You can read some stories with your students or have them read about polar bears themselves. One fascinating read just right for middle school students is The Polar Bear Scientists by Peter Lourie. Students can learn about the scientists who research a subpopulation of polar bears in their native habitat in Barrow, Alaska for six weeks every summer. Afterward, the scientists return to the lab to analyze data and study the effects of climate change on the bears. This is a perfect book for polar bear enthusiasts or budding scientists. (We have lots more Scientists in the Field books in our collection.)
Just right for middle-grade readers, Polar Bears: Survival on the Ice by Jason Viola offers a look at two curious polar bear cubs as they play, hunt, and navigate life in the Arctic. With each season, they learn polar bear biology and behavior, as well as strategies and skills that will help them thrive in a landscape that is rapidly changing beyond their control. This science comic is the ultimate for both learning and entertainment. (Take a look at all the Science Comic books the library has to offer.)
The youngest elementary students wanting to know more about polar bears will not be disappointed with Where Do Polar Bears Live? by Sarah L. Thompson. This title explores a year in the life of a polar bear, focusing on facts about the animal's diet, hunting techniques, and habitat. Kids who love polar bears know that the Arctic might be a bit too chilly for humans to live there, but it is the perfect home for polar bears. (Check out some of the other Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science books at the library.)
Have a great International Polar Bear Day!