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Tundra Connections

Experience Polar Bears | Virtual Field Trip
Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

#CelebratewithDE as we return to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada for the annual polar bear migration. Since 2010, Discovery Education has teamed up with Polar Bears International to host a series of shared learning experiences to engage students and inspire their interest in studying the science of polar bears and their Arctic habitat.

Experience Polar Bears on the Tundra

All ages  |  Broadcast

Come experience the tundra and polar bears with Polar Bears International and Discovery Education! We are just outside of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, in the heart of polar bear action and ready to answer all your questions, big and small.

We’ll learn about the Arctic ecosystem, adaptations, sea ice habitat, climate change, and more as we scaffold concepts and Q&A with increasing complexity, so there’s something for everyone. Remember, keep your eyes peeled for polar bears roaming just outside our window!

Time:  Approximately 30 minutes

Topics:  habitats, ecosystems, adaptations, arctic animals, polar bears, climate, climate change, geography

Watch Now

Polar Bear Chat Q&A

All ages  |  Q&A

Using the accompanying video content and lesson resources, create your on-demand viewing experience at the time that works best for you.

Then, join this informal hang-out where we’ll answer as many questions as possible and discuss these extraordinary animals and the tundra ecosystem.

Time:  Approximately 30 minute event

Watch Part 1 Watch Part 2

Lesson Resources & Viewing Activities

Pre-viewing Activities

Get grounded in anticipation of the virtual field trip by activating prior knowledge, exploring some tundra basics, and setting the stage for what students can expect from the virtual field trip experience by using this slideshow as an anticipatory set.

Build background knowledge about polar bears, tundra, ecosystems, and more with grade-appropriate digital curriculum resources from Discovery Education Experience Polar Bears content channel. (Canadian users)

Post-viewing Activities

Instructional Idea: Stories of the Sea Ice
Grades K-3

Students create a storybook titled Stories of the Sea Ice, in which each student contributes a unique Six Word Story (Canadian users). This instructional strategy encourages students to identify key words and main ideas to write a tiny story.

Use these or other prompts to help students generate ideas:

  • What is a polar bear’s day like?
  • What special adaptations do polar bears have that help them survive on the tundra?
  • What can I do to help polar bears and their habitat?
  • How do scientists study polar bears?

Provide key words on cards or on the board for students who need support. Finally, encourage students to illustrate each other’s stories or use images from Discovery Education to set a magical storybook scene.

Instructional Idea: Stump the Panel
Grades 4+

Students use everything they’ve learned about polar bears during pre-viewing activities and the live broadcast to “stump the panel.” Have students form small teams (i.e., panels) and use the strategy The Question Is to organize the activity. Teams compete when one team poses “answers” to an opposing panel. The panel then has 30 seconds to come up with a complete, rational, and accurate “question.” One point for whichever team wins the turn. Play to a pre-determined score or for a pre-determined number of rounds.

Extend the activity by challenging students to come up with actual questions that could stump the professional panel of scientists during the Polar Bear Live Chat Q&A during the Tundra Connections event. Submit your class questions and watch the scientists at work!

Create Your Own Virtual Viewing Party

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