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How do polar animals survive the cold?
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Lesson 26 image
How do polar animals survive the cold?
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DISCUSS:

How do you think polar animals stay warm?

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01/23
Get your supplies.
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02/23
Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half the short way. Then fold it in
half again. Unfold it. You’ve made 4 boxes where you can draw.
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03/23
Number the boxes, like this. In boxes 1, 2, and 3, you’ll draw ideas you
get from each sister. In box 4, you’ll think about all the possibilities
and draw your final idea.
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04/23
The first sister shows you pictures of triangular cabins, round
domes, tiny houses on stilts, and more. Look at her pictures.
Draw or write down an idea you really like in box 1.
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05/23
From above, you just see a hole going into the snow. Think about
building a house under the snow, like these lemmings, foxes, and
squirrels. Draw or write your ideas in box 2.
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06/23
Sister #3 shows you materials they have lots of. Think about using
cardboard, blankets, bubble wrap, or snow to keep your home warm.
Draw or write your ideas in box 3.
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07/23
In box 4, draw your plan for your perfect winter home. Give your
home a name if you like.
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08/23
Discuss:
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09/23
If you’d like, make a big picture of your winter home. Write a sentence
that tells people why this home is a great home to stay in when it’s
cold outside.
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10/23
We suggest that younger students stop here. Older students can
extend this activity by thinking about how to test their ideas by
experimenting.
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11/23
You don’t know if the home that you drew will keep you warm!
You could build it in a very cold place and then test it. Discuss:
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12/23
We’d have one person spend the night in the house and another
spend the night outside. Then they can compare the temperatures
inside and outside. Discuss:
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13/23
When engineers want to test their ideas, they make a small copy of
the big thing they want to build. Then they test the copy to see if it
works! Discuss:
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14/23
Here’s what we thought. Our freezer gets freezing cold. We could fit
a small model of our winter home in there—between the ice cream
and the ice cubes.
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15/23
Here’s a drawing of our winter home: the Bubble House. We built a
model using cardboard, waterproof tape, a wool sock, and bubble
wrap. Discuss:
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16/23
If we had a full-sized Bubble House, people could do our testing. The
people are warm, and we want the Bubble House to keep them warm.
Discuss:
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17/23
We made two tiny people: Zippy 1 and Zippy 2. Each one is a ziplock
bag filled with warm water. Zippy 1 will stay in the Bubble House.
Zippy 2 will sleep outside.
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18/23
We filled Zippy 1 and 2 with water at 100° F (38° C), as warm as a
person. We put Zippy 1 in the Bubble House and Zippy 2 in the freezer
with no protection. Discuss:
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First, we checked Zippy 2, who was not in the Bubble House. We
opened the bag and found that Zippy 2 was frozen! Instead of water,
there was ice! Poor Zippy 2!
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20/23
Zippy 1 got chilly—but did not freeze. The temperature had fallen
some but was nowhere near freezing. The Bubble House helped
Zippy 1 stay warmer!
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21/23
Discuss:
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22/23
Here are some things we thought a person could do to stay warmer
in the Bubble House.
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23/23
Do you want to test the winter home you drew? If you have space in
your freezer and a thermometer, you could build a model and try
what we did.
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🎉 That’s it for this lesson! How did it go?
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Overview
Grade K-5
Topic Current Events And Trending Topics
Focus Adaptations & Habitats
759 reviews
Print Prep
Activity Prep

This mini-lesson explores how polar animals keep warm in the coldest regions on Earth. In the no-prep activity, My Tiny Winter Home, students use ideas from the mini-lesson to design a house that will keep them warm in a very cold climate. Older students also think about how they could test their design, as we walk them through an experimental design process.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Blank Paper (8.5 x 11")
90 sheets
Crayons
Markers or colored pencils will also work.
Details
90 crayons
Pencil
30
Prep Instructions

This is an activity that kids can do in class or at home, solo or with others. No print-outs needed!

Overview
Grade K-5
Topic Current Events And Trending Topics
Focus Adaptations & Habitats
759 reviews
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