, walruses, whales).

Polar bears live in both the Arctic and Antarctica.

Polar bears live only in the Arctic.

A polar bear will cover its black nose while hunting.

Scientists have never seen polar bears hide their noses.

Polar bears are leftpawed.

Polar bears seem to use both paws equally.

Polar bears use tools, including blocks of ice, to hunt or kill their prey.

If a polar bear fails to catch a seal, it may kick the snow, or hurl chunks of ice in response to losing the seal.

Polar bears’ hollow hairs conduct ultraviolet light to its black skin, capturing energy.

Polar bear hair does not capture the sun’s energy.

Orca whales prey on polar bears.

Biologists have never observed this happening.

Polar bears have a symbiotic relationship with arctic foxes, sharing food and protecting them.

Arctic foxes often nip at bears’ heels or drive bears off their prey. In return, polar bears might lunge or slap at a fox.

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fall 2009 printed issue No. 3

PR O F E S S ION A L LE AR NI NG: M AM MALS Probing for Student Understanding: Polar Mammals (Issue 10) by Jessica Fries-Gaither, Ohio State University Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (© 2005-2009 by NSTA Press) each contain 25 formative assessment probes to help teachers identify misconceptions. The first and third volumes of this series contain several probes that relate to animals and mammals:

Helping students ! make sense of !

their world

Although the term “misconception” simply means an idea or explanation that di!ers from the accepted scientific concept, students’ misconceptions are anything but simple. Misconceptions can be:

“Is It Living?” asks students to di!erentiate between living and nonliving things. It elicits student ideas about criterion for classifying living and nonliving objects.

and one more

Is It a Mammal?”: This Beyond Penguins probe is designed to determine what criteria students use in deciding whether an animal is a mammal. This probe is modeled (with permission from NSTA Press) after those found in Uncovering Student Ideas in Science. Link: http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/onramp: 16090/Is_It_a_Mammal.pdf

Volume 3

“Does It Have a Life Cycle?” asks students to decide which organisms go through a life cycle. It elicits student ideas about life cycles.

Volume 1 Probes

“Is It an Animal?” asks students to decide which organisms are animals. It elicits student ideas about animal characteristics and classification.

Other assessment probes in the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series deal with related concepts such as respiration, growth, heredity, cells, and functions of living things. For more information, go to Issue 10, Polar Mammals.

• Formed as students try to make sense of the world around them and the occurrence of natural phenomena. • Developmental in nature, often changing as students develop their ability to think abstractly. These misconceptions do not change as a result of instruction. • Formed when students construct explanations with insu"cient information. • A result of incorrect or partially correct explanations given by teachers, parents, or the media. Even though targeting student misconceptions is di"cult, teachers should be cognizant of their students’ beliefs before, during, and after instruction. Formative assessment can provide insight and guidance for planning lessons and meeting student needs. Try using the suggested probes on this page with your students to address misconceptions related to mammals.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM BEYOND PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS

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fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

LIT ERA C Y S T R A TE GI E S: QUE STI ONI NG Questioning to Understand Content Area Text (Issue 11) by Jessica Fries-Gaither, Ohio State University

As teachers, we're well versed in the art of questioning. In fact, research shows that teachers typically spend anywhere from 35 to 50 percent of their instructional time asking questions. While there's no denying that this is a valuable instructional tool, teaching students to ask their own questions is also critical. As a reading comprehension strategy, questioning helps students set an authentic purpose for reading and creates engaged readers. By asking questions, students clarify meaning and enhance their understanding, make connections, and monitor their comprehension. Experts also believe that questioning helps students retain their thoughts while reading. Questioning can be employed before, during, and after reading through many di!erent methods. The SQ3R (SurveyQuestion-Read-Recite-Review) approach involves creating questions from titles, headings, and subheadings.

