Polar Bear Facts for Kids

We have some polar bear facts for kids and some other useful links, including quizzes, how to draw a polar bear by a great father and son team, some polar bear jokes and some wonderful pictures.

Where do Polar Bears live?

Polar bears are incredible creatures that live in the Arctic region. They can be found in Canada, Greenland, Russia and Norway. There is a large population of polar bears in Alaska.

Polar bear and cub

How big are Polar Bears

They are the largest living land carnivore. They weigh over 1000 pounds and measure 10 feet from nose to tail.

large polar bear

What do Polar Bears eat?

It spends the majority of its time attacking and eating seals and other marine life. They are also known to eat birds, walrus, fish, and whales. The polar bears’ food largely depends on where they live in the world but when on land they mainly eat land-based animals such as caribou, muskoxen, reindeer, arctic hares and squirrels.

They catch seals by hiding near holes where the seals live and waiting for one to come out. Seals swim faster than polar bears so they wouldn’t catch many bu chasing them!

It’s a bit different when they live in a zoo! Find out what polar bears eat at San Diego Zoo by clicking below:

https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/polar-bear

polar bear hunting

Climate Change

Some polar bears depend on ice to survive, as they use it for resting, hunting, and swimming which is why they are susceptible to climate change.

When there is no more ice, they move onto land to search for food.

Polar bear on ice

Are Polar Bears always white?

Despite their name, polar bears are not always white – their fur can range from white to black or any other colour in between.  The skin under their fur is black!

Their thick fur contains layers of air that insulate them from the cold weather.

Polar bear fur

How do Polar Bears stay warm?

Because of the cold, polar bears have a thick layer of fat that helps them stay warm. This thick layer is also what makes them one of the heaviest mammals out there. The average weight for a male bear is over 900 pounds and about 600 pounds for females.

Are Polar Bears an endangered species?

There are approximately 25,000 to 40,000 polar bears in the world today. This number is rapidly declining due to the bear’s dependence on ice packs for hunting and their prey species moving further north where the ice is melting at a faster rate. The rapid decrease of these animals has been predicted to lead to the extinction of the species by 2050 if the global temperature continues to rise. The polar bear has been listed as one of the most endangered animal populations on our planet.

As polar ice melts due to climate change, the bears’ habitat is shrinking and they are increasingly being hunted.

Polar bears are turning up in places they’ve never been seen before. There have been sightings in areas such as the Arabian Peninsula, Southern Europe, and even Kansas City! These sightings are a recent phenomenon that has many people worried about the fate of polar bears. Global warming is changing the bear’s habitat and disrupting their food supply.

The polar bear is a symbol of the environment. This poignant animal has been an important part of the Arctic environment for centuries, but recent trends are indicating that they are struggling to survive.

Useful Websites for Children

National Geographic Kids

The National Geographic Kids website is one that is always safe to send your children to.

World Wildlife Fund

WWF – there are wonderful pictures on this website but you may want to check it if you have younger children as it also shows a carcass of something that the polar bear has caught.

https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/fascinating-facts/polar-bears

And for education resources click here:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources/toolkits/polar-bear-toolkit

Harper Collins Publishers

https://www.harpercollins.com/blogs/harperkids/10-polar-bear-facts-for-kids

Polar Bear Quizzes

CBC – (Canadian TV Channel)

This is a good one to start with. It is on a Canadian website and as we know most polar bears live in Canada so the Canadians know a lot about polar bears. It is multiple choice so you get a chance to guess if you’re not sure of the answer and then you get information about the correct answer.

https://www.cbc.ca/kidscbc2/the-feed/how-much-do-you-know-about-polar-bears

WWF

Here is a super quiz for your children to try

https://www.wwf.org.uk/node/40556

If they don’t get all the answers right the first time, they can just do it again. They’re sure to beat their score.

Wicked Weather Watch

For PDF to print out with a quiz and lots more detailed information and aimed more at secondary but perhaps some older Primary School children who were fluent readers and particularly interested in polar bears would like these sheets.

(And a quiz for the adults from the Guardian)

I just thought I’d slept this one in as it’s got some interesting bits and pieces in it.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/quiz/2014/feb/27/test-knowledge-polar-bears-quiz

Polar Bear Jokes

If you like jokes here is a whole page of them about polar bears.

https://funkidsjokes.com/polar-bear-jokes/

How to draw a Polar Bear

Would your child enjoy drawing their own polar bear? Here is a great video clip created by a father and son, where the father draws the polar bear and the son follows along. Obviously, this boy has a very talented father and he does a lot of drawing, so don’t forget to encourage your child, no matter what the outcome, and remind them that they can always do another one.

The Great Fire Of London

The Great Fire Of London

The Great Fire of London is a popular topic for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.

There are lots of resources around including whole websites dedicated to the fire, websites of museums in London who have their own collection of objects, videos, craft activities, worksheets etc.

 

Videos Of the Great Fire of London for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and beyond.

There are many videos for your children to watch on Youtube.

