Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Annotated Bib - Polar Bears and Arctic Habitats

Polar Bears and Arctic Habitats are appropriate for elementary children in the second or third grades to learn about because they exemplify how animals are able to respond and adapt to extreme physical conditions like the Arctic zone! Although this annotated bib addresses components of VA SOL 3.4, it can also be applied to SOL 1.5 in understanding the basic needs and characteristics of a particular group of animals.

Books for Students
Amazing Arctic Animals. By Jackie Glassman. Illus. by Lisa Bonforte. 2002. 48 p. Grosset and Dunlap, (9780448428444). Gr. 1-3.
This book is an overview of "one of the chilliest places on earth," also includes a section on the springtime in the arctic. The book includes information and terms about arctic animals such as the polar bear, walrus, beluga whale, arctic fox and many more.

The Arctic Habitat (Introducing Habitats). By Molly Aloian and Bobbie Kalman. 2006. 32 p. Crabtree Publishing Company, (9780778729815). Gr. 3.
This book covers the basic background information; explains how plants and animals adapt to the harsh arctic environment. Goes into depth about arctic animals, homes, food, weather, plants, staying warm and creating energy.

A Complete Guide to Arctic Wildlife. By Richard Sale. Illus. by Per Michelsen. 2006. 400 p. Firefly Books Pub, (155407178X). Gr. 3.
This book highlights the arctic habitat, geology, territory and climate. It is filled with fascinating photographs.

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #16: Polar Bears and the Arctic. By Mary Pope Osborne. Illus. by Sal Murdocca. 2007. 128 p. Random House Books for Young Readers, (9780375832222). Gr. 3-4.
This book in the familiar chapter book series answers questions like Why is the arctic so cold? How do polar bears cross thin ice? What other animals live in the arctic? through the adventures of Jack and Annie.

Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Winds Blow. By Marianne Berkes. Illus. by Jill Dubin. 2008. 32 p. Dawn Publications, (9781584691105). Gr. K-1.
Each page in this book focuses on a different arctic animal through the concept of rhyme and counting to ten. This book is entertaining for young children, yet educational.

Books for Teachers 
Draw Write Now, Book 4: The Polar Regions, Arctic, Antarctic. By Marie Hablitzel and Kim Stitzer. 1997. 64 p. Barker Creek Publishers, (9780963930743). Gr. 2-4.
This book is composed of writing and drawing lessons for children that focuses on polar regions. This book is simple enough for children to do the activities themselves, but also appropriate for teachers or parents to present. This series is a winner of the Teachers Choice Award.

Easy Make and Learn Projects: Animal Habitats. By, Donald Silver and Patricia Wayne. 2010. 80 p. Scholastic Teaching Resources (9780439453370). Gr. 1-2.
Interactive mini-books that give students an understanding of how animals adapt to various habitats. The book includes teachers pages with background information, additional activities and web resources.

What's So Amazing About Polar Bears? Teaching Kids to Care for Creation. By Randy Hammer. 2011. 144 p. Pilgrim Press, (9780829818772). Gr. 2-3.
This book is an interactive, Christian-based curriculum. Each lesson has an ecology theme with a scriptural background for study, reflection, and discussion; fun facts relevant to the topic, experiential activities to engage the children and reinforce the lesson, and much, much more. It is an ideal resource for elementary school-aged children and works best in small groups of six to eight children with an adult leader.

Arctic Mammals
This website is PACKED with information. Links are divided into adaptations, marine species, terrestrial species, mammal biology and cool facts each with an additional side menu with various supplementary links.

Includes three story puzzles learners can solve to learn about life in the arctic. Learners can explore how life for polar bears is affected by climate change. Puzzles are in PDF files. Includes a quick guide, key words and material lists.

Eco Quizzes 
Very handy for children to access themselves. Each question is based on arctic animals' adaptations and is followed by an explanation of why that particular animal survives there. Teachers should take the quiz because they would be surprised at the interesting facts they probably didn't know before...

Spot the Wildlife!
This link gives a brief explanation of how many animals in the Arctic use their white fur as snow camouflage and asks the visitor to try and find all six animals that are hiding from predators in the arctic... When the visitor spots an animal with the mouse, it prompts the website to ask the visitor an additional question based on that animal.

The San Diego Zoo Website
This website has links divided into to animal categories, habitats, ecosystems and different regions of the world. This tundra link provides information on the Arctic tundra habitat and animals that can be found there. There is also a link on the website that leads to a Polar Bear Plunge where the visitor can play different games, "meet the bears," explore the exhibit and much more.

Tundra Topics
This website has different links for all the different habitats and landforms, but specifically here for the Tundra. Tundra topics include Where is the Tundra located, tundra facts, plants, animals and gallery.  Kid friendly, but could provide ideas for teachers or parents as well.

For Teachers
Virginia Standards of Learning
Science 3.4 The student will investigate and understand that behavioral and physical adaptations allow animals to respond to life needs. Key concepts include
a) methods of gathering and storing food, finding shelter, defending themselves, and rearing young; and
b) hibernation, migration, camouflage, mimicry, instinct, and learned behavior.

Background Information from the Curriculum Framework
  • Physical adaptations help animals survive in their environment. Examples include camouflage and mimicry.
  • Behavioral adaptations allow animals to respond to life needs. Examples include hibernation, migration, instinct, and learned behavior.
  • In order to survive, animals act in different ways to gather and store food, find shelter, defend themselves, and rear their young.
  • Some animals go into a deep winter sleep in which their body activities slow down and they can live off stored food (hibernation).
  • Some animals go on a long-distance journey from one place to another as seasons change (migration).
  • Various animals blend into their environments to protect themselves from enemies (camouflage).
  • Some animals look like other animals to avoid being eaten (mimicry). This adaptation helps protect them from their predators. (For example, the viceroy butterfly tastes good to birds, but the monarch butterfly tastes bad. Because the viceroy looks like the monarch butterfly, it is safer from predators.)
  • Some animals are born with natural behaviors that they need in order to survive in their environments. These behaviors are not learned but are instinctive, such as a beaver building a dam or a spider spinning a web.
  • Some behaviors need to be taught in order for the animal to survive, such as a bear cub learning to hunt.

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