My Own. Other methods teach students to di!erentiate between factual and inferential questions. Regardless of the method used, it is important for teachers to model asking questions from a familiar text. Concrete experiences and teacher think-alouds provide support and build confidence as students begin to apply the strategy. In Chapter 5 ("Questioning: Fuel for Thought") of Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading, Tanny McGregor provides a launching sequence for introducing the strategy of questioning to elementary students. Displaying a chart of "thinking stems" provides additional support and prompting for students as they practice the strategy.

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QAR (Question-Answer Relationship) teaches students to identify four categories of questions: Right There, Think and Search, Author and Me, and On QUESTIONING STRATEGIES

SQ3R

QAR

MODELING

LAUNCHING

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Photo: Joshua Strang HIGHLIGHTS FROM BEYOND PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS

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fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

F E A T U R E ST OR Y : W HAL E S A Whale of an Ocean (Issue 14)

by Stephen Whitt, COSI, Columbus, Ohio

In the warm waters o! the coast of Africa, a blue whale has just given birth. The baby is already twenty-six feet long and weighs six thousand pounds. She grows around eight pounds every hour. The mother weighs as much as twenty elephants. Yet she is starving. Why doesn’t the mother blue whale grab a quick snack? Quite simply, there is no food for her here. She will survive on her thick coat of blubber. In a few months, she will take her calf to their feeding grounds Photo: Jason Armstrong, Flickr at the bottom of the world, the Southern # # # Ocean that surrounds Antarctica. Before whale hunting nearly wiped them out, there were well over two hundred thousand blue whales living o! Antarctica. By the time the slaughter stopped, there were fewer than a thousand left. Why would any animal seek out the cold waters at the bottom of the world? The answer is simple: food. Blue whales are the largest animals on Earth. Yet they are adapted to eat just one kind of prey. That prey is a two-inch long animal called Krill. Photo: Wikipedia krill. Krill eat tiny living things called phytoplankton. Phytoplankton float at the surface of the Southern Ocean. They use the energy of sunlight to make food. The krill eat the phytoplankton, and the blue whales eat the krill. It's one of the simplest food chains on Earth. Blue whales are known as baleen whales. Instead of teeth, baleen whales have flexible bristles (called baleen) in their mouths. They use these bristles like a spaghetti strainer. When blue whales find a large school of krill, they gulp enormous mouthfuls of krill and water, then push the water back out with their tongues. The baleen traps the krill inside, just as a spaghetti strainer traps noodles. The whale then swallows the krill. Yum! But what makes these waters in the Antarctic so special that they were once home to such a huge concentration of the largest animals on Earth? Whale Baleen There are two explanations. One is that the Earth Photo: drgflyorng, Flickr is tilted, and the other is that cold water sinks. !

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Stories for Students ....and Teachers! Learn how to incorporate more informational text in your classroom.

This nonfiction article on whales is written for use with upperelementary students (grades 4-5). Issue 14 has modified versions of these stories for students in grades K-1 and grades 2-3, or any student needing a simplified version. As always, consider the reading level and needs of your students when selecting a version for classroom use. At each grade level, the article is available in three forms. Printable pdf files from the cyberzine allow you to print this story in either text or a foldable book format. A partnership with Content Clips has allowed us to create online electronic versions of the articles. Your students can read along as they listen to the text - a wonderful way to support struggling readers! The cyberzine also has related activities with suggestions for integrating this story with your science instruction. Finally, literacy templates help you integrate this story into your literacy instruction. Go to the “Stories for Students” tab on the top menu of the cyberzine to find stories from each issue!

(continued on page 19)

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fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

L ES SO N S A N D A CTI VI TI E S: TUND RA Hands-on Lessons and Activities about the Tundra and Ecosystems (Issue 13) by Jessica Fries-Gaither, Ohio State University

Biomes (like the tundra) are a versatile topic that can meet science standards throughout the elementary curriculum. Primary teachers and students tend to focus on individual species that live in the tundra, while students in upper elementary school learn about the biome's characteristics, interactions between species, and food chains and webs. This also presents an opportunity for students to compare and contrast their hometown and region's climate, plants, and animals with those of another type of ecosystem.

