'Poles Apart' - an Assembly on The Arctic and Antarctica
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With cast size of 30 and running time around 15-20 mins, this assembly is divided into five main sections:
1. Children 1 – 14 deliver facts about the Poles – focusing on the differences between them. There are also facts on how the Antarctic and Arctic get their names; what is sea ice and information on icebergs; human life and what wildlife exists and how it is adapted to surviving the extreme cold.
2. Six polar animals
3. Scientist’s explanation of global warming
4. Five explorers – conflicts arising from race to be first to the Poles
5. Jokes – as delivered by Wacky Scientists 1,2 and 3
In addition to the Assembly, there is a free 'Life at the Poles' script taken from 'Our Planet' Assembly plus six additional Fact Files on the six polar animals featured.
Narrator: So, take a deep breath
(Scientist draws his breath in deeply)
Narrator: And tell us, as calmly as you can, about this global warming. Should we really be spending so much time worrying about all this … all this .. ice?
Scientist: Oh yes. We certainly should! This sea ice you’ve been talking about has a huge influence on our world climate. It’s bright surface reflects sunlight back into space which is why it stays so cold at the Poles. But if temperatures continue to rise, more melting of sea ice will take place
(Scientist gasps for breath as he becomes increasingly agitated)
so there will be fewer bright surfaces to reflect the sun’s rays, so the earth will get warmer, more ice will melt, sea levels will rise,
(Scientist collapses, gasping)
Are you getting the picture?
Narrator: Yes, yes. What did I say about keeping calm? At times of crisis, one should always keep calm. You could perhaps learn a thing or two from these gents
(Scientist stands to the side and watches as the explorers take to the stage)
(Enter explorers: Amundsen, carrying flag ‘First to the South Pole’, followed by Scott and Shackleton; Scott tries to push past Amundsen, to get on first)
Amundsen: Hey! Hey! What’s the hurry, Scott? You still trying to beat me to first place? ‘Fraid you missed last time - by over a month!
Scott: Huh! More like your dogs beat me!
(Amundsen and Scott squaring up for a fight)
Music 3 Who let the dogs out – The Baha Men
Narrator: Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please! This really is no way for two top-class explorers to behave!
Amundsen: He started it!
Scott: Exactly! So why didn’t you do the admirable thing and let me finish it?
Amundsen: (In exasperation) Are you now saying I was responsible for the deaths of you and your men?
Scott: Of course not! But it would have been some comfort to us, perishing on our return journey from the South Pole, had we been the first to reach it.
Shackleton: But maybe the fault lay in your obstinate use of men – man-hauling – instead of dogs?
Music 3: Who Let the Dogs Out – Baha Men (quick burst)
Scott: Oh please, don’t start that again! Yes, it was my decision to use manpower instead of dog-power
Shackleton: And those poor ponies! What made you think they could survive that extreme cold?
Scott: OK, OK, Mr. Shackleton. And may I remind you that at least my second expedition reached the South Pole – which is more than can be said for yours!
Shackleton: Ah, you may mock! But at least I didn’t lose all my men in the process!
Scott: (Brusquely) My men died a hero’s death.
Shackleton: And you think they’d thank you for that?
Narrator: Gentlemen! Gentlemen! You were all heroes – to have taken on such a challenge! Let’s now hear about the conquest of the North Pole! Let us meet the great American explorer Robert Edwin Peary, and the great British explorer , Sir Walter William ‘Wally’ Herbert!
(Enter Robert Peary and Wally Herbert – both carrying ‘First to the North Pole’ flags and jostling each other for first place)
Narrator: (Holding his head) Oh please don’t tell me we’re in for another argument!
Peary: I was the first to the North Pole!
Herbert: No you weren’t! I was!
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