Lesson 21: Polar Bears

Polar bears live in the Arctic Circle. This is a land of ice and snow. The Arctic region covers Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia, and Norway. Polar bears live on the sea ice. This makes them different from most otherbears who make their homes in forests and on mountains.

Polar bears have a layer of fat called blubber. Blubber keeps them warm. They also have thick white fur. Because of this, polar bears are also called white bears. Polar bears can weigh up to approximately 544 kilograms. They live for an average of 25 years. Polar bears have a good sense of smell. Some people call them “noses with legs.” They use their sense of smell to hunt for seals. Sealsare their favourite food.

The male polar bear is called a boar. The female polar bear is called a sow.

Polar bears mate between March and June. Females normally give birth to one or two cubs in November or December.

Polar bears are tiny when they are born. They are about 30 cm long. Their eyes are closed. They only open their eyes when they are a month old. They have short, fine fur.

Polar bear mothers feed their babies and keep them warm. When the cubs are older, the mother teaches them how to hunt for food, how to swim, and how to survive in the freezing environment.

Polar bears are a threatened species. This means that it is difficult for them to survive in the wild. The biggest threat to polar bears is global warming. Global warming is causing the ice in the Arctic region to melt faster than normal. Many scientists are looking for ways to save these beautiful creatures.

Vocabulary:

Boar – full-grown male of certain animals
Sow – full-grown female of certain animals
Environment – the natural world; surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives
Species – kind, sort; agroup of living organisms consisting of similar individuals
Survive – continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or difficulty
Global – relating to the whole world

Please make sentences with the words below. The sentences must show that you understand the meaning of the word.

Blubber
Smell
Favourite
Boar
Sow
Survive
Freezing
Environment
Threatened
Species
Wild
Global
Warming
Melt
Creature

B) Please read the text aloud. Pay close attention to the words in bold. Do you know how they are pronounced?

C) Discussion points

Where do polar bears live?
How much do polar bears weigh?
How long do polar bears live?
Why are polar bears also called white bears?
How are polar bears different from other types of bears?
What do polar bears look like when they are born?
How do polar bear mothers care for their cubs?
Why are polar bears considered a threatened species?

D) Written exercises

  1. Write a sentence about polar bears using three adjectives of your own.
  2. Write three interesting facts about polar bears.

E)Fill in the blanks with the correct word or words.

  1. A thick layer of fat called ____ keeps polar bears warm.
  • fur
  • blubber
  • skin
  • leather
  1. What do polar bears like to eat best?
  • fish
  • seals
  • penguins
  • birds
  1. What do people sometimes call polar bears?
  • noses with legs
  • seal eaters
  • blubber bears
  • fish eaters