The Arctic Classroom Package: Where to Begin

Through the Arctic Classroom Travel Resources, your students will be 'traveling' to a small Arctic village on the Western shores of the Hudson Bay called Rankin Inlet. So, before you pack your bags, try the warm-up activities below.

1. Where on the Globe is Nunavut? (K-3)
2. Where on the Map is Rankin Inlet? (4 and up)
3. How to Get to Nunavut (K-3)
4. How to Get to Rankin Inlet (4 and up)
5. Things That Go to Make Up a Life ((K and up)
6. Similarities and Differences (4 and up)
7. Packing Your Bags I (Math Activity) (K-3)
8. Packing Your Bags II (Math Activity) (4 and up)

1. Where on the Globe is Nunavut? (K-3) - Use the globe to locate Nunavut and the Canadian Arctic. Have students identify North America, Central America, Mexico, the US and Canada; the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans; and the Hudson Bay. Have students note how the Hudson Bay is connected to the Atlantic Ocean. Have students identify the North Pole.

2. Where on the Map is Rankin Inlet? (4 and up) - After completing the Where on the Globe is Nunavut activity (above), have students take a closer look at the Canadian Arctic using a map. (Online, try Atlapedia at  .) Have students locate the major islands, bays and straits; identify the major lakes, rivers and mountain ranges; and list the countries that border the Arctic Ocean. Have them differentiate between the North Pole and the north magnetic pole. Have them locate the Arctic Circle and the tree line. Have them compare the sizes of their own state/country with Nunavut.

Explain to students that for centuries, explorers tried to find the Northwest Passage from Europe to Asia via the Arctic. Can your students find it? Ask them to consider why it took the explorers so long.

The Leo Ussak Elementary School, a school that has participated in OneWorld Classrooms, is located in a village called Rankin Inlet on the western side of the Hudson Bay at 62.8 N 92.12 W. Can your students locate Rankin Inlet? What other North American towns or cities are directly south of Rankin Inlet?

3. How to Get to Nunavut (K-3) - After completing Where on the Globe is Nunavut (above), have students trace the route they will travel to get to Nunavut from your home state/province. Ask students in what direction(s) they will travel and by what means they might go. Have them estimate the distance in miles or kilometers and have them estimate a travel time.

4. How to Get to Rankin Inlet (4 and up) - Modify How to Get to Nunavut (above) to fit your grade level. Having students consider that the village they will travel to is on a bay/ocean and has no roads connecting to it, give them a list of means of transportation (car, bus, taxi, train, ship, small airplane, jet, kayak, bike and feet) and have them come up with a variety of ways to get from your school to a school in the Arctic.

5. Things That Go to Make Up a Life (K and up) - Brainstorm with your students to create a long list of things that make up their lives (allow a wide range of responses both general and very specific). Have students determine which items on the list are general and which are specific, then have them break up the items into categories, listing specific items under general categories. The overall list should provide a snapshot of the life and culture of your students. Next, have your students do the activity considering the lives of children who live in the Canadian Arctic. Save the list and when your Arctic unit is complete, review it to determine how accurate the snapshot your students had in their minds about Arctic children was. Modify the list based on what you learned by completing the project and discuss it as a cultural snapshot.

6. Similarities and Differences (4 and up) - A key social skill for all children is to understand that people are all similar in ways and different in ways. Discuss similarities and differences between students in your own classroom. Encourage students to speak of similarities and differences in an inclusive and inoffensive way. Both should be celebrated: similarities bind us as human beings and differences make us special and able to make unique contributions to the world around us. After, using the list you made in Things That Go to Make Up a Life (above), discuss ways that students in your class are similar and different to Arctic children. Revisit the discussion at the completion of your Arctic unit.

7. Packing Your Bags I (Math Activity) (K-3) - Have your students make a list of items they would bring with them if they were traveling to the Canadian Arctic for six weeks. Have them take into consideration the weather and the environment as well as health and entertainment. Also consider what activities you will be doing in the Arctic and consider what items you might be able to purchase or acquire there. Make sure they list how many of each item they would bring. When they've completed the list, have them add up the total number of items. Next, tell them they have to fit all of their items into one large and one small suitcase. Have them prioritize the items eliminating those that are least important. Next have them estimate how many of each item they could fit in the suitcases. If possible, have each student bring in one item on the list (or something of similar size that could represent the item - i.e. a small box instead of a camera). Bring in a large suitcase and a small suitcase and see if you can fit all of your items into them. If not, have students prioritize further until they can get everything in. Compare the number of items on the original list with the number of items that actually fit in the suitcase.

8. Packing Your Bags II (Math Activity) (4 and up) - Modify Packing Your Bags I (above) by telling your students, after they have made their initial list of items, that the airline they will be flying to the Arctic with has a baggage limit of 70 pounds or (rounding off) 30 kilograms. Have students estimate the weight of all the items on their list, then prioritize considering their estimations and the weight limit. When they've pared the list down, have them bring in the items and check them for actual weight, comparing the results with their estimates.

Where to Begin
Traveling to the Top of the World
Fun and Games
Inuktitut Primer
Artwork by Arctic Students
Links and Resources
Classroom Package Home
Arctic Home

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