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About Polar Bears Past Bedtime and Polar Bears and the Arctic: A Nonfiction Companion to Polar Bears Past Bedtime

In Polar Bears Past Beadtime, the Magic Tree House transportss Jack and Annie to the freezing Arctic. There, they must solve the final riddle to become master librarians. But it’s not going to be easy–especially when they have cracking ice, a seal hunter, and a prodigious polar bear to deal with. Will they be able to solve the riddle before they get iced themselves?

WHY IS THE arctic so cold? How do polar bears cross thin ice? How did people learn to survive in that harsh climate? Find out the answers to these questions and more inPolar Bears and the Arctic: A Nonfiction Companion to Polar Bears Past Bedtime, Jack and Annie’s guide to the arctic. This is the nonfiction companion to Polar Bears past Bedtime.

 

Classroom Connections

Activities for Polar Bears Past Bedtime

  • The Land Before TimeFrostbite in the Arctic or snake bites in the Amazon are but a few of the dangers faced by explorers on journeys to strange and exotic lands. Those not assisted by Morgan’s magic, like Jack and Annie, must pack supplies and equipment for “survival.” Separate students into five explorer teams, each preparing for a 7-day expedition to one of the habitats visited by Jack and Annie. Have students develop an Expedition Checklist of things to pack, based on animal life and geographic and climatic conditions, including all food, clothes, medical supplies, camping gear and other equipment. Have each team present its checklist to the class and then discuss. Older students can estimate amounts of supplies needed and approximate costs of their expeditions. Don’t forget to include travel costs in the absence of Magic Tree House availability!

    Curriculum

    • Science
    • Math
    • Geography

     

 


Activities for Polar Bears and the Arctic: A Nonfiction Companion to Polar Bears Past Bedtime

  • Getting StartedStudents benefit from seeing that scientists and researchers start with questions and find answers as well as answer questions that other people give them. Here are a few questions to use as examples when getting the students started:
    • What kinds of plants grow in the Arctic ?
    • What nutrients or qualities are needed in soil in order for plants to be able to grow?
    • Are there ice caps other than the Polar Ice Caps?
    • How do Arctic animals get the water they need?
    • Why are the Northern Lights in different colors?
    • Can we see the Northern Lights where we live?
    • What materials are worn by native people, researchers, and adventure-seekers around the world to stay warm? Are there any synthetic fabrics that compare to animal skin or fur? What rating scale is used to compare materials? How does your winter jacket fare on the scale?

    TIP: This activity can be done as a class or as independent project. 

     

  • How Cold Is Cold? 

    Use a thermometer to measure the temperature in your school. Then use a number line to compare the temperature at school with the lowest recorded temperature in the Artic. You can also compare winter and summer temperatures. It is to the students’ benefit to see that numbers are organized on vertical and horizontal scales.

     

  • It’s Dark Outside! 

    How does the position of the earth/sun change the amount of daylight you have in your community throughout the year? Compare the average amount of daylight your area experiences during each month of the year and the average amount of daylight in the Arctic . Contact your local news/weather station to find information specific to your region.

    TIP: This activity can be done as a class or as independent project.

     

  • Debunking Myths 

    The Polar Bears and the Arctic research guide gives the scientific explanation behind many myths we may have believed about the Artic, its animals, and the people who live there. Have students contrast myths with reality as they read through the nonfiction text. You can distribute the Debunking Myths reproducible activity sheets that will help students organize their thoughts and findings.

     

  • One Thing Triggers Another: The Effect of Global Warming on Polar Bears 

    Have students describe global warming as a newscaster. They should include a visual, such as a poster or flip book, to show the causes and effects of global warming.

    TIP: This activity can be done as a class or as independent project.

     

  • Behind the Northern LightsIn this research guide, students learn what the Northern Lights look like, as well as where and when they can be seen. Help them use the information as part of a fictional story about how the lights came to be or what they represent. Many cultures over the years have created myths to explain what they see in the sky. Encourage the students to be creative and tell a tale that no one has thought of yet. Give them specific instructions regarding the quality of writing mechanics you expect according to their developmental levels.

    TIP: This activity can be done as a class or as independent project.

    Exploring Adaptations

  • Mystery Animal GameDescribe an animal from Polar Bears and the Arctic one adaptation at a time. Have students guess the animal you are thinking of.

    To Simplify:

    • Create a list of animals to choose from on the board. As students guess, erase options that have been eliminated.
    • Use sentence strips or flashcards to show the adaptations as you announce them to the class; post them on the board for reference.
    • Have students take notes from the book according to each animal prior to playing the class review game. As adaptations are announced, they can mark them off in their notebooks.

    To Increase Difficulty:

    • Choose whether or not to let the students guess as you read the list of adaptations. Make guessing a high-stakes operation. Have each student explain his or her rationale for the answer chosen.

     

  • Interactive Bulletin BoardDescribe an animal from Polar Bears and the Arctic one adaptation at a time. Have students guess the animal you are thinking of.

    Option 1:

    • Post the name of each adaptation discussed in the research guide on one side of the bulletin board. Post a labeled picture of each animal discussed on the other side. Set students to the task of connecting the animals and adaptations with string. Color-code the string for each animal.

    Option 2:

    • Post pictures of the animals, and ask students to select prepared adaptation cards (labels) to post near each of the animal pictures.

 


Teaching ideas by Rosemary B. Stimola, Ph.D., professor of children’s literature at City University of New York, and educational and editorial consultant to publishers of children’s books, and Beth Fawley, the 2006 Magic Tree House Educator of the Year, who is the K-12 Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Columbia Heights Public Schools in Minnesota.