January is the perfect time to begin a new unit in the classroom. Teachers and students are returning from a two week Christmas break rested and ready to learn. The weather is cold and the students are daydreaming about snow. I try to capitalize on this energy with a unit on polar bears. Here are some of my favorite books to read aloud and during small group time.
Throughout this post I have included links to my favorite polar bear books. You can click on any of the titles to learn more about them or find them all on Amazon.
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POLAR BEAR BOOKS FOR KIDS
A girl and a polar bear take a stunning journey through the Arctic in this award-winning picture book from the author-illustrator of Alfie and How Do You Dance?
What’s there to say about polar bears? They’re big. They’re mean. They eat things. Bor-ing. At least that’s how Sophie feels when she sits down to do her homework.
But then something decidedly unboring happens—Sophie is whisked away to the Arctic by a jovial polar bear named Olafur. In a whirlwind of a day, he shows the reluctant Sophie the many brilliant things there are to see in his home, from glacier mice to the northern lights. Sophie begins to learn that the polar bear’s home is so much more than a barren, frozen land. It’s a world filled with life, adventure—and a new friend.
The polar bear is the biggest and most powerful of the animals that are able to survive the hostile climate of the Arctic. Cubs are born during the cold dark winter, even though they start out with only a thin coat of fur and weigh a little over one pound. The mothers raise and teach them so they may grow and survive in the wild. Here is information about how polar bears swim and hunt, how they keep warm and dry, and the many other ways they adapt to their environment. You can find activities to pair with this book here.
Does a polar bear have friends? Find out in this beautifully illustrated 20 page book that is a fun poem about a polar bear and his quirky friends. Like the arctic fox who is always losing his socks or the snowy owl whose breath is rather foul.
Ms. Frizzle’s class is going to the top of the world! They want to see the different animals. But when they arrive, they get a big surprise. Join Ms. Frizzle’s class on this cool field trip and learn about the animals of the Arctic.
It’s icicle city…when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie to the frozen Arctic. Luckily, a seal hunter on a dogsled lends them warm clothes. Unluckily, they get stuck on cracking ice. Will the giant polar bear save them? Or will Jack and Annie become frozen dinners? You can find activities to pair with this book here.
When Jack and Annie got back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #16: Polar Bears Past Bedtime, they had lots of questions. Why is the Arctic so cold? What did the first people of the Artic eat? How do polar bears cross thin ice? What other animals live in the Arctic? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts. You can find activities to pair with this book here.
Hi, I’m Tim — one of the kids in Ms. Frizzle’s class. When Ms. Frizzle announced that we’d be studying the North Pole, I never thought it would lead us to the top of the world. I also never thought I’d get to see seals, caribou, musk oxen, and polar bears in person, but that was just the beginning. Find out all the bone-chilling facts of our Arctic adventure! You can find activities to pair with this book here.
Is the Arctic a cold and lonely place to live? See who has made this environment their home.
A kindergarten-level introduction to polar bears, covering their growth process, behaviors, their Arctic home, and such defining features as their all-white fur.
Text and photographs describe the appearance, behavior, and habitat of polar bears.
Photographs and text introduce the characteristics and behavior of polar bears and their habitat in the Arctic.
In this Step 1 Step into Reading Science Reader, polar bear babies learn the skills they will need to survive in the Arctic! Simple, repetitive text takes readers through a day with these little bears as they learn to fish, swim, and . . . run!
In this book, a mother polar bear, who has waited in her den for the birth of her twin cubs, teaches them how to hunt and to recognize danger. When they are grown, they set out on their own.
With their beautiful white fur and powerful presence, polar bears rule the Arctic. These majestic giants swim from iceberg to iceberg in chilling waters, care for their adorable cubs, and are threatened by global warming. In this level 1 reader you’ll learn all you ever wanted to know about polar bears and so much more. Complete with fascinating facts and beautiful images, National Geographic Readers: Polar Bears can’t miss.
What are your favorite polar bear books for kids? I’d love to check them out!
You might also enjoy this polar bear writing craft to pair with your favorite book.