We started learning about how some animals change in winter. Today we learned about polar bears by reading non-fiction books. Each day we are going to learn about a different animal and record what we learn in a chart. I will post a picture of the chart when we are finished.
To help us understand how Polar Bears keep warm in winter we conducted an experiment. We used a baggie of ice water to feel how cold the ice and snow would be in the North Pole where the polar bears live. Then we used a baggie of shortening to represent the blubber (layers of fat) that the polar bear has. We also used a baggie of cotton to represent the polar bears fur. The students made their hypothesis as to which would protect them from the ice the best. The blubber, the cotton, or both the blubber and the cotton. Most thought that both would protect them from the ice the best. Then we tested our hypothesis by holding the ice water by itself, then with the blubber between us and the ice water, then with the fur between us and the ice water and finally, we put the blubber and the fur between us and the ice water. The students were able to feel how the blubber and the cotton kept their hand from getting cold. We all agreed that having both the blubber and the fur between us and the ice kept us the warmest. This activity gave the students a real life experience to aid in their understanding of how polar bears stay warm in winter.