As part of Key Stage One’s “Polar Express Day”, the children took part in a polar bear-themed investigation. First the children watched a short film in order to gain a better understanding of the climate that polar bears live in. We then shared our ideas as to how we think they stay warm. Some of the children’s ideas being: “they build igloos”; “they are warm-blooded”; “they have a blanket”; “they have fur”.
The children were then introduced to the following question: “how do polar bears stay warm in icy waters?” Once we had shared some of our suggestions the children then explored the materials that they were going to use to try and answer the question; one of them being a “polar bear paw” made up of a thick layer of fat and a thick layer of fur.
The children then worked in small groups to carry out an activity which required them to take it it turns to time how long they they could each hold their hand within the tub of “North Pole water”, making sure to record their results whilst doing so. They then repeated the same task but this time wearing the custom-made “polar bear paw”.
Once they had completed the activity we re-grouped to discuss our findings. From the investigation we discovered that polar bears are able to stay in ice waters for long periods of time because they have the following: a thick layer of fat under their skin to help them stay warm in cold temperatures; as well as a thick layer of waterproof fur to keep them dry and extra toasty.
Take a look for yourself…