Polar Bears of Summer

Right now, there is scientific controversy about polar bears and whether not potential land-based foraging by polar bears might help them as the ice-free period continues to increase due to climate warming.

Our lesson plan tackles this scientific controversy head on. We do not tell students what to think. Instead, we provide real-world data, evidence from both sides of the controversy, and we ask students to evaluate this timely, controversial issue.

  • Free
  • Targets youth in grades 9-12
  • Data-rich
  • Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, and STEM guidelines

LESSON MATERIALS

TEACHER MATERIALS
Teacher Guide
Answer Key for Datasets
Answer Key for Individual Activities
*Answer keys are passcode protected, and intended for teachers only. If you are an educator, please contact Bear Trust to request passcodes: info@beartrust.org

STUDENT MATERIALS
Story: “The Polar Bears of Summer: What Do You Eat While the Ice is Gone?”
Video of polar bear chasing geese “See video to the right”
Student Pages: Background Information
Student Pages: Individual Activities
Student Pages: Carbon Footprint Activity
Excel Data File Called “Datasets for Students”

MATERIALS FOR STUDENT GROUP ACTIVITY
TEAM 1
Student Pages: Group Activity_Team 1
Scientific Paper: “What to Eat Now? Shifts in Polar Bear Diet During the Ice-Free Season in Western Hudson Bay”

TEAM 2
Student Pages: Group Activity_Team 2
Scientific Paper: “Effects of Climate Warming on Polar Bears: A Review of the Evidence”

NOTE for TEAM 2: The publisher has generously given you free access to your scientific paper. When you click the link above, you will go to Wiley Online Library, click on “Get Pdf” and download. Paper citation: Stirling, I. and A.E. Derocher. 2012. Effects of climate warming on polar bears: a review of the evidence, Global Change Biology. 18:2694-2706.

TEAM 3
Student Pages: Group Activity_Team 3
Scientific Paper: “Can Polar Bears Use Terrestrial Foods to Offset Lost Ice-Based Hunting Opportunities?”

TEAM 4
Student Pages: Group Activity_Team 4
Scientific Paper:Team 3 Scientific Paper: “Trophic Matches and Mismatches; Can Polar Bears Reduce the Abundance of Nesting Snow Geese in Western Hudson Bay?”

Note: All scientific papers on this website are provided with author and/or journal and publisher permission

Project Initiatives

Bear Trust focuses on 4 primary project initiatives: 1) Conservation Education 2) Bear Research & Management 3) Habitat Conservation 4) Conservation Policy

Contact Info

PO Box 10850
Bozeman, MT 59719
Phone: (406) 523-7779
info@beartrust.org