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Polar Bears
Grade Level(s): 1-2
By: Mandy Wallace

Students will explain what keeps Polar Bears warm in the Arctic by experiencing a layer of blubber to protect them.


  • Little Polar Bear by Hans de Beer
  • construction paper
  • sandwich bags
  • Crisco
  • bowl of water
  • ice cubes


  1. Show the students the cover of the book and ask for predictions.
  2. Read the book reminding students to look for the different animals the bear meets.
  3. After the story ask what other animals did the polar bear meet? Raise your hand if you think all these animals could survive in the cold Arctic? Why do you think this? How do you think the Polar Bear survives the cold weather and swimming in the icy water?
  4. Write responses on paper.
  5. Explain that polar bears have a layer of fat called blubber that keeps him warm. Ask students what they wear to keep warm?
  6. Explain what the students will be doing at their seats, which is drawing pictures of clothing they wear to keep warm. Fill up the entire paper
  7. When finished sit on the carpet and read a book.
  8. Send them back to seats by table, and explain that they will be called back to do an experiment.
  9. Have all students experience the blubber glove.
  10. After the completion of the experiment students will finish up project and move back to the carpet.
  11. Discuss what each student felt.

    To make the blubber glove, use two zip lock plastic bags and fill one with Crisco (about 1 cup). Use the other bag to place on top of the Crisco so the students are not touching the Crisco. Attempt to zip together by having the top one inside out.

    A bowl should be filled with water and ice, and the teacher should guide the students in putting the glove on and putting their hand in the water. Tell them to pretend they are polar bears ready to dive into the cold icy water.

    Students may touch water with one hand before or after using the glove to compare the difference of having the glove on and not having it on.


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