Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
a Web Quest by
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
On December 5, 1914, Ernest Shackleton set out on the last great adventure of the age of exploration. He and his men were attempting to cross Antarctica on foot. However, before they could reach their goal, misfortune struck and the mission changed. After having their ship frozen in place, Shackleton swore that every man of his crew would survive the trip. The journey back to land was a dangerous and difficult ordeal, yet with courage and determination, Shackleton and his crew made it back safely. Their accounts of their journey form one of the most amazing and powerful adventure stories of all time.
You will be broken up into small groups. Each group will use the internet to retrace Shackleton's journey and learn about Antarctica along the way. Along the way, you will be asked to answer a number of questions, so be attentive. Skip down to the Evaluation Rubric to see what your grade will be based on.
1. First, you will watch the Imax movie Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure. The movie will give you the story and background of Shackleton's expedition and the perils it faced.
2. After watching the movie, you will be broken up into small groups of no more than four. One group member needs to be the recorder, and write down all the answers and finding for the group.
3. Each group will explore the Nova Online page to learn all about Shackleton and Antarctica. Click on the Nova link to begin.
4. First, click on the link titled "Shackleton's Expedition" and answer the following questions:
Timeline - What event occurred January 18, 1915?
Timeline - What day did Shackleton make it back to pick up his crew?
Who was the navigator on the long voyage to South Georgia Island?
Shackleton's Team - Who was the carpenter for the expedition?
Shackleton's Team - Which crew member was hired on the spot when asked about his glasses?
5. Click on the link "Escape from Antarctica" and scroll down to learn about a sextant. Then, click on the picture at top to actually use the sextant to navigate. Repeat the navigation activity until you have successfully reached South Georgia Island. Record the number of attampts.
6. Who were "Shackleton's Lost Men?" What was their duty, and what happened to them?
7. Next, click the link for "Surviving Antarctica." First explore the section "Mapping Terra Incognita" What did James Cook set out to find? Did he find it?
8. Next, click the section labeled "Danger on Ice" and use the picture and descriptions to answer the following questions:
How does one get fresh water in Antarctica?
What does one eat?
What is the lowest Antarctic temperature on record?
What are the dangers of traveling in Antarctica
Why does one always need to wear sunglasses?
9. Finally, click the link to explore Antarctic islands. Pick two pictures, and write a detailed description of what you see. What challenges would an explorer face in your pictures?
10. Now that you have learned all about Antarctica, it is your turn to design an Antarctic expedition. What do you want to do? What supplies do you need? How would you reach your goal? What are the dangers. When you are done, turn in your adventure proposal with all you answers to the teacher. Congratulations! You know all about polar expeditions.
Your grade will be based on the following rubric:
|Shackleton Project Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Complete all questions, correct answers (1-9 on process)||50
|Antarctic Expedition plan. Complete, accurate analysis||25
|Teamwork: Every member of group played a role, good cooperation.||25|
|Total Possible Points||
Note that half of your grade is based on correct answers to the questions given in the process. The other half of possible points is divided between the final step (10) and teamwork. Make sure that every member of the group contributes.
Survival in extreme conditions takes skill and discipline. In 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton embarked on an ambitious journey across Antarctica. When things turned for the worse, he did not give up. All the men of his crew made it back alive after spending a winter on the frozen Antarctic Sea. To get back to land, he had determination to not give up. In addition, the hard work and skill of his team allowed them to survive. In this Web Quest, you have learned all about Shackleton's journey, and how he made it back. In addition, you learned things about Antarctica, and navigation. Finally, based on your knowledge, you created your own expedition into Antarctica. Although the climate is severe, through hard work and determination, humans can accomplish anything.
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Grade Band 6 - 12
Tennessee State Curriculum Standards: World History, Geography, Social Studies
World History, World Geography (9-12)
5.10 understand how historical information is collected, recorded, interpreted, transmitted, and disseminated across various historical eras
3.1 understand the importance of physical geographic features on world historic events
3.2 know the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment, both physical and human, locally, regionally, and globally
Social Studies, 6 - 8
3.02 Know the location of places and geographic features, both physical and human
7.3.tpi.5. list physical characteristics that comprise a place (e.g., landforms, water systems, climate patterns, and plant and animal life).
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction:
Before beginning the process, the teacher should show the IMAX video Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure available at www.amazon.com. The movie (40 mins.) will introduce students to Shackleton's story, Antarctic survival, and the survival of the crew. After showing the movie, the teacher will break students up into groups of no more than four. Each group needs access to a computer and the internet. The teacher should be prepared to help students navigate the NOVA website, so be sure to look around before beginning this activity. After the process is complete, the teacher may want to add or substitute a group discussion on Antarctica and the survival story of the crew. Also, you may want students to present their expedition proposal in front of the class. The teacher should feel free to alter the process of this web quest in any way to best fit time and education requirements.
Purpose of Web Quest and Learning improvements:
To teach students about the Antarctic climate, and the unique dangers of polar survival. To promote the internet as a useful and easily accessible research tool. To promote group cooperation skills through team assignments. To further the understanding of the geographic features of Antarctica. To promote critical thinking skills by reinforcing learning in the expedition proposal. Besides learning about Shackleton and Antarctica, the students will learn how to utilize internet technology for research of any kind. The students will also be required to use the information they learned and apply it in the form of an Expedition Proposal (Process 10).
Nova Online. (2002). Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance. Retrieved February 26, 2004 from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/shackleton/
Slingshot. (2001). Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure [dvd]. Toronto, Canada: Imax
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