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Learning about polar bears (or any topic)

Main Core Tie

Elementary Library Media (K-5)
Strand 4 Standard 2

Additional Core Ties

Science - 1st Grade
Standard 4

Science - Kindergarten
Standard 4

Time Frame

3 class periods of 15 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups


Kathy Ballard
Ruth Hansen
Anabis McGill


With guidance and support students will explore using various research tools to help them access information about a specific topic. In this lesson we are learning about bears but you could choose another animal or topic as well.


  • "The Bear Report" by Thyra Heder
  • Books, computer websites, videos, music, posters, magazines (your resources may change depending on what you have access to) featuring polar bears.

Background for Teachers


  • Knowledge of how to use and access the sources that you want to focus on.
  • "The Bear Report" by Thyra Heder
  • books on polar bears
  • Juvenile magazines on bears
  • Possible online media resources listed below

Student Prior Knowledge

What is a polar bear? Basic knowledge of resources. Vocabulary resources, research, adaptations, habitat,

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will learn to use a variety of research tools to learn about a given topic.

Instructional Procedures

Pacing (min.) Instructional Sequence Grouping Structures
10-15 min

Ask students what they know about polar bears.

Ask them what questions they have about them. What do they need to know?

Write their questions on the board.

Read to the students "The bear report" by Thyra Heder. Ask them if they have new questions about bears.

Whole Group
5-10 min

Have students watch a video clip about polar bears and then discuss what they learned from the video. i.e. were they able to answer any of the questions that we discussed earlier? Point out to students that videos are just one kind of resource. "Where else could we find answers to our questions about polar bears? Guide their conversation and bring up some of the other types of resources if students don't come up with them on their own. Make a list of the different types of media students can use to help them research and learn.

Whole Group
5-10 min

Use the list of different resources that you and students came up with to direct the rest of your lesson. Show students examples of the different types of resources (books, video, websites, posters, magazines, encyclopedias etc) and help them see what they can learn, about polar bears, from each. Refer back to the questions students had about polar bears as you explore with different types of media.

This lesson can be carried over into multiple sessions to give you more time to explore different resources.

Whole Group
10 min Give students the attached worksheet and have them write/draw something they learned about polar bears. Individual

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Have tangible examples of the different types of resources so that students can have hands on experience with them.

Assessment Plan

Have students tell you which resource they liked using the best and why.


"The Bear Report" by Thyra Heder

Created: 05/12/2017
Updated: 02/05/2018