The North Pole

Time to study the Arctic and the North Pole!

Get a map of the Arctic Polar Region and label or study some significant places, like the arctic circle and true north and magnetic north.

North Polar Region web

Now research more and answer some questions about the arctic:

  • If you have a map showing true north as dead center on your map, how do you orient the compass rose? Or do you just leave it off?
  • What line of latitude is the arctic circle located at? Why is it drawn there on the map? Is it arbitrary or does the circle have real significance?
  • What are the coordinates for the north pole?
  • Which countries claim land in the arctic?
  • Do humans use any natural resources found in the arctic? Which ones?
  • The ocean is a very important part of the arctic. Which oceans and seas surround the pole?
  • Is there land at the north pole or just ice?
  • Russia and Denmark both want to claim the north pole. Should they be able to? Why or why not?
  • Where is magnetic north? Is that the same place it was last year?
  • If you are standing at the north pole, what time is it?
  • Why is the north pole the north pole? What significance does it have?

This is winter sea ice in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska. Photo by NOAA, public domain.

After you’ve mapped some known places on earth, you can map some unknown ones like Santa’s workshop. Where exactly do you think it is? How could you get there? Mark a course and plan an expedition. What supplies would you need? How would you travel and at what time of year?

Additional Layers

  • Find out about famous explorers who mapped the arctic for the first time. Many of them died trying.
  • Read more about conditions in the arctic to find out how extreme the weather really is and what types of plants and animals you might come across. Do reindeer really live at the north pole?
  • Write a story about what Santa sees outside his workshop windows in the arctic or a story about how you travel to find Santa’s workshop.
  • Can you find places on earth named “North Pole” even though they are most definitely not the North Pole?

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