Today we had fun with blubber! We are in our polar unit and today we talked about how polar animals stay warm in such COLD weather! A number of years ago I read about this activity in a Mailbox magazine. I took parts of it and edited it into something that works great with my little kinders. So here is what we did: I read a story (of course!) to begin our lesson. I really believe that bringing literature into as many subjects as I can is SOOO important! In this story, we learned that polar bears have black skin and their paws are as big as basketballs! My wonderful co-teacher, Lisa, gave me the measurements of a real male polar bear and we made an exact (or close to exact!) representation of it and hung it in the room. When a male polar bear stands up, it can be up to 10 feet tall!! Wow! I will post some pictures of the polar bear image later in the week. Then we talked about how polar animals can stand the cold. Each child was given the opportunity to plunge their hands into a bowl of ice water and try to hold them in for 10 seconds! Brrrrrr! How do polar animals stand it??? Well, blubber, of course! The children inserted their hands into the blubber bag and again, plunged their hands into the icy water and they couldn't feel any cold at all!!! So cool! Here is how to make the blubber bag.... 1. Use 2 Zip lock bags. Turn one bag inside out. 2. Scoop shortening inside one bag - about 2 cups. 3. Insert the other Zip lock bag inside the bag with the shortening. Zip the 2 bags together. 4. Squeeze the shortening throughout the bags. You should not feel any shortening at all. The shortening is BETWEEN the 2 bags. I use clear packaging tape along the edges to seal together just as a precaution.
Here are some pictures of our experiment!
I was lucky to have a Promethean board placed into my classroom this year and I love, love it! After doing our fun experiment, we then did some work in our polar books. One of the MANY wonderful things about a Promethean board is that you can import PDF files into the software and make them visible to ALL the students. So I projected the image of our step by step illustrations for creating a polar bear from paper onto the Promethean as well as images I found on the internet. How cool, cool, cool!
We have been doing winter and polar all week - I'll add more later!
Until then! Have a wonderful end of the week!