International Polar Bear Day is the 27th of February. But one of the world’s most majestic and beloved animals makes for a great learning topic all year round. Although polar bears make for incredibly fun and exciting lessons, teaching the reality of how much danger polar bears face is very important in the classroom.
Polar Bears International is a site dedicated to promoting the polar bear. It comes with an abundance of lesson plans and resources which make for great additions to any curriculum. Teaching about conversation, climate change, human impact and biodiversity becomes so easy (to name but a few!)
Below are 3 examples of great resources you’ll find on Polar Bears International along with some ideas on how best to integrate them – there are also lesson plans, curriculum notes, plans, assessment rubrics and more so please do explore!
1. Bear Tracker!
Polar Bears International have a tracker page where you can follow the journey several polar bears make who have a tracker placed on them. Kids love to see routes they take, where they meet, and where abouts on the map you can spot a polar bear.
There’s also an option to change the times – kids could compare routes by season, months or years. Great for teaching data in Maths – plot information on graphs, pie-charts, take surveys.
There’s also Geography – locations (there’s Google Earth links: What towns/cities are nearby, What do they look like?)
2. Fact files & myth busters
The site has amazing pockets of information on polar bears which would make for great integration on Literacy and Science and co-operative groupwork.
Think of it as a self-contained web-quest where kids are asked to gather information (either teacher led or what they find interesting). Compile a report at the end, task groups to out different topics/areas of the site and have children teach each other with their findings. Examples:
- How long do polar bears live?
- What do they eat?
- What common myths exist about polar bears?
The presentation would go under oral language and writing/reading during the activities.
3. Videos – Immersive learning
There are lots of videos on the Polar Bears International YouTube channel which can be made into lessons themselves. From visuals of climate change to interviews with the researchers and scientists themselves.
Great for source material in investigating the polar bear further and as introductions/cool downs between lessons.
(Please review videos before sharing in classroom, as one or two do show some minor violence)
And we couldn’t not share you the below Polar Bear song – music sorted for the week and guaranteed to become a favourite among the younger kids. It has some very witty lines on climate change which again could be great source material for discussion.
This is just a taster of what great resources are on offer at Polar Bear International.