Friday, February 26, 2010

Continent Boxes: Antarctica

I am continuing my continent box series today with Kal-El's favorite continent: Antarctica.

As with all the boxes, I pin-punched the continent out of sandpaper for the top.

This is a really nice connection back to the sandpaper globe which had been ignored since the globe of world parts made its appearance. The sandpaper labels on the boxes brought the sandpaper globe back into the "in crowd."

We participated in a continent swap hosted by Jo at A Bit of This and a Bit of That. Chaucey, who is from New Zealand, was in charge of Antarctica. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to swap with her. Her father is a philatelist who had a lot of neat items to share.

We received several examples of Antarctica postage and envelopes from different research bases or objects unique to Antarctica such as the Hercules plane.

She shared Scott Base dog tags as well as pins and patches that would have been worn on scientist's uniforms,

Also included were photographs of wildlife and scientists.

We have been enjoying photographs of ice boats, hagglunds, and Antarctic aircraft as well as decals of different icebreaker ships and a fold-out map of McMurdo station.

Chaucey made information cards about the Antarctica flag, a diagram of the Emperor penguins' seasonal cycle, and a diagram of the Antarctica food web. She also included photographs of an icebreaker boat and the southern lights.

We received an Andrill postcard and a postcard from the South Pole.

Chaucey modelled a paperdoll after one of her sons and provided all of the layers of clothes a scientist in Antarctica would wear.

THANK YOU so very much Chaucey, this was a fantastic package!

I dug through all of our toob animals and came up with a modest collection of Antarctic wildlife.
I printed photographs of each animal to match with the figurines and laminated them with fun facts on the back.

I found a sperm, humpback and orca whales.

Kal-El's favorite question to ask about any animal...from an ant to an "Do they eat people?" About a week ago, my husband was very upset with me because when Kal-El asked that question about the Orca or Killer Whale I answered "sometimes." He said, "Sharks eat people occasionally but not whales, what were you thinking?!?" I held my ground so he hit up Google and read me an "appropriate" list of what they eat. I said, "Fine Mr. Google. Now Google 'orca' and 'attack' and tell me what you come up with." We proceeded to watch several video's on You Tube of orca's attacking their trainers. Unfortunately, a couple of days ago I got to e-mail him an "I told you so, they did it again" link. So now, the family "party line" seems to be "captive orcas will occasionally eat a person on accident and usually they spit them out right away."

Also from our toob collection are the appropriate penguin figurines and matching photo/info cards that are available free here.

I just realized I forgot to take a picture of the seals I found at the Tapirback Animal Store and the cards I made to go with them.

I also added a book: Antarctica (Continents).

I made a book, "living in Antarctica," using information, text, and pictures I found at the Landcare Research website. The text and pictures from their "living in Antarctica" pages are an excellent source for a children's book. I particulary love their description of what it "feels like" to travel to Antarctica. I changed some of the vocabulary and eliminated some of the more technical sections. In the end I was able to make a ten page book about "getting there," "full-survival clothing," "life in the field," "tents and wannigans," "Scott Base," "field training," "field camp," "food," and "water."

I was able to use information from the same website to create an eight-page photo book about all of the different types of transportation available in Antarctica.

(Also pictured is the Antarctica card from the Rand McNally Schoolhouse World Facts & Landmarks Flashcards And Games.)

Added to the box 1/12/12 is this book available for free on Australia's government website about the Antarctic food chain.  It helped Kal-El make sense of the food chain card pictured earlier.  

Another website that might be helpful if you are making your own Antarctica box is the Cool Antarctica website.

....I think that is all. I will try to give you a peek into another one of our boxes next week.

Other posts in this series:

Continent Boxes: Africa
Continent Boxes: The Challenge


  1. Great compilation of ideas. I'll have to come back to this when we get to Antarctica.

  2. it's great to see what everyone is doing with their swap packs :o)

  3. WOW! Great items in your box! You are doing great job with your boxes :-)

  4. Very cool! Love the items in your Antartica box.

    I just added something new to our geography shelf - sandpaper cards of the continents. I did it the same way as you did - pin punched around the continent - and then glued it on matboard. The kids really enjoy them.

  5. What a great collection! It must be an instinctual thing because that's JC's favorite question too. We loved studying Antarctica!

  6. Great continent box, thanks for sharing. :)