When January rolls around, students are often in a post-holiday wild phase. Or they may even be in a post-holiday blues mood. Either way, we need to regroup as a class community and kick off the new year with some exciting and engaging activities. One unit kindergarten and first grade teachers often start with in January