Polar Bears Polar Bear
Teacher Toolbox - Polar Bears

Welcome to the Teacher Toolbox! Here you will find a broad variety of instructional resources to compliment your students' viewing of Saving a Species: Polar Bears. Use these materials to construct lesson plans, spark discussion, and inspire your students to become active participants in preserving the world we share with wildlife.

See Polar Bear Video Series



  • Arctic Circle: the imaginary line that encircles the globe at 66° 33" north latitude. Arctic lands and oceans lie above this circle. “Arctic” comes from the Greek word arktos, meaning bear.
  • Adaptation: a modification of an organism that makes it more suited to live in its environment. Adaptations help an organism survive.
  • Camouflage: coloration that allows an animal or other organism to blend in with the surrounding environment.
  • Carbon Cycle: the movement and exchange of carbon through living organisms, the ocean, the atmosphere, rocks and minerals and other parts of the Earth. Carbon moves from one place to another through various chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.
  • Carbon DioxideCO2 a colorless, odorless, incombustible gas
  • Climate: the average weather conditions in a particular location or region at a particular time of year.
  • Conservation: taking care of our environment by wisely managing its resources.
  • Food Chain: a straight-line diagram that shows “who eats whom” in an ecosystem.
  • Food Web: a diagram that shows the many complex interconnections of "who eats whom" in an ecosystem.
  • Ecosystem: a unit of plants, animals, and nonliving components of an environment that interact.
  • Energy Audit: The process of inspecting a home, workplace, or other building to find ways to use less energy.
  • Greenhouse Gas: natural or manmade gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases.
  • Ice Floe: a flat expanse of floating ice.
  • Lair: the shelter of some animals; used for birth and protection. May also be called a den.
  • North Pole: the geographic top of the earth. Longitude lines converge here.
  • Pollution: harmful elements that alter or affect an environment in a negative way, such as chemicals that poison water supplies or trash that clutters the ocean.
  • Prey: an animal eaten by another animal.
  • Predator: an animal that eats another animal.
  • Tundra: a treeless area between the ice cap and tree line of arctic regions, with a permanently frozen subsoil.


Activity Descriptions | K-3

Activity Descriptions | 4-8

Activity Descriptions | 9-12


Pre & Post-Viewing Questions

You’re Closer Than You Think

  • How far is the southern-most range of the polar bear to the United States’ border with Canada?
  • How many countries are included in the entire range of all polar bear populations? How many countries can you name within this range?

Made For The Arctic

  • Polar bears are adapted to live in extremely cold regions. Describe some of the adaptations that help polar bears stay warm.
  • Describe how polar bears hunt for seals beneath the ice.

On Thin Ice

  • What is sea ice?
  • What are some of the changes occurring to sea ice in the Arctic and how are these changes affecting polar bears?

The Need To Know

  • Studying polar bears in the harsh Arctic environment has many challenges. How are scientists overcoming those challenges?
  • What are scientists learning from tracking polar bears?

The Energy Challenge

  • Give some examples of how Spencer’s family cut down on their energy usage.
  • Can you think of some ways your family can reduce the amount of energy used in your home?