Materials for this activity are available in this printed issue! The Arctic Creature Mobile (Grades K-5) http://www.windows.ucar.edu/earth/polar/ arctic_mobile.pdf In this Windows to the Universe activity, students create a mobile of Arctic animals that depend on each other for food. Although the animals are marine species, students will still gain the concept of a food chain. This may be a teacherdirected or independent activity, depending on grade level.

In this printed edition, we’re highlighting a few activities and resources that are included in a larger list in Issue 13 of the e-zine. We’ve also included materials for an activity on polar food chains from Windows to the Universe: the Arctic Creature Mobile (see inset). You’ll find (with permission from Windows to the Universe ) directions, cutouts, and teaching tips related to this fun, hands-on activity starting on the next page of this printed issue! Life in the Arctic Tundra (Grades K-8) http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3704 This Scholastic.com article includes ideas for hands-on activities about the tundra and its species. Great ideas for learning centers! These activities meet the Science as Inquiry and Life Science content standards of the National Science Education Standards for grades K-4. To integrate literacy into this lesson, try the following: Predicting and Gathering Information with Nonfiction Texts (Grades K-2) http://readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=3704 This lesson supports teachers in introducing nonfiction to their students and using it for informational purposes. Students develop an understanding of nonfiction through peer interaction and hands-on experiences with books. They use graphic organizers to record their thinking and new learning. While this lesson is written around a study of the African Savanna, teachers can easily modify it to fit a tundra lesson. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 7, 11. Where Creatures Live (Grades 3-5) http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/tdc02.sci.life.oate.lp_environment/ Students use video, images, and interactive activities to learn about the environmental conditions and species found in several biomes, including the tundra. This lesson meets the Life Science content standard of the National Science Education Standards for grades K-4 and 5-8. To integrate literacy into this lesson, try the following: Ecosystem Journalism (Grades 3-5) http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/sc05_043_03_42 This article from the NSTA journal Science and Children describes an assessment task in which students demonstrated knowledge of an ecosystem through a student-created newspaper. While the original lesson focused on the prairie, it could be easily modified to focus on the tundra. Includes a rubric, standards alignment, and related resources. Articles are free for NSTA members and $0.99 for nonmembers. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12. HIGHLIGHTS FROM BEYOND PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS

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RINGEDSEAL

www.windows.ucar.edu

COPEPODS DIATOMS Windows to the Universe

!RCTICCOD

WALRUS

POLARBEAR

The Arctic Creature Mobile

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3%!)#%

!)2

For information about the Arctic, visit: Earth’s Polar Regions www.windows.ucar.edu/polar.html

A Windows to the Universe Activity by Lisa Gardiner

DIATOMS

!RCTICCOD

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© University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, All Rights Reserved


AIR

SEA ICE

WATER

!RCTICCOD

WALRUS

DIATOMS

POLARBEAR

RINGEDSEAL

COPEPODS

Who Lives in the Arctic Ocean?

The Arctic Ocean surrounds the North Pole. It is so cold there that the top of the ocean freezes. The frozen ice floats on the ocean water. It is called sea ice. Do you see the sea ice and the water in this picture? The air of the atmosphere is above.

The creatures that live in the Arctic Ocean are adapted to living with the sea ice. Some of them live in the ocean water under the sea ice, like Arctic cod, ringed seals, and copepods. Others, like polar bears, spend most of their time on top of the ice. Some animals spend part of their time in the water and part on the ice.

Read on to find out more about the creatures in this picture and how they are all connected in a food chain.

