Polar Bears: A to Z

PB A to ZCelebrate International Polar Bear Day!

Check out the Thermostat Challenge from our friends at Polar Bears International and explore all the great resources below.

Polar Bears: A to Z

A – Arctic Adaptations

Check out this great Discovery Education video segment: “The Key to Bears’ Survival” and hear directly from Alysa McCall about polar bear adaptations.

B – Buggy One (or Tundra Buggy One)

The high-tech observation and broadcast station we roll along in during Polar Bear Week.

C – Churchill 

This is a tough one because the obvious choice is Churchill – the polar bear capital of the world – where there are ~900 people and ~900 polar bears this time of the year.  We also have a brand new polar bears Content Collection in Discovery Education.

D – Dens

Frozen Planet: Winter – As winter approaches the Arctic, a pregnant female polar bear digs a den to rest and prepare for the birth of her cubs during the cold winter months. The presentation captures the first moments of the tiny polar bear cubs’ lives with their mother in the den.

E – Explore.org

Check out the Tundra Buggy Cam and more for live footage of polar bears on the tundra.

F – Fox

Polar bears are certainly the stars of the show, but there are some other amazing animals you encounter on the tundra.  The arctic fox is one.  I caught a quick picture of one as I was coming out of the recreation center in downtown Churchill.

G – Global Warming and greenhouse gases

Do your research and learn what you can do to help.

H – Hibernate

This is one of the many fascinating things about polar bears.  They don’t hibernate in the strict sense of the word. True hibernators experience a marked drop in heart rate and body temperature and generally stay for a long period in a den. Polar bears instead enter a state of walking hibernation where their metabolism slows. Only pregnant polar bears enter a den, give birth, and emerge three months later.

I – Ice and iTunes

Sea ice is critical for polar bears.  They need the ice to hunt.  Learn about the four sea ice eco-regions.

And you must check out the Polar Bears International iTunes U Channel for great student and teacher resources.

J – Join the list

Click here to receive updates from the wonderful folks at Polar Bears International.

K – Kids’ projects

As your students learn about polar bears, let them create all sorts of projects to demonstrate their understanding.  Like a polar bear board.

L – @lrougeux

Follow my posts with @discoveryed and @polarbears

M – Math

There is a lot of math that goes into studying and helping protect polar bears.  For instance, in order to determine the relationship between the polar bear population and melting Arctic ice, knowledge of geometric transformations must be used to figure out how many polar bears are walking in a particular area.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this apply problem in our Math Techbook.

N – Nations with polar bears

There are five nations with polar bears: U.S. (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Norway. Polar bears do not live in Antarctica. Penguins do.

O – On Social Media

Follow PBI on Facebook, on Google Plus, on Pinterest and on Instagram.

P – Penguins

Polar bears seemed too obvious.  So let’s take a look at penguins and polar ice.  And on Monday, November 9 you should check out our first webcast for this week about Polar Bears and Penguins: Polar Opposites (9:30 a.m. Central Time).

Q – Q&A

Hear from the experts. 

R – Racing Extinction

Get ready for the Discovery Channel premiere of the award-winning film by joining our virtual field trip on November 18 from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

S – Seals

Check out this video of a polar bear mother and her two cubs as they hunt for food.

T – Thermostat Challenge

Take the thermostat challenge from our friends at PBI.

U – Ursus maritimus (sea bear)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Ursidae
Genus: Ursus
Species: Ursus maritimus (sea bear)

V – Videos

There are a lot of great resources in Discovery Education about polar bears including hundreds upon hundreds of videos.  Here are three of our favorites.


W – Warming World

Go here to get a great set of resources including pre-made powerpoint presentations about polar bears in our warming world.

X – X Factor

You are the X factor!  Learn about ways you and your students can get more involved in saving our sea ice.

Y – YouTube

Lots of great content to check out on Polar Bears International’s YouTube channel.

Z – Zzzzzz…

Polar bears nap just about anywhere and any time, and especially after feeding on a seal. Napping helps bears conserve energy. A polar bear’s entire existence centers on hunting and conserving energy. Click here to learn more.


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