Resource Type
Completion Time
About 1 period
Middle School and Up
Download and Share
Mindy Bell
internet and printer
3" x 5" index cards
glue sticks
string or paperclips
hole punch
list of explorers (see attached)


Few people are familiar with the fascinating stories that Arctic and Antarctic explorers have to share. Students will research an explorer and create a dangling string with key information and highlights from the expedition(s) of that explorer.


To learn about polar explorers and polar expeditions.


Gather needed materials. Have the explorers' information and photos preprinted or have the ability to print them on site. If you want students to focus on a certain time frame such as the early 1800s, or on certain explorers that are more well known, or on modern explorers, choose the appropriate explorers from the list in advance of assigning students to their explorers.


Students can choose an explorer or the teacher can have students draw the names of explorers randomly. Students then research the main details of that explorer's expedition(s) and summarize them on index cards. Information and photos can come from a variety of websites that discuss polar expeditions. The top index card should be the explorer's name and a picture of the explorer. The second card could be the name of the expedition and a picture of the ship they took to reach polar waters or a picture of the expedition crew. The third card could outline the main accomplishments of the expedition with associated photos. Additional cards could be added if there is sufficient time and interest. Index cards are then linked by paperclips or pieces of string so they can be hung around the room. Students make an oral presentation on their explorers and then hang their creations up.


Information and photos of explorers and their expeditions come from a variety of websites.


Mindy Bell thought of this activity and will gladly accept improvements. You can contact her at mindyscience [at]

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This program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the PIs and coordinating team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.