This month the kids and I are joining the gals at The Usual Mayhem, No Doubt Learning, Montessori Tidbits and Childhood Beckons in a collaborative effort to share our studies of the Polar regions and their animals. As my kids are obsessed with geographical studies, I was thrilled to be asked to participate. We will be focusing on the Arctic.
For this first week we chose to study Denmark with our focus animal being the polar bear.
Our first step in a geographical study is to pull up the country on Stack the States (iPad app) to learn it's capital, native language, and any other facts it provides. Then I print off a flag printable from Activity Village UK and the kids color it. These completed flags hang in our dining room while we are studying that country and then get moved to the clotheslines in Eli and Brynne's room. Like I said, they love geography.
We found Denmark on the globe and then looked at some other maps online. Then we discussed where the arctic regions are located those areas on the globe.
We wanted to read the book Energy Island, but it was out in our library so we will have to read it at a later time.
We did read some great books about polar bears. I like to incorporate both non-fiction and fiction picture books in our studies. We read the following books:
Looking at Bears, by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Big Fuzzy, by Caroline Castle
Tundra Animals, by Connor Dayton
The Chilly Bear, by Guy Counhaye
For science we did an experiment about how polar bears stay warm. I decided to introduce the Scientific Method to the kids in a way that they could understand, so we brainstormed our ideas on the white board and they wrote them on a simple form that I prepared (just handwritten).
We learned that the fur of polar bears IS NOT WHITE! Their hairs are actually clear and their skin is black. When the sun enters the strands of hair it is absorbed by the black skin and then the excess sun exits through the sides of the strands of hair, which gives the fur an appearance of being white.
In our experiment, the contents of the jar covered with clear plastic wrap was warmer than the one covered with a white cloth. The clear wrap represented the clear hair strands and the black coffee represented the black skin. Cool, huh?
We watched highlights of a live polar bear feed on the internet.
We made ice tunnels which were very cool!
And finally we made an arctic landscape. These were fun to do and turned out really cool, I think.
Go see what my friends did with their kiddos this week. We are all doing different things with different aged kids, so there will be lots see. Next week ... Finland!
I am also linking up this week with the girls at Share it Saturday.