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Polar Bears International


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Social-Emotional Learning

Regional Focus

North America, Polar Regions


YouTube Video


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  • This video highlights the life of a GPS-tracked polar bear named Ursula over several years as she cares for her babies, hunts for food on floating sea ice, travels in order to survive, and fasts for longer periods of time due to melting sea ice. 
  • Students will learn about the immense challenges that polar bears face due to the climate crisis and get to see how this particular polar was able to raise two sets of cubs in the Arctic.
Teaching Tips


  • The narrator in this video speaks articulately and slowly, making the video easy to follow. 
  • While this video makes the polar bears' hardships very apparent, it is also hopeful. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is an emotional video that highlights a specific polar bear, her cubs, and the difficulties that she faces, so prepare to provide students with opportunities to share their emotional reactions to this content. 


  • Show students on a map where Ursula traveled and have them discuss in groups why this movement was necessary. 
  • Provide students with opportunities to explore other resources from Polar Bears International including worksheets, additional videos, and a polar bear tracker. 
  • Have students watch this short video about how climate change is impacting the Adélie penguin population in Antarctica and compare these impacts to the challenges faced by polar bears. 
  • In a social studies class, consider showing students environmental murals such as "Footprint", "The Last Winter", and "On the Brink" and ask students to discuss human responsibility for wildlife. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this mini-poster and fact sheet about polar bears and this animated video which provides a simple introduction to climate change. 
Scientist Notes
This is a 7:18 minutes video that shows the Ursula polar bear life and history. She had a GPS collar and the scientist followed her for several years until she lost her collar. The track was important to understand about the Polar Bear habits, movement and territory. They followed several Polar bears and they can use all information overtime to understand and create the Polar Bear habit/ movements. Human actions contribute to the Polar bear's declining population from the last few years. Climate change will be reducing the Polar bear population and also every life on the Earth. The importance of starting to use renewable energy is also highlighted. The sources are included in the video description. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.K.3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
      • SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
      • SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
      • 4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
      • HS-LS4-5. Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
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