Lesson 20: Polar Bears

Polar bears live in the Arctic Circle, a land of ice and snow. The Arctic region
covers Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia, and Norway. Polar bears live on sea ice.
This makes them different from most other bears that 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. Seals are
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.

A) 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; a group 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.


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

C) Discussion points
1. Where do polar bears live?
2. How much do polar bears weigh?
3. How long do polar bears live?
4. Why are polar bears also called white bears?
5. How are polar bears different from other types of bears?
6. What do polar bears look like when they are born?
7. How do polar bear mothers care for their cubs?
8. 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. Name three interesting facts about polar bears.
3. On the Internet, find the names of three other kinds of bears.
4. Give us three interesting facts about each of them.

E) Fill in the blanks with the correct word or words.
1. A thick layer of fat called ____ keeps polar bears warm.
2. What do polar bears like to eat best?
3. What do people sometimes call polar bears?
noses with legs
seal eaters
blubber bears
fish eaters

Revised July 2020

Audio courtesy Tara Kriplani: