In January, our first grade made a study of Eskimos and animals of the Arctic and Antarctic Regions. We began our unit by reading "The True Book of Little Eskimos" by Donalda McKillop Copeland. It is a book about the lives of a little Eskimo boy and girl. We learned how Eskimos build their igloos and how they hunt different animals for food and clothing. We enjoyed learning about the games the Eskimo children make out of whale bones and we really enjoyed making our own igloos out of playdough.
We covered half of a styrofoam ball with playdough and used toothpicks to make imprints of blocks of snow. A small cube-shaped door was made out of playdough and attached to the rest of the igloo. We made an Eskimo village by draping quilt batting over different sized boxes and putting our igloos and stuffed animals of the arctic on these boxes.
To end our unit the last animal we studied was the penguin. We learned that there are 17 kinds of penguins and they all live in regions below the equator. We learned what penguins eat, how they hatch their eggs, and how blubber protects the penguins from the extreme cold weather. We did a blubber mitten activity in science class to find out what it's like to have a layer of blubber to keep warm.
The last day of our unit we celebrated by having Penguin Day. We all wore black clothing to school and we made penguin bibs to complete our costumes. We waddled to the library to have our pictures made and then we waddled back to our rooms to enjoy penguin and igloo cake and to say our penguin chant.
Click here for Cool Resources for our arctic unit of study