Prowling Polar Bear

Prowling Polar Bear lesson plan

Show support for preserving threatened and endangered species! Create a replica of a polar bear with Crayola Model Magic®.

  • 1.

    The United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the Soviet Union signed an agreement in 1973 to protect polar bears. Each country either banned hunting or established rules for how many polar bears could be hunted within its own boundaries. These rules help keep polar bear populations stable. Because of this agreement, between 25,000 to 40,000 polar bears roam the Arctic today. Global climate changes may mean big changes for the habitat of polar bears. Ask students to investigate recent climate changes and contemplate what they can realistically do to help protect arctic animals.

  • 2.

    Organize a variety of resources, both text and electronic, for students to view while they are researching the issues, Encourage students to find pictures that illustrate their learning. Once research is complete, students will sculpt a replica of one of these magnificent creatures.

  • 3.

    Students begin their sculptures by creating a base form for the polar bear. Have them crumple aluminum foil into a shape that resembles the creature’s body. Cover the foil with a thin layer of Crayola Model Magic® compound.

  • 4.

    Flatten more layers of compound to make icy, thick fur on its back, shoulders, and chest. Cut rounded or jagged sections with Crayola Scissors. Feather the edges with a toothpick. Press the slabs into place on the bear.

  • 5.

    Shape and add ears, a tail, and other features using more Model Magic compound. Use bits of Black Model Magic material to make nose, eyes, and claws. Model Magic® dries to the touch overnight and dries completely in 2 to 3 days.

  • 6.

    While sculptures are drying, ask students to compose a summary paragraph reflecting their learning about how polar bears have been affected by changes in the climate. Display sculptures with student writing in the classroom for easy viewing by classmates and visitors.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information that in any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • SCI: Use models to evaluate how environmental changes in a habitat affect the number and types of organisms that live there; some remain, move in, move out, and/or die.
  • SCI: Use data about the characteristics of organisms and habitats to design an artificial habitat in which the organisms can survive.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: The Polar Bear Son: An Inuit Tale by Lydia Dabcovich; Amazing Arctic Animals by Jackie Glassman; Bears : Polar Bears, Black Bears and Grizzly Bears by Deborah Hodge
  • Students investigate the type of environment polar bears live in, what foods they eat, and how they spend their days. Organize written research and use it to assist in creating a diorama in which to display paper mache polar bears in their natural surroundings. Display research and dioramas together in the classroom.
  • In 2008, the polar bear was listed on the threatened species list. Students research what this means about the species. Why are their numbers declining? Students identify other animals on the endangered or threatened species list. Research a selected animal. Using research, students write a poem about the animal and how important it is to protect them for the future.
  • Students work in small groups to brainstorm practical ways to have a active role in conservation. Select a method of conservation and implement the method as a group project.