Yesterday was Polar Bear Day! I found this great blog. She lists mini units each day with links and activities. I have really enjoyed looking at all the mini units and making notes about them. Yesterday, since it was science day, I decided we would use the polar bear study since it kinda ties into the weather unit. (They do live in extreme conditions ;-))
The picklets started off with a KWL chart. They listed what they knew about polar bears and what they wanted to learn about polar bears. We then read about the polar bears at the San Diego Zoo. We then discussed zoos vs natural habitats and how zoos have changed over the years.
Next we watched the polar bears on the polar bear cam. The picklets liked seeing them walk around. (though the panda and elephant cam was better they say) After watching the different cams we watched Mammals:Polar Bears on UnitedStreaming. The video showed pandas being introduced to their new "habitat" at the Washington Zoo.
Journaling came next. In their journals they were to make their own lair. Sweet designed her lair and drew it out labeling it. Chip and Spear's work was a bit more intense. They figured out what they needed vs what they wanted. They then made a bludprint of their lair. I had to LOL when Spear, barely in the double digits, put a coffee maker on his essential list. (I had to remind him he would need a toilet.) When I mentioned the toilet Chip said it wasn't a problem, he could just poop on the floor and someone would come in and clean up after him. (roll eyes)
Sweet did a math problem where she learned that baby polar bears only weigh a pound at birth.


A couple of hands on experiments helped to teach how polar bears stay warm. The first showed that black absorbs heat. They took three thermometers, 2 peices of construction paper, two lights and a timer to show this. One thermometer went on the black construction paper, one thermometer was on the white and one thermometer was the control. They each had a station and every thirty seconds they wrote down the temperature on the their thermometer. The result was the thermometer on the black paper went up 6 degrees where the thermometer on the white went up 1. The control thermometer stayed the same.


Paragraph.The picklets learned that polar bears can have up to 4 inches of blubber. So we did a blubber experiment. The picklets put shortning in a sandwich bag, put another one inside it and duct taped them together. They put their hand in the "mitten" and stuck their hand in a bowl of ice water. The conclusion was the side of the hand that was insultated with the "blubber" stayed warmer than the side of the hand with no blubber.

The picklets took turns reading The Polar Bear in Underwear by Bonnie Kilburn outloud and then colored the coloring sheet.
To add a little fun to the lesson we did this polar bear activity. None of us liked the way the polar bear was supposed to look, so the picklets cut out the shapes and using their imagination came up with their own version. My Chip and his imagination. I would never had thought of making a polar bear paw!


When we finished with that experiment and cleaned up the picklets finished their KWL charts. They filled in what they learned:
1. polar bears favorite meat is seal 2. We are polar bear enemies 3. female polar bears are smaller 4. the females can give birth to between 1-3 cubs a year 5. the average number of cubs is 2 6. they have black skin to help keep them warm 7. the females can give birth and nuse when they are in their winter sleep 8. cubs are born the size of a rat and weigh about 1 pound 9. the cubs leave their mom at the age of 2 10. their fur is not is actually clear tubes filled with air ©2007WickedPicklesHomeshool



Thu, 27 Dec 2007 11:12:29

Oh, this is a timely post! GB has been absolutely fascinated with polar bears ever since he saw the Golden Compass movie. I was thinking that after our break I was going to have to put something together for him, but now, thanks to you (and your other blogging friends) I don't have to. Hey! It feels like another Christmas present!....LOL!
Btw, I love the new blog. It's very easy to navigate. And you know, I saw that Science link up there and headed straight for it! Ha! Ha!
I imagine it will take me a few hours to read through a lot of what you've got here, so don't be surprised to see some more comments!
Take care!


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