Jump to this Activity »
Now you Sea Ice, Now you Don't: Penguin Communities Shift on the Antarctic Peninsula

Beth Simmons, Palmer LTER

In this activity, students investigate the shifting of three penguin communities in response to climate change.

Activity takes about 3.5 hours or five 45-minute class periods.

Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Climate's role in habitats ranges and adaptation of species to climate changes
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3a
Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

Energy Literacy

Water plays a major role in the storage and transfer of energy in the Earth system.
Other materials addressing:
2.4 Water stores and transfers energy.
Humans live within Earth's ecosystems.
Other materials addressing:
3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:A) Questioning
Other materials addressing:
A) Questioning.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:A) Organisms, populations, and communities
Other materials addressing:
A) Organisms, populations, and communities.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:C) Systems and connections
Other materials addressing:
C) Systems and connections.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Educator might want to present a map of Antarctica and locate the regions discussed in the activity.
  • In an upper-level ecology course, could be a case study for an ecology or global change unit.
  • The lesson would also be a good culminating activity allowing students to demonstrate their grasp of how various environmental factors influence each other and impact resident fauna.

About the Science

  • Very strong description of science content: population dynamics of three species of Antarctic penguin (Adelie, Chinstrap, Gentoo) and relevant climatic factors.
  • The claim "strong evidence suggests that observed changes in Earth's climate are largely due to human activities" can be cited from the recent IPCC report.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activity uses the jigsaw approach to students learning about and sharing the complex climatic issues related to shifting penguin populations on the West Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Activity has flexible structure, such that the units can be easily broken up into pre-classroom, classroom, and post-classroom activities as time requires.
  • Interesting and engaging student materials.
  • Students may need some background knowledge about Antarctica and penguins before the activity.
  • Links to references are provided to help educator prepare for the activity, or to further engage students with regional knowledge of the penguin populations.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • A very thorough and informative set of teacher background materials is supplied. All parts of the activity (background, student sheets, etc.) are included in the pdf. Easy to use.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Links to relevant background information are listed in the activity pdf.

Jump to this Activity »

Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.

Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.

Join the Discussion

Log in to reply