Our Arctic Inquiry

Our Arctic Inquiry began when there was much discussion about snow and ice.  I set up a couple of different provocations ... this one was all about exploring ice:

 I also wanted to know if the students were interested in creating different homes for animals.

There was so much interest in animals such as polar bears and seals (where do they live? what do they eat?) that I decided to explore this further by setting up a few activities and reading books to find answers to these questions.
Here is a small world play activity I set up.

This was the start of our Arctic inquiry!
As we read through several books, we wrote down the names of animals that live in the Arctic.  I printed a picture of each and posted them on our bulletin board.
Then the students decided that we should research these animals so they each chose their favourite (we did this by pulling straws) and they started researching!
I created this research paper for students to write about their animal and draw it.
We turned our research into a class book!
You can download this paper for free by clicking on the picture below.

Here's our class book all about Arctic Animals:

We also watched a few videos all about the Arctic and noticed the beautiful Northern Lights.
So we painted our own!
This activity was inspired by Kristen Smith from A Day in First Grade.
We used watercolour paints and water to make the northern lights.
First we wet the entire paper (I used Bristol board) with water and a sponge.  Then we painted using liquid water colour paints (I got mine on Amazon a few years back).  I showed the students how to paint up and down, side to side and diagonally to really show the beauty of these lights.  Then we went back over it with water and a sponge.

 We added scenery to the picture by cutting out black construction paper.

We decided to draw our animals using the overhead so that we could create our own Arctic tundra!
I showed the students how to carefully trace the outline of their animal.

Since there was still a strong interest in learning about these Arctic animals, I made these picture cards and left them for students to write "on ice" (foil) which they loved!

We also started drawing and painting our Arctic tundra!

We also added snowflakes because there's lots of snow and ice in the Arctic!
We learned how to fold paper and cut so that our snowflake comes out symmetrical!

Here's our finished Arctic tundra!

 This is a closer look at our documentation.

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