Adelie nesting pair
Adelie nesting pair (Photo: Matt Low)

Students will discover how attempting to describe Antarctica's uniqueness has encouraged the evolution of new words.

  • Ask the students to think of words which describe Antarctica, or are associated with Antarctica. Examples might be polar, penguins, ice, icebergs, freezing, blizzards, south, Mawson, seals, white, death, darkness, danger…
  • To make meaningful connections between the words, have the students create a web diagram or concept map by drawing arrows linking the words and adding any extra phrases that are necessary to explain the connection.
  • Students could then write a poem (a haiku poem would be ideal), or make up a crossword using the words. (Note: A haiku consists of three lines - the first with five syllables, the second seven and the last five again - and it expresses inspiration derived from the natural world.)
  • What is a 'growler'? Or a 'snotsicle'? Does anyone ever eat 'Macquarie cabbage'? Are some of your best friends 'overwinterers'? Where did the name 'Adelie' penguins come from? For that matter, why is it called the 'Antarctic'? Find the definitions of these and other Antarctic terms and phrases in Bernadette Hince's The Antarctic dictionary: a complete guide to Antarctic English.
This page was last modified on January 23, 2014.