- Becky Cothern
3 Fun and Easy Ideas for Teaching about Arctic Animals
Need more non-fiction in your guided reading groups? Reading about arctic animals is a great way to add non-fiction during the month of January.
Whole Group Read-a-Louds
Why not try reading some of these favorite read-a-louds during literacy time and practice identifying the main idea, key details, gathering information from pictures and text, along with many other pieces of non-fiction comprehension.
1. National Geographic Readers: Polar Bears click here
2. Penguins by Gail Gibbons click here
3. Seal by Alma Ray click here
Then try learning about how these arctic animals stay warm with their layer of blubber. Let kids experience how blubber keeps the animals warm by conducting the following experiment.
Take a rubber glove and fill it with shortening. Have students place one hand in the shortening glove and the other with nothing. Place both hands in the ice water. Which hand is warmer? Why?
The layer of blubber under the arctic animals' skin is a layer of fat, just like the shortening. The blubber provides insulation to keep the body warm, even in the cold water.
Differentiated Reading Books
Finally take the learning into small groups. Have students read one of the two guided reading books about each animal. Students will learn specific details about each animal on their reading level. As students read the books they will have to comprehend the text to add images for each page. After reading students will complete a comprehension bubble sheet writing/ drawing what they learned about each animal. For more advanced students, children can complete the unit by writing an arctic animal report. click here