How does the changing climate impact the penguins around Antarctica?

How does the changing climate impact the penguins around Antarctica?

In this lesson, students investigate the life history characteristics of different Antarctic penguin species and identify the changes that their populations have experienced.

Context for Use

This is the second lesson of a five-part curriculum about Antarctic physical environments and ecosystems. 

Penguins on Ice

Photo Credit: Anna Ruth Halberstad

Goals Header
What Students Will Do

  • Describe general behaviors and habitat requirements of penguins necessary to survive in the harsh Antarctic environment.
  • Interpret and summarize population trends.
  • Connect the natural history of the species with their population changes in light of climate changes occurring in Antarctica.

Teaching Materials

Student Handout: How does the changing climate impact the penguins around Antarctica?
Teacher Guide: How does the changing climate impact the penguins around Antarctica?
Map of Antarctica

Description

Part 1 –  (25 minutes)  Penguin Behavior and Habitat Requirements

Students will collect and share information on the natural history of several species of penguins found in and around Antarctica. Emphasis will be on the physical traits and behaviors that allow them to survive in extreme conditions.

Part 2 –  (20 minutes) Penguin Population Dynamics

Students will analyze data on penguin population sizes in different regions of Antarctica to understand changes that have occurred in different parts of Antarctica.

Part 3 –  (15 minutes) Connecting the Data

Students will connect what they have learned about penguin natural history and the impacts that climate change has had on regions of Antarctica with what they observed in the penguin population data.

 

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