Why are polar bears white?

Why are polar bears white?

Lesson narration:
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tiger

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tiger

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katydid

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katydid

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toad

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toad

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all animals

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moths

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DISCUSS:

Why are polar bears white if they don’t have any predators (other animals that might want to eat them)?

Can you think of how this is helpful to them?

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
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Visual Activity: Find the Animal

Here are two galleries of camouflaged animals. Be sure to make the images full screen.

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Readings

These Common Core aligned readings are free with registration on ReadWorks. All readings include comprehension questions.

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Video & Discussion: The Mixed Up Chameleon

Watch a video of The Mixed Up Chameleon.

Ask your students:

  • Why did the chameleon wish to be himself again?
  • Can you tell me all the ways that the chameleon changed himself?
  • How does being white help a polar bear? Why didn’t it help the chameleon?
  • Being tall helps a giraffe reach leaves high in the trees. Did the chameleon need to be tall?
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Lesson narration:

Activity Prep

Print Prep

In this lesson, students make observations to construct an explanation of why camouflage is helpful to animals. In the activity, Moth Hide and Seek, students test their ability to spot camouflage moths, and then design a camouflage pattern for a moth of their own and hide it in the classroom!

Preview activity
COVID-19 Adaptations
Students can work solo
Digital worksheets available
See our advice below
Students need a printout

Students at home
Students at home may not be able to do the first part of the activity, but they can observe Step 5 of the activity instead. Students need the Look for Moths worksheet (printed or digital) and the Color a Moth printout (printed) to create their own moth in the second part of the activity.
Students at school
Students can do the first part of the activity as long everyone maintains a safe distance from each other while searching for moths in the classroom. Students can work solo for the second part of the activity (where they color their own camouflaged moth).

Exploration

17 mins

Wrap-Up

8 mins

Extend this lesson

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