Seals & Polar Bears
January is a fun time to study some of the animals we think of as cold
weather animals. Penguins, seals and polar bears are associated with
the snowy, colder parts of our world. Enjoy your visit with these cold
seal, polar bear, blubber, Antarctica, north, south, predator, swim,
the vocabulary words to make bingo games, word search, fill in the blank,
cloze stories, and many other activities for the unit.
the unit by making a booklet to hold all the information and pagers that
will be completed during the unit. Decorate the cover with student
drawn penguin, seal and bear pictures.
a mini book about penguins after studying the penguin facts http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/encanto/penguins/t-index.htm
activity - locate the following items and color them different
colors. Polar regions (Arctic-North Pole, northern hemisphere,
Antarctica-South Pole, southern hemisphere), oceans that surround the
regions, Greenland, Australia.
Bear similes - http://www.abcteach.com/Themeunits/arctic/polbear.htm
Glyph - http://www.abcteach.com/Themeunits/arctic/artcenter.htm
some of the following facts can be used for fact pages in the student
bears are superbly adapted for survival in the Far North. Polar
bears live only in the circumpolar North.
Polar bears are the world's largest land predators. They top the food
chain in the Arctic, where they dine primarily on seals.
male polar bears weigh from 775 to more than 1,500 pounds. Females are
considerably smaller, normally weighing 330 to 550 pounds.
Polar bears range throughout the Arctic in areas where they can hunt
seals. The five "polar bear nations" where the ice bears are
found include the U. S. (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland),
polar bears usually have two cubs.
female polar bear gives birth to her cubs about two months after she
enters the den. Newborns are 12 to 14 inches long and weigh little more
than a pound.
out of 10 polar bear cubs die in their first year, victims of starvation, predation or accidents. The high rate is partly due to
native hunters, who have been known to kill both mothers and cubs.
at least 20 months, polar bear cubs drink their mother's milk and depend
on her for survival. Their mother's success at hunting seals directly
influences their own well-being.
adult polar bear's only enemies are human hunters and, on rare
occasions, other bears.
In the wild, adult polar bears live an average of 15 to 18 years, though
biologists have tagged a few bears in their early 30s. In zoos, many
captive bears live until their mid- to late 30s. One individual in
London lived to the ripe old age of 41.
polar bear's fur is not white. Each hair shaft is pigment-free and
transparent with a hollow core. The fur on a polar bear cub is whiter
than that of adult bears. In older bears, fur colors range from white to
Polar bears look white because the hollow core scatters and reflects
visible light, much like ice and snow does.
Polar bears are champion swimmers. They have been known to swim more
than 60 miles without a rest. Polar bears have been clocked
swimming as fast as six miles per hour. Polar bears have excellent
underwater vision. They can spot food up to 15 feet away.
A polar bear is so well-insulated that it experiences almost no heat
loss. In addition to its insulating fur, the bear's blubber layer can
measure 4.5 inches thick.
So effective is the polar bear's insulation that adult males quickly
overheat when they run.
seals can be found in the open seas of the Arctic Atlantic.
thick protective layer of fat, called blubber, shields them from the cold,
and strong, sharp claws on their front flippers help them haul their heavy
bodies out of the water and across the ice.
weigh on average 300 lb (136 kg) and are approximately 5 ft
(1.6 m) long.
seals are monogamous, mating with just one partner for life.
with silky white fur, the youngest pups are called whitecoats. The white
coat helps the baby seals blend into the wintry landscape—effective
protection against all predators, except human hunters who target the
newborns for their highly marketable pelts.
seal mothers can tell which pup is her own, but the pups can't tell which
mother is their own.
harp seals can swim 10 mph (15 kmph), their body is shaped like a torpedo,
and they can dive 600 ft. (185 m.).
predators of harp seals include polar bears, arctic foxes, and certain
species of birds.
total population of harp seals is now estimated to be between 7 and 8
fly. Penguins swim.
chicks have fluffy feathers.
Penguins live in
large groups called colonies or rookery.
their wings like paddles for swimming.
not live at the North Pole.
All penguins live
in the Southern Hemisphere. Some live in Antarctica, Coast of South
America, South Africa, Galapagos, Southern Australia and New Zealand.
forage in the ocean for their food, which may be fish, squid, or
Most penguins can
swim about 15 miles per hour.
warm with insulating layers consisting of tightly packed feathers, air,
skin, and blubber.
their feathers tightly against their bodies to keep warm and fluff them
out away from their bodies to cool off.
There are at
least 18 different species of penguins. There may be as many as 100
million penguins in the world.
penguins are threatened by oil spills, water pollution, and the over
harvesting of ocean fish.
a polar bear - use the lesson at BillyBear4Kids.
Draw the bear on black or dark blue paper using white chalk or white
a penguin. Use the link for BillyBear4Kids.
craft project - make this bear using white paper and it becomes a polar
craft project - http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/measypenguin.html
penguin craft project - http://www.first-school.ws/t/craft/penguin_hearts_c.html
depressor Penguins - 1 tongue
depressor, 1 popsicle stick, fun foam in yellow and orange, black
& white paint
pop stick white and tongue depressor black. Glue pop stick in the middle
of tongue depressor. On the white part, draw two eyeballs with
permanent marker. Leave about an inch or more and draw in three buttons
(dots). Make a beak (shaped like a pumpkin seed) out of orange fun foam.
Glue beneath eyes. Cut hat and scarf out of yellow fun foam. Glue hat on
black part above eyes. Glue scarf below beak. Add magnet on the back.
Bear Biscuits: Each student should be provided with an unbaked
canned biscuit and a small piece of aluminum foil with their name written
on it with a Sharpie marker. The student will tear the biscuit dough
into 6 pieces and form a bear's head, body, arms, and legs. Sprinkle
the bear with cinnamon and bake according to the package directions.
father game - following a discussion about the father penguin keeping the
eggs warm by holding the eggs on top of his feet for two months play this
game. The students will have to try to balance a ball on the tops of
their feet and waddle around. Here, the students will be simulating the
father’s job. Students can race to the rookery or you can time
I know a bird That cannot fly: Penguin is its name.
It cannot fly, But it can swim
With speed that wins it fame!
I know a bird That lives on ice
And waddles by the sea.
It looks so cute
In its black and white suit,
As handsome as can be!
at KidZone - http://www.kidzone.ws/animals/penguins/activities.htm