- Straight to the Pole by Kevin O'Malley
- sand table
- small trash can (smooth inside)
Set Up and PrepareThe length of this activity varies according to the size of the "glacier" you make.
Fill the trash can with water and place it in your school's walk-in freezer. (Be sure to check with the kitchen staff before doing so.) This will be your glacier. The trash can needs to be smooth on the inside so that the glacier will easily slide out. If it's hard to dislodge it from the can, try soaking it in hot water for a few seconds.
Talk about the pole featured in the book and ask students to share their knowledge of the North and South Poles. Work with students to locate the Poles on the globe and discuss what the weather and geographical features would be there.
Have students gather around the sand table and place the glacier in it. Scrape the glacier across the sand, allowing students time to observe what this does to the sand. Have students make some predictions about what will happen as the glacier melts.
Give students time to periodically check on the glacier. Keep an eye open for rivers, lakes, and smaller glaciers.
Supporting All Learners
While the objective is specifically geared toward first graders, this activity is visually engaging to young students.
Try placing small rocks and gravel in the glacier before freezing it.
Dinosaurs, Dunes, and Drifting Continents: The Geology of the Connecticut River Valley by Richard D Little www.authortracker.com/author.asp?a=authorid&b=12553