Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Final week on Svalbard

OK. Here's the work for today (and some bits for next classroom lesson)

So we are going to be moving on to My Place before too long.

Remember to read back through previous postings on the blog from October and November to 'flesh out' or add additional material to the information that you already have, and get some sneak preview of the work that is coming up.

We will also have a little CHRISTMAS diversion in the last week of term.

The plan for today is to get hold of the 500 word piece from everybody who hasn't already let me have Task B
I then need to have your portfolio slides finished off (scroll down a little for a reminder of the enquiry questions.

Final task:

Why would being a student on Svalbard be 'extreme' ?

We are going to use the site of the University of Norway in Svalbard (UNIS)


Try to suggest some differences between being a student at somewhere like COWA compared to UNIS.
Also worth checking out the blog of someone who spent time at UNIS: Laurel McFadden, who last year's Year 10 pupils followed on her COLD PHOTO blog.
You can read the postings from January through to April, which was the time she spent on Svalbard. There are some fantastic images here too....

Image copyright: Laurel McFadden

Check out the SVALBARD COMPANIES page too to see what's on offer for students.

You will need to produce a powerpoint slide or two based on this enquiry question.

Print off a hard copy of the portfolio slides for your blue exercise books - File, Print, Select printer (not that annoying default Primo PDF), Print What ? Handouts, then choose 3, 4 or 6 handouts per page. May also want to INSERT, Slides from Files and add some of the slides from the Boardworks presentation which look at the effect of GLACIATION on the landscape. Remember that there are glaciers on Svalbard.

The presentation is in the Pilot GCSE folder on Pupils on Curriculum.

Final things to add: (little extras)
The cold temperatures experienced in Svalbard and other cold non-glacial climates result in the ground freezing solid. The top few centimetres thaw out in the summer and then freeze again in the winter - this particular part of the soil is called the ACTIVE LAYER. The reason for the name is that as the ground thaws out, large quantities of water are released, and the ground starts to move (it's a process called SOLIFLUCTION) - it results in a very hummocky landscape with lots of surface water called THAW LAKES (I have a 'thaw' finger from all this typing....)

CICERO is the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo. There is an excellent illustrated page HERE. This is a great place to start for explorations into the impact of this thawing of the permafrost on Svalbard (and in other parts of Norway and the Arctic too...)

I suggest you also take a look at the WIKIPEDIA page on Permafrost, and take a look at some of the weird and wonderful things that happen to the surface when it is constantly being frozen and thawed out. This produces a whole range of new Geographical vocabulary: Palsas, Thufurs, Ice Wedges, Stone Polygons, Stone Garlands, Stone Stripes, Felsenmeer, Pro-Talus ramparts, Naleds and Pingos...

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