Teacher Tips

There are many variables that will influence a teacher's decisions in planning how to use PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA, from the grade level of the students, to scheduling limitations, to access to technology. Will PTANT be entirely implemented within a science class at the middle school level or in the more fluid dynamics of an upper elementary school setting? Will other teachers be involved? Will this unit become the 'theme' for an interdisciplinary study of the Antarctic, with implementation shared by a team of teachers? The possibilities are both varied and numerous. And the rewards, for teachers and students alike, should be significant-from measurable new cognitive learnings to less measurable, but no less important, changes in affective areas, such as an increased awareness of real world science and an appreciation of the Antarctic as a most unique science laboratory.

The PTANT Implementation Guide (sample a preview chapter from the Guide) is your roadmap to the entire project, showing how to get the most from the integrated, multiple media resources at your disposal. These are the components of PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA:

Eight 15 minute Classroom videos, enlivened with documentary sequences taped on location in Antarctica, show students the continent and its native creatures close-up and in detail. Animations and satellite imagery from NASA and others present the planetary processes which shape Antarctica, and help explain many physical science principles. Two 30 minute Educator programs introduce the continent, preview the series and key science concepts, and show master teachers demonstrating some important Hands-On Activities.

Programs 1 and 2 introduce "The Physical Setting." Programs 3, 4, and 5 focus on "Life and the Antarctic Ecosystem." Program 6 emphasizes "The Human Dimension" of exploration and scientific research-though every program touches on this theme. Program 7 looks at Antarctica as a window on Space and Physical science, and program 8 presents the continent as a way to study future global climate.

The three Teacher's Guides provide 56 field-tested Hands-On Activities to help educators or parents put essential science content in exciting real world context. Teacher Backgrounders provide additional factual information to help you introduce the Activities, and extend topics covered in the videos. PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA provides you, the educator, with a broad menu of choices through which to connect the science principles students can see at work on "The Ice" to project-based discovery activities. Students can then experience those principles for themselves in your classroom-without fear of frostbite, but still with the excitement of exploring one of our planet's most unique environments.

This website provides essential background on PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA both for you and your students. It also serves as a portal to the best on-line resources elsewhere on the Web-reviewed by fellow teachers-and offers learning opportunities unique to PTANT, such as:

 • BIOgraphies telling how many of the featured researchers began their careers
 • Behind the scenes JOURNALS describing first-hand and in memorable anecdotes what it's like to live and work in Antarctica
 • DISCUSS, a moderated forum delivered via e-mail (subscription required), specifically for teachers, and
 • RESEARCHER Q&A (subscription required), a way for students to interact directly with leading scientists and others.

The PTANT Implementation Guide (IG) is organized to complement the 2 "Educator" and 8 "Classroom" or student videos. Each section provides:
 • 3-4 achievable student learning objectives aligned with the NAS/NRC National Science Education Standards and AAAS/Project 2061 Benchmarks
 • Background on the content of the videos
 • Vocabulary words (many found in the Glossary of the printed Teacher's Guides and all defined on-line, in student-friendly, interactive "WordSearch" puzzles)
 • Pre-Viewing Questions to help you manage students' anticipatory set
 • Post-Viewing / Quiz Questions and Discussion Starters to use after the programs
 • Specific Hands-On Activities (cited by page numbers in the companion Teacher's Guides)
 • Science standards met by each program and set of Hands-On Activities and on-line resources.

(sample a preview chapter from the IG)

While the IG suggests what we believe are the most appropriate Activities for each video, you'll likely find others in one or more of the Teacher's Guides that may suit your own particular instructional goals and local circumstances. Feel free to pick and choose-and let us know what works best for you, via discuss-antarctica.

 • Step 1 Preview the eight approximately 15:00 minute PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA classroom videos. Will you use all eight? Will you show them in the suggested sequence?
 • Step 2 Examine the specific objectives suggested for each of eight videos. Which student outcomes are appropriate for your group of students? Which Activities best meet these objectives? Some Activities will fit into one 40-50 minute class period; others may require 2-3 class periods. Some Activities are hands-on labs requiring specific equipment and science supplies, and therefore advance teacher prep.
 • Step 3 Will PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA be implemented as an interdisciplinary study unit? If so, in which subject disciplines will the various Activities be implemented? The 3 teacher guides included in the PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA package suggest many cross-discipline connections.
 • Step 4 Make decisions about assessing student progress. Teachers might consider including students in this aspect of decision-making. Certainly, at the very least, students need to be aware from the beginning of the expectations and requirements you have for this Module.

Please also ignore all phone numbers and contact addresses you find in the printed Teacher's Guides. They are no longer current and may be misleading. Please use the PASSPORT TO ANTARCTICA website for the latest and most accurate URLs: as you undoubtedly already know, the World Wide Web changes as rapidly as the world itself, and the Guides may not have the latest addresses.

If you have questions, submit them to ptkinfo@passporttoknowledge.com or to the discuss-antarctica mail list. An experienced classroom educator will get right back to you with answers.