Here are a few I would recommend:

These ones are aimed many at KS1 but may be fun for some younger KS2 pupils as well.

 

These are more suited to Key Stage 2 and above.

These were created by Channel 5 who also do some fire investigations in the first programme with wattle and daub doors.

 

 

Facts about Great Fire of London – 1666

The Great Fire of London began on Sunday, September 2nd 1666 near Pudding Lane. at Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. A baker had left some flour-dusted dough out overnight on an oven that had not been cleaned. Sparks from the oven ignited the fire which then spread quickly across the city.

This led to the destruction of most of the buildings in London including 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Exchange and left over six thousand people homeless.

People were forced to flee their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and thousands lost everything. Many of those ended up living in tents on the outskirts of London.

The spread was rapid due to the wooden construction of the buildings and the lack of firefighting equipment available at the time.

There was no formal fire brigade, little training and very basic equipment available such as leather buckets, fire squirts, but they and local people worked hard to put out the fires caused by the Great Fire of London.

The fire burned for five days and nights before finally being put out on September 6th by blowing up houses with gunpowder.

There had also been a drought in London for more than 10 months. The city had not seen rain since November of 1665 and the only water supply available was from a single well at Moorfields. This lead to the houses burning even quicker than they might have done otherwise.

We know so much about the fire as it was documented in letters and newspapers, and artists painted pictures of what it was like.

One survivor was Samuel Pepys who wrote a famous diary. He was born in London on February 23, 1633.

Pepy’s diary records his key social and political observations, including those about the Great Fire of London in 1666

A monument was built to remember the Great Fire. This was called “The Monument” and is a column which is 202ft tall and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Dr Robert Hooke. It stands on the corner between Fish Street Hill and Monument Street. 202ft is the distance between it and the fire.

 

The Monument to the Fire of London

Before the Great Fire of London, the houses were all made out of wood which caused them to be easily burnt. When they rebuilt the city, they made sure that many new buildings were built in bricks and weren’t as close together.

One of the buildings that was engulfed by fire was Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was rebuilt in the same area but following a new design by Christopher Wren.

Five ways London changed after the fire was explained by the BBC London News team in this accessible article which also includes lots of interesting pictures.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36774166.

It includes new building regulations, no hanging signs for pubs and better access to water. I was particularly surprised to read that previously the water pipes were wooden!

A very good overview from Channel 5 who also do some fire investigations with wattle and daub doors.

 

A bit of interactive fun for children

The Great Fire Of London

Children need to be familiar with the story in order to play this game.

If they are not, let them watch one or more of the videos at the top of the page.

 

Craft Activities

If you search on Google Images or Pinterest you’ll find plenty of examples of school displays. Just looking at these will give you all your children a few ideas.

I also particularly like shoebox craft activities that many people do. There is a particularly good example on the Lottie Makes blog, see the third pin on my Pinterest board – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/jpin6213/great-fire-of-london/. I will also put a link to the blog below.

Fire of London Pinterest Board
My Board on Pinterest about the Great Fire of London

Shoe box idea

Great Fire of London – Story in a Shoe Box

The Great Fire of London for Kids – KS1 Scrapbook Crafts

Making-a-great-fire-of-London-house

 

Some useful websites

The National Archives

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/fire-of-london/

This site is particularly useful if you would like to do some work using primary sources.

They are presented in a way that is very accessible and with suggestions for investigating using his resources.

Museum of London

The Museum of London also makes good use of primary resources. In this case, they have used items from their own collection

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/discover/great-fire-london-1666

You can scroll through photographs and read about the individual items. This would be more appropriate for adults or older children.

The London Fire Brigade website

https://www.london-fire.gov.uk/museum/history-and-stories/the-great-fire-of-london/

Here, among other things, they estimate the total cost of the fire was about 10 million pounds at the time when London’s annual income was about £12,000 a year. I found myself wondering about how this compares to the cost of the pandemic that we are presently going through.

Historic UK

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Survivors-of-the-Great-Fire-of-London/

Historic UK does have its own page about Great Fire of London which is more general but I like this one because it shows you some of the most interesting buildings that survived the great fire.

 

Visit London

If you are lucky enough to live near or visit visit you may want to try one of these walks.

Great Fire Of London Walk With Kids

A Great Fire of London walk with kids – visit Great Fire of London locations

Free walking tour London to learn facts about the Great Fire of London

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/walks-and-itineraries/self-guided-walks-and-trails/the-great-fire-of-london

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london-docklands/event-detail?id=73409

https://www.london-walking-tours.co.uk/great-fire-of-london-walk.htm

Make a shoebox

Here is a great idea for a craft activity done in a shoebox from the website Lottie Makes.

Some more useful videos

We have some daft dancing in a garden in between verses and there’s not a lot of information but children might like it and you can talk through the pictures that appear.

Now this is a throwback to my early days of teaching and I do remember this episode – actually I just remembered the buring of the cheese!! I and my kids used to love Magic Grandad! You might find it a bit dated?

 

For even more resources check out my Great Fire of London Board on Pinterest