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Polar Bears International


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Biology

Regional Focus

Polar Regions


YouTube Video

Polar Bear Adaptations

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  • In this video, students will learn about many physical traits that polar bears share that allow them to withstand their cold arctic climate, hunt their prey, and find their mates.
  • The video ends with a plea to help protect polar bears and the sea ice they depend on for survival.
Teaching Tips


  • The speaker is very engaging and uses props like a fur sample, skull, and model paw.
  • Difficult vocabulary words appear on the screen with illustrations.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The descriptions of hunting and the skull, teeth, and claws may be frightening or sad for very young children.


  • Teachers can expand on this video by helping students identify ways climate change impacts polar bears and their environment.
  • Students can research conservation efforts aimed at preserving sea ice and polar bear populations.
  • As an extension activity, students could research and present the adaptations of a different arctic animal that is threatened by sea ice melt.
  • High school science classes could incorporate this video into lessons about genetics, phylogeny, evolution, or natural selection.
  • Other resources that would pair well with this video include this lesson on polar climates, this polar bear fact sheet, and this interactive polar bear tracker.
Scientist Notes
This video highlights the peculiarity of polar bears and how this species has adapted to the Arctic climate. It draws attention to the need to protect this species under threat of extinction. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-3 Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
    • LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • 3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • Related Resources


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