Polar Bears lesson

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Actually we learned about several different bears this week, but polar bears were the only ones that lent themselves easily to experiments.

 

When we read about polar bears one of the things that stood out to us was all of the unique things about when they’re swimming.

 

Okay, the boys also found the more gross elements of their hunting interesting.

 

First, we learned that polar bears have webbed toes to help them swim better, so we had to see the truth in that.

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I filled a tub of water, and we all tried running our hand through the water.  It didn’t move very much.

 

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Then we tried it with a plastic bag on our hand that could act as webbing.  Immediately they noticed they could move more water as they moved their hand through it.

 

I asked them to think of other examples of things that used the same principal.  They came up with frogs, and whales, then they thought of the paddles of boats.

 

So, we decided to use some “paddles,” or spatulas.

 

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We discovered the bigger spatula works better just like a wider paddle works better.

 

It was a fun lesson.  Then I tried to see if they remembered anything else.  They did.

Here’s what they remembered:

Polar bear fur sticks together when they get wet to help keep them warm.

Polar bears eat fish, seals, whales, and whatever else they can catch.

Polar bears wait at holes in the ice to catch animals coming up for air.

 

After we did all of that we watched, “Nature: Bears,” which was about Brown Bears in Alaska.  The kids were intrigued by someone living among the bears and studying them.

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

Each week I’m spotlighting a few posts that were shared previously.  Many posts get linked up later in the week and they don’t always get as many clicks as they deserve, so I’m trying to spotlight a few every week.

Source: thefantasticfive-hockmana.blogspot.com via Ticia on Pinterest

 

Fantastic Five has a fun and gross model of a cell.  Would your kids eat it?

Frugal Fun 4 Boys shared an electro-magnet.  I’ve always thought these were cool, how about you?

I loved the moon unit for both preschool and elementary over at Finding the Teachable Moments.

 

 

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Comments

16 responses to “Polar Bears lesson”

  1. My boys liked the Land Animals book the best. I think they can really relate to the mammals better than flying and swimming creatures.

    1. My kids seem to be as well. It helps that there’s several places “nearby” that we can go for field trips.

  2. maryanne @ mama smiles Avatar
    maryanne @ mama smiles

    It’s been way too long since I did science with my kids…

    I really like your polar bear experiment – great hands-on experience, which you are so good at working out for your kids!

    1. Survival, it’s a survival technique. If I didn’t make science as hands on as I do, than they’d never remember it. They NEED to draw or do something while they learn.

      Jump back into the science band wagon and link up 🙂

  3. […] linking up to Science Sunday at Adventures In Mommydom. Click on over more more fun science inspiration! Filed Under: […]

  4. Our kids love polar bears. In fact, they love all things arctic. The webbing activity with the plastic bag was a great idea! That would be great when studying water fowl, as well. I think I’ll add ice cold water for a more arctic effect when I try this with our kids.

    1. As I was writing this I thought it could work for frogs also. I hadn’t thought of water fowl.
      I like the idea of adding ice to this. I was going to do the shortening experiment as well, but discovered we used up all of our shortening before.

  5. Love the look on your son’s face while running his “webbed hand” through the water! Can’t believe your kids stayed dry through that experiment- impressive 🙂

    Thank you so much for the spotlight and the pin! Stuff like that just makes my day!

    1. I know things like that make my day, so I always do my best to pin everyone and move around who’s getting spotlighted. I don’t always achieve my goals, but that’s my big goal.

      I was rather amazed they stayed dry too, because other tries at this were certainly not as dry.

  6. My Little one loves polar bear. Soon I would love to do a unit on polar bear with her.
    The cell model you featured is awesome, we will try it very soon.

    1. Polar bears are such fascinating animals. I just remembered a book series I need to pull out “The Littlest Polar Bear,” or something along those lines. Thanks for inadvertently reminding me of these books!

  7. Collin did a project on bears last year. He loves them and is always reading books about different bears.

    I’ll have to try the webbed feet experiment – fun.

    That model of a cell that you highlighted here looks wild! I have to remember that one.

    1. I know it’s crazy. You should read the post on it because it’s fun to read her kid’s responses to it.

  8. Neat! We studied polar bears in detail what feels like a long time ago. And we saw the movie about them, but the name escapes my tired mind. The movie was full length and really interesting (at least for me)

  9. […] – Zoo Animal Observation Form, elephants, beavers, tigers, snakes, rattlesnakes, cougars, polar bears, […]

  10. […] There were some animals that the boys knew went into the Phylum Chordata, but they didn’t know where to put them from there.  We pulled out our field guides for help in classifying snakes, alligators, frogs, lizards, and sharks.  As the boys get comfortable with these broad categories, we will move into learning how to put them into the correct Order, Family, Genus, and Species.  {Linking up with Science Sunday} […]

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