Iceland-- School-Age

Iceland

Iceland Flag Map

Things to Know

Republic of Iceland
Lydhveldidh Island

Constitutional republic

Capital: Reykjavik
The northernmost national capital in the world.

Land of Fire and Ice


 

 
Iceland Map

Iceland is in Northern Europe. It is an island between the Greenland Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.

Iceland is a volcanic island with several active volcanoes.

People live along a narrow coastal belt, valleys and the lowland plains in the south and southwest.
Iceland Globe

National Symbols

Gyrfalcon
Gyrfalcon

National Bird: Gyrafalcon
The Gyrafalcon is a bird of prey and the largest of the falcon species.

White Dryas
White Dryas

National Flower: White Dryas ( mountain avens)

Iceland Flag

The colors in Iceland's flag represent elements that make up the island. Red is for the island's volcanic fires, white for snow and ice, and blue for the surrounding ocean.

Flag of Iceland

Animals

Arctic Fox
Arctic Fox

The Arctic fox is the only land mammal native to Iceland. People brought brought domesticated animals and reindeer to Iceland.

Iceland is home to many different species of animals including birds, fish, and mammals.

Many kinds of mammals and fish inhabit Iceland's waters: whales, common seal, gray seal, salmon, trout, char, and eel.

There are also over 200 species of birds found in Iceland.: seabirds, waterfowls, and waders are the most common birds that are found in Iceland.

An unique animal in Iceland is the Icelandic Sheep which was brought to the island in 874 C.E. by Viking settlers. Other unique animals in Iceland are Icelandic cows and Icelandic horses, that first arrived in Iceland with the first settlers. Icelandic Sheepdogs are an ancient breed of dog.

Climate

There are four seasons in Iceland. During the winter it can be rare to see sunlight, many days there is not much light. In the summer there can be days with 24 hours of sunlight.

Iceland may sound cold but it has a temperate climate. Warm waters from the Gulf Stream make summers mild and winters cold but bearable.

Plants

The interior of Iceland is mostly mosses and lichen that grow on rocks and lava fields. Shrubs such as heather grow in parts of Iceland. Timber is virtually absent, and much of the land is barren. Four-fifths of Iceland is uninhabited and mostly uninhabitable.

Video

Land

Iceland is a land covered in of ice fields, glaciers, and geysers, with a coastline marked with fjords, which are deep inlets craved by glaciers and more than 20 active volcanoes. It has a large volcanic plateau in the middle of the island.

A great site - One Geology Kids: Glaciers.

Volcanic System of Iceland map
Volcanic System of Iceland

Make

Volcano
A messy project
Need: plastic bottle, tub, a plate, clay or sand, funnel, baking soda, vinegar, glitter, food coloring.

Place a clean empty bottle (soda bottle) on a plate (pie, baking pan, paper plate). For less mess place the bottle in a small plastic tub. Make a volcano around the bottle with modeling clay. You can use dampened sand to form a volcano around the bottle. Leave the top of the bottle open and free of modeling clay or sand.

Place the funnel in the top of the bottle. Put about a 1/2 cup of water with 3 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda into the bottle. You can add about a 1/2 a teaspoon of glitter and a few drops of red food coloring.

Pour about 1/2 a cup of vinegar into the funnel and quickly remove the funnel from the bottle. Erupting Volcano!

When vinegar (an acid) reacts with baking soda (a base) the bubbles that are created are filled with carbon dioxide.

Sites to See

Volcanoes, volcanoes, volcanoes at Science Wire

Where Did Icelanders Come From?
It is thought that the first people to arrive in Iceland were Irish monks around the year AD 800. In the 9th century, Norsemen arrived in Iceland.

Vikings at Smithsonian Institute

Recommended Books

Chicken Pot Turtle Goes to Iceland
by Angela M Scheideler (ages 2-7)

Iceland (True Books: Countries)
by Kathleen W Deady (ages 7-9)

Horse Diaries #1: Elska
by Catherine Hapka (ages 8-12)

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