Color the pictures in this book. Then cut the pictures out, and make your own Arctic Creature Mobile! The directions for building the mobile are on the last page. Windows to the Universe www.windows.ucar.edu

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM BEYOND PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS


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FOLDONLINEABOVEANDTAPETOTOPOFICE

POLARBEAR

Polar bears spend much of their time on top of the Arctic sea ice. They peer through cracks in the ice looking for ringed seals (their favorite food) in the water below. Polar bears swim in the ocean to get from one piece of sea ice to another. Polar bears have light colored fur – white or light yellow.

polar bear

Ringed seals spend most of their time in the water under the sea ice. They are very good swimmers. A thick layer of fat keeps them from getting too cold in the chilly water. Because they need to breathe air, ringed seals poke their heads out of holes in the ice to take a breath. Then they dive down to look for Arctic cod, one of their favorite foods. Ringed seals are spotted gray and white.

Ringed seal

RINGEDSEAL

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© University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, All Rights Reserved


fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

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FOLDONLINEABOVEANDTAPETOTOPOFICE

WALRUS

Walruses in the Arctic spend about half their lives on the sea ice or rocks and the other half in the chilly ocean water. Walruses catch fish such as Arctic cod to eat. They are pink to gray-brown in color.

walrus

!RCTICCOD

Arctic cod swim in the water under the sea ice. They eat copepods and other types of zooplankton. They are eaten by marine mammals like seals and walruses. Arctic cod are usually less than 30 centimeters long. The cod’s top side is brown with small black spots. Its underside is silvery gray and its fins are black.

arctic cod

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© University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, All Rights Reserved


fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

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COPEPODS

Copepods are tiny marine animals. They are part of a group called zooplankton, which are creatures that float through the ocean and go where the currents take them. Copepods, like all animals, need to eat food to survive. They eat diatoms and other phytoplankton. Copepods often look yellow or orange.

copepods

They do not eat food like the copepods, Arctic cod, walruses, seals, or polar bears. So where do diatoms and other phytoplankton get the energy they need? How do they survive?

Diatoms are usually green or yellow in color. They are a type of phytoplankton, which start most food chains in the ocean.

diatoms

DIATOMS

fall 2009

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printed issue No. 3

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fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

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They are all connected in a food chain!

So the Sun helps the diatoms make their food, the diatoms provide food for the copepods, the copepods provide food for the Arctic cod, the cod provide food for the walruses and ringed seals, the seals provide food for the polar bears.

The diatoms get the energy they need by taking in sunlight plus a little carbon dioxide and water, and making sugar out of it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the type of sugar they need to survive. This is called photosynthesis.

the sun!

3UN

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What you’ll need: • A white paper plate (the thick paperboard type) or a white Styrofoam plate • A sheet of blue construction paper or blue ribbon • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils • Scissors • Tape • A glue stick or white glue (optional) • String or thread • A hole punch

Directions for Making an Arctic creature Mobile

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Windows to the Universe www.windows.ucar.edu

What you do: 1. Turn the plate upside-down. This will be the sea ice. The bottom of the plate will be where animals like polar bears roam above the ice. Below the plate will be the ocean water. (If you don’t have a plate, you can use a piece of cardboard. Paint it white so that it looks like ice!) 2. Attach the blue paper in a curve to one edge of the plate so that it is under the ice. This will be the ocean water where creatures swim and float under the ice. Or if you have blue ribbon, hang it under the sea ice to look like water. 3. Color and cut out the pictures from the pages of this booklet. 4. Fold the bottom of the polar bear and walrus pictures and tape them to the top of the sea ice so that they stand up. 5. Attach a piece of string to the back of each of the other four creatures and tape the string to the bottom of the sea ice so that they hang below it with the blue paper behind them. (Or, you can glue the swimming and floating creatures to the blue paper.) 6. Punch three holes at the edge of the plate. They should be about equally spaced from each other. Thread string through each hole to hang the mobile. 7. Tape the Sun to one of the hanging strings.

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© University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, All Rights Reserved


fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

NE W F OR F AL L 2009 ! The Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears Photo Gallery Iceland Aurora by Orvar Atli Porgeirsson Autumn Tundra by Jim Laundre

In our new photo gallery, you'll be able to browse color images from past cyberzine issues and polar researchers. We'll also include rights and re!use information to help you use the images in your classroom.

