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Main Curriculum Tie:
Cold, Colder, Coldest, by Michael Dahl (Animal Extremes Series); Children Library Resources Item #GK923763
Experiments with Heat, by Salvatore Tocci (A True Books Series); ISBN 0-516-22510-3
The Magic School Bus in the Arctic, by Joanna Cole; ISBN 0-590-18724-4
Temperature, by Brenda Walpole (Measure Up With Science); ISBN 0-8368-1363-4
Temperature, by Navin Sullivan; ISBN 918-0-7614-2322-5
Polar Bears, by Ann O. Squire (A True Books Series); ISBN 0-516-25473-1
Polar Bears, by Julia Barnes (100 Facts About Predators); ISBN 0-8368-4038-0
Polar Bears, by Timothy Levi Biel (Zoobooks); ISBN 0-88682-414-1
Heat, Bill Nye the Science Guy Series Three, (Disney Educational Productions) Library Video Company VHS DN2226, DVD DW0577
Heat, The Way Things Work Video Series, by David Magaulay (Schlessinger Media) Library Video Company VHS DK7849, DVD DV6014
Animal Adaptations, (Discovery Channel School Series) Teacherís Media Company VHS
Background For Teachers:
Many students have the misconception that a coat or glove can produce heat. Heat is the flow of energy from hotter to cooler objects. Coats and gloves help stop the flow of energy and trap, or hold the heat. Insulators are materials that block the flow of heat, so warm things tend to stay warm while cold items stay cool longer. Good insulators are plastic, feathers, air, and materials that hold air. Heat conductors are materials that allow the flow of heat energy to move easily from one source to another. Good conductors are solid materials such as metals.
The body of a polar bear is made for living in its harsh, cold
environment. Among land animals, the polar bear is the largest
predator in the world, with an average male measuring about 8 feet
long and weighing between 800 to 1300 pounds. Large bodies usually
hold heat much better than smaller ones. But the bearís large body also
has extra layers of protection against the cold. Although a polar bear
looks white, its skin is black, and its hair has no color at all. Its thick
coat is really two layers of fur: a waterproof undercoat of short hair and
a layer of guard hair 6 inches in length. Each hair is really a hollow
tube that you can see right through. Some of the sunlight bounces off the hair, making the bear appear white; but most of the sunís rays
pass through the hollow hairs and are trapped by the bearís black skin.
Underneath this fur coat, the polar bear has a layer of fat that can be
4 inches thick. The polar bear can survive even when the outside
temperature drops to -70 degrees F because this fat and layers of fur act
as insulators, trapping its body heat.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Pass the Penny
Heat is the flow of energy from hotter to cooler objects. Temperature is a measure of how much heat energy an object has.
Prior to this activity, mark a penny with a small, flat dot of fingernail polish. Provide each group of 4 or 5 students with a small cloth bag containing 5 pennies. Have a member of the group remove the marked penny and hold it for approximately 10 seconds in their closed fist. Quickly pass the penny on to the next group member, allowing them to hold the penny for about 10 seconds. Continue this process until the penny has gone around the group once or twice. (You may notice that the penny has become warm). Replace this penny quickly with the others in the bag and shake them up. Ask a volunteer to reach into the bag and pull out the marked penny. How could they recognize which penny to choose? Why did this penny feel different than the others? What was the pennyís heat source? What causes the temperature change of the penny? You might also try this activity by allowing the marked penny to lie in direct sunlight (or under a heat lamp) for 30 seconds, and repeat the activity. Were the results similar?
Race Some Beads
This activity will demonstrate how well some materials conduct heat.