11/16/2010 2:39:26 PM

A Week with Polar Bears: Seven Ideas to Help

I'm spending the week with my friends at Polar Bears International on the tundra near Churchill, Manitoba, where I'll be learning about polar bears from the world's finest scientists. During my first day, I learned more about the bears than I believe I've accumulated in my life! I also learned that the folks who are working to protect the polar bears are 100% passionate and some of the nicest people I've ever met.

Currently, we're on a Tundra Buggy getting ready for a few days of live webcasting. We'll be sharing these free webcasts with teachers and students (or anyone who wants to drop by and learn). 

The mission of Polar Bears International is conservation through research, stewardship and education. Everyone can make a difference through his/her actions, and I hope we can convey that message to the thousands of students from around the world (classrooms in over 40 U.S. states and ten Canadian provinces) who have signed up for the educational webcasts.

As questions from students poured in over the past week, it became pretty easy to see themes. And the one theme that appeared the most was about action. How can students in their hometowns play a role in protecting the polar bear and ultimately change the world in which we live?

It's a very daunting question, but on some levels it's very easy. Here are seven ideas, one for each day of the week, to help you and your students begin to make a change today.

Sunday
Check out Polar Bears International's educational resources. Get the facts, take a quiz, download unit and lesson plans and more!

Monday
Awareness begins with understanding. Learn the content by having your students explore polar bears, climate change and more at www.discoveryeducation.com. You'll find hundreds of standards-aligned video segments, images, articles and our new "Polar Bears" theme page.

Tuesday
Test your knowledge about polar bears and then go make your own Public Service Announcement using Photo Peach. You can use this pre-made quiz to get your students started.

Wednesday
Make a real-world connection for your students by using Google Earth. Launch Google Earth, fly to Churchill and then view the ARKive layer for more content about polar bears.

Thursday
Have your students do their research and then represent the polar bear in the first person by using Blabberize. What would a polar bear say?

Friday
Create Public Service Announcements using EDU Glogster. Blend video, audio, text, hyperlinks and more with your personal message of conservation.

Saturday
Go make a difference today by competing in the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge. In this K-12 sustainability challenge your students identify the issue and then work together towards a solution. Plus, there are tons of free resources on the site for anyone and everyone.

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