Upcoming Fall cyberzine issues:

Molting Emperor by Carlie Reum Cold Weather Gear by Josh Landis

Free Professional Development NSTA Web Seminar:

Icebergs & Glaciers (August 2009) Peoples of the Arctic (October 2009) Keeping Warm (December 2009)

Seasons and the Cycles of Night & Day December 12, 2009 6:30 pm -8:00 pm Eastern http://learningcenter.nsta.org/ products/webseminars.aspx

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fall 2009

printed issue No. 3

F E A T U R E ST OR Y : W HAL E S A Whale of an Ocean (Issue 14)

(continued from page 5)

by Stephen Whitt, COSI, Columbus, Ohio

Most places on Earth have regular cycles of day and night all year. At the North and South Poles, however, the tilt of the Earth means that each pole has both days and nights that last for months. In the Antarctic summer there is plenty of sunlight for the phytoplankton to make their food. But there is sunlight elsewhere, too. What else makes the Southern Ocean special? The answer is cold water.

Drawing of phytoplankton magnified

Water is a little like air. Just as warmer air will rise above cooler air (think of a hot air balloon), warmer water rises above cooler water. In the tropics, where the Sun heats the water by day, warm water stays at the surface, while the colder water remains below. In that deep water are nutrients that could help phytoplankton grow. But there is no sunlight there. The phytoplankton cannot grow. At the surface, there’s plenty of sunlight, but few nutrients. What’s a #phytoplankton to do? The Southern Ocean is di!erent. It doesn’t get as hot as the tropics. So even though there’s a lot of sunlight, the water doesn’t get warm. The cold water from the surface sinks down, pushing the deeper, nutrient- rich water back up. This means there are both lots of sunlight and lots of nutrients in the same place. With plentiful sunlight and plentiful nutrients, the phytoplankton grow like crazy! The krill population explodes. The whales come to feast. Or they once did. In the days before whaling, the Southern Ocean was alive with great whales. Some approached one hundred feet in length. In a single generation, human beings hunted these giant animals to the very edge of extinction. Today, while the blue whale is protected from hunters, its numbers remain low. A blue whale mother has just one calf every two to three years. At that rate, it will take many years for the blue whales to recover. But in time, perhaps, the whales in their thousands will again dine on krill in their millions at the bottom of the world. Go to the “Stories for Students” tab on the top menu of Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears to find additional stories from each issue.

Artwork: T Bjornstad via Wikimedia Commons HIGHLIGHTS FROM BEYOND PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS

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printed issue No. 3

(continued from page 1)

READING THE DIARY OF MT. EREBUS Volcanoes provide scientists with a diary of the earth's past. For example, you can collect data that gives you information about the position of the continents and the time frames during which geologic activity occurred. Rock formations on the flanks of Mt. Erebus indicate that a change in lava chemistry has occurred at certain time intervals of its development. To study the volcano, scientists take rock samples, record their location, analyze tephra, (air-borne solid materials ejected by the volcano) and drill for core samples, all of which are taken to the lab for analysis. Putting all this data together helps to tell Mt. Erebus’ story. Using analyses of rock samples and maps of visible features, scientists have developed a theory about the formation and evolution of Mt. Erebus. The existing model shows that a cone formed on a shield volcano (volcano with gradually sloping sides) between 1.3 and 0.7 million years ago. The summit of this volcano collapsed at some time during the next 350,000 years, forming Fang Ridge. During the next 100,000 years, the chemical composition of the lava changed and the site of eruptions shifted to one side of the volcano. Those eruptions continued for the following 160,000 years, building a cone that subsided sometime between 90,000 and 70,000 years ago, forming a caldera (see below). For the past 70,000 years, eruptions at the summit and along the flank have continued to build the cone. The present cone at the summit is estimated to be less than 1,000 years old. Caldera: Typically the word crater refers to the opening at the top of a volcano (or a bowl-shaped depression caused by impact --such as of an asteroid or other object). In contrast, a caldera is always associated with a volcano, and is used to describe when the magma chamber empties (or blows out due to a particularly violent eruption) and parts of the walls of the cone have collapsed, leaving a large opening beyond that of the eruption site.

L

d: Wante perty? nt pro akefro

Mt. Erebus is home to a permanent lava lake, or a large amount of molten lava contained in a crater (see inset). Only three volcanoes in the world ha ve per manent la va lakes, making Mt. Erebus an important research site for scientists looking to better understand the internal plumbing system of volcanoes. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Modern instruments have improved data collection on Mt. Erebus. In addition to monitoring the seismic activity (earthquakes and ice quakes) in the area, measurements are being taken via Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates for mapping mountain features; infrared (heat) energy; infrasound (beneath the lower limit of human hearing); meteorological or atmospheric studies; and the chemical analyses of volcanic gases. In recent years, Dr. Staudigel and his colleagues returned to Antarctica to study the earth’s magnetic field. Iron minerals found in lava align themselves toward the earth's magnetic field as the lava freezes. As a result, the magnetic field for that day is recorded when the lava hardens. Interestingly, these rocks show that the earth’s magnetic field has reversed, going from north to south and then switching from south to north and back over long spans of time during the earth’s history. Presently, Staudigel’s team is studying microbial life and how microbes survive on nutrients and chemical energy derived from Antarctic rock and soil.

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SPECIAL SECTION: PODCASTS & WEBINARS We’ve created a monthly podcast to provide you with a portable way to enjoy professional development at your convenience. Each month, we’ll trek across the poles to find ways to help you teach science in your elementary classroom. We’ll also tackle common misconceptions your students might have about science, using stories, teaching activities, and the latest news related to the poles. You can listen to the podcast through your audio player or subscribe through iTunes and get the latest episode delivered to you for free. To see the entire list of episodes, go to: http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/podcast/index.php. Here’s a quick look at what you’ll find:

Episode 2: Why Polar Bears Don’t Eat Penguins Dr. Ross MacPhee, curator and researcher at the American Museum of Natural History, provides content background on polar mammals past and present, explains basic adaptations of Arctic mammals, and discusses current study of mammals in the field. See Issue 10: Polar Mammals

Episode 5: What’s For Dinner? Teaching Arctic Food Chains We already know why polar bears don't eat penguins, but what do they eat? In this episode, we'll share a simple activity that opens a window to understanding a unique ecosystem as one example of a food chain - the Arctic Ocean. See Issue 13: Tundra: Life in the Polar Extremes

Episode 6: Deep Sea Thinking: Exploring the World’s Ocean Most of our oceans still remain a mystery. Dr. Chris Massell Symons shares how scientists are exploring the depths to uncover their secrets. Also: find out about a fun song to "lure" your students into learning about our One Big Ocean. See Issue 14: Polar Oceans

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears partnered with the National Science Digital Library and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to provide free online teacher professional development through NSTA’s Web Seminar Series. For the 2008-2009 school year, we conducted three web seminars that highlighted polar science topics and strategies for integrating these topics with literacy strategies. NSTA Web Seminars are fun, interactive, and very informative with science topics o!ered all school year long. Check out the web seminar archives on the NSTA Learning Center: http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/webseminars.aspx

Physical Science from the Poles

Energy & the Polar Environment

Arctic and Antarctic Birds

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L ESSO N S A N D AC TI VI TI E S: I NQUI RY

Kids Becoming Scientists through Schoolyard Inquiry (Issue 11) by Jennifer Fee, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

very parent or preschool teacher knows that kids excel at asking lots of questions! From an early age, children interact with their environment, get curious, and seek ways to answer their questions. The National Science Education Standards state that students should learn science by conducting investigations into authentic, original questions generated from their own realworld experiences. This way, students gain skills they will need to become lifelong learners who can access, analyze, and synthesize information and apply it to a diverse range of new situations and problems, regardless of their chosen professions.

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Understandably, teachers might find the process of helping their students to formulate their own questions, design an original experiment, represent data, and grapple with messy data or unexpected results a bit challenging. Though pedagogically risky, inquirybased lessons inevitably provide rich opportunities for learning. In contrast to the traditional "cookbook lab" approach (in which the outcome of laboratory experiences is predetermined and unexpected results are viewed as failures), inquiry investigations bring science alive because the answers are

unknown (at least to the questioner) and unexpected results are valuable and interesting scientific findings that can lead to further questions and investigations. Through Cornell Lab of Ornithologyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s educational programs we've found that students of all ages have successfully engaged in schoolyard inquiry through citizen-science projects. "Scientists can't be everywhere," one seventh grader told us. "So kids from all over can record data and send it in." For example, through the Labâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s citizen-science program, people across the continent have become scientists by collecting data about their local birds and sending the information to professional scientists who study bird populations and conservation. These scientists need data collected from a large geographic area to help them draw conclusions about such issues as the e!ects of global warming, habitat loss, and disease. We've found that students are especially motivated by helping scientists and birds and delving into the "real-world" implications of the data they collect. Whether through birdrelated projects or those focused on insects, stars, water quality, or plants, citizen science can provide an engaging tool for

teaching natural history and science content through handson activities that often address critical questioning and analysis skills (Trumbull et al. 2000). Using BirdSleuth, a Cornell Lab of Ornithology program, you can have students design and implement an experimental study on birds. For example, a fourth-grade student wondered whether a fake (stu!ed animal) cat would scare birds away. Her question was based on observations she made in her backyard. She measured the amount of seed eaten in a week with no fake cat. She then placed the stu!ed cat in the tree near her feeder, and again measured the amount of seed eaten in a week. She concluded that the "cat" was an e!ective guard since there was much less seed eaten the second week. And just like a real scientist, she proposed ideas for further research. "Next year," she said, "I want to see how long the cat is out there before the birds realize it is fake and start coming back."

More on inquir y: Beyond Penguins Iss ue 11 (Birds) beyondpenguins.nsd l.org BirdSleuth: www.birdsleuth.net Citizen Science Toolk it:

www.birds.cornell.ed u/citscitoolkit/ projects/school-yout h-education

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O F F T H E B OOKSHE L F : POL AR BI R DS Polar Birds: Virtual Bookshelf (Issue 11)

by Kate Hastings, Upper Arlington Public Library,

Upper Arlington, Ohio

Did you know penguins only live in the Southern Hemisphere while penguin-like alcids (pu"ns, razorbills and auklets) are exclusive to the Northern Hemisphere? This is just one of the many facts I learned while compiling this month's bookshelf. I was shocked to find such a diversity of avian species in the polar regions! I would never have thought to find sandpipers in the tundra or that the same gulls I see on the beach every summer in the Carolinas could survive o! the coasts of Canada. Enjoy this month's selections (Arctic Birds, Antarctic Birds, Migratory Species) and go... beyond penguins!

Recommended Books: Arctic and Antarctic Birds Gone Again Ptarmigan. Jonathan London. 2001. Nonfiction picture book. Recommended ages: Grades K-5. This simple story will have students clamoring to find the ptarmigan on each page (there isn't one on every page) as various arctic predators hunt. Great for classroom discussions about adaptation and camouflage.

Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems. Judy Sierra. 2003. Poetry picture book. Recommended ages: Grades K-5. While we promote the use of nonfiction and informational text to teach science concepts, there's no denying that poetry can spark student interest! Eleven poems describe the habits and habitats of emperor penguins.

Looking for Seabirds: Journal from an Alaskan Voyage. Sophie Webb. 2004. Outstanding Science Trade Book Award 2005. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5.

A Mother's Journey. Sandra Markle. 2005. Outstanding Science Trade Book Award 2006. Nonfiction picture book. Recommended ages: Grades K-5.

Follow researcher Sophie Webb aboard a research ship to the Aleutian Islands to study arctic seabirds and the behavior of auklets, albatross, fulmars, and murres. Simple illustrations capture the grandness of the landscape and the beauty of arctic birds.

This book about emperor penguins would tie in perfectly with the documentary March of the Penguins. The illustrations portray the harsh conditions the females must endure as they travel home through the growing ice sheets.

Winged Migration: The Junior Edition. Stephane Durand and Guillaume Poyet. 2001. Nonfiction book with CD. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5+. This oversized book shows migration maps for a variety of birds around the world, but includes birds that spend at least part of their life in arctic and subarctic regions. The text is rather lengthy and lends itself mostly to teachers and upper grades, but younger students will appreciate the maps, photos and sidebars with a few interesting facts. The included CD of bird calls is icing on the cake. Pair this book with science lessons about terns and bird migration.

Want more book recommendations? Go to Issue 11, Arctic and Antarctic Birds

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MO RE F R O M T H E BOOKSHE L F : TUND RA Tundra Ecoystem: Virtual Bookshelf (Issue 13)

by Kate Hastings, Upper Arlington Public Library,

Upper Arlington, Ohio

In elementary school classrooms, youngsters learn about human communities. They explore how firefighters, police, teachers, business owners, librarians, doctors, and others keep a community running - each person having a special role. Nature has its communities, too. And, in the way New York City di!ers from Findlay, Ohio, and Rapid City, South Dakota, plant and animal communities vary under di!erent environmental conditions. Can you imagine an elephant living in Alaska? Its giant ears are great for cooling its body in the hot savannas of Africa, but they would freeze in the tundra. What about a polar bear living in Florida? The situation might make a great movie, but polar bears need ice to hunt seals and often go hungry during the summer when the ice melts. Take a look at our list of recommended books with more available in Issue 13, Tundra: Life in the Polar Extremes.

Recommended Books: Tundra Ecosystems Trout are Made of Trees. April Pulley Sayre. 2008. Nonfiction picture book. Recommended ages: Grades K-1. Collage and mixed-media illustrations make this easy book about food chains and natural recycling perfect for sharing. As falling leaves land in the river and sink, bottom-feeders make a meal of them and are in turn consumed by larger animals until they are eaten by the trout.

Tundra. Aaron Frisch. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-2. Large type and many photos engage students as they learn about the seasons and life on the tundra.

A Tundra Food Chain. Rebecca Hogue Wojahn and Donald Wojahn. 2009. Nonfiction book. Recommended Ages: Grades 4-5. Billed as a "follow-that-food-chain adventure," this book gives Arctic tundra animals a code to identify producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary consumers and decomposers. Two-page spreads have photos and facts about each organism and its adaptations to the tundra. Readers choose what the animal "dined on" and are directed to that organism's page. The back-and-forth reading of this book helps to demonstrate the complexity of food webs.

This book introduces the concept of biomes and shares the climate conditions and organisms unique to the tundra. A map of the world shows where tundra biomes are located. Food chains vary greatly from season to season in the tundra. Includes a discussion of human impact on tundra biomes and conservation.

Explore the Tundra. Linda Tagliaferro. 2007. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5.

Living in the Tundra. Carol Baldwin. 2004. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5. An overview of the tundra, its plant and animal species, food chains and webs, and its importance for humans.

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears has additional book recommendations and ways to integrate literacy and science instruction. Be sure to also go to our blog for more ideas and current news: http://expertvoices.nsdl.org/polar Copyright July 2009. Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is produced by an interdisciplinary team from Ohio State University (OSU), College of Education and Human Ecology; the Ohio Resource Center (ORC) for Mathematics, Science, and Reading; the Byrd Polar Research Center; COSI (Center for Science and Industry) Columbus; the Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL); and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Printed version layout and design by Robert Payo, NSDL. HIGHLIGHTS FROM BEYOND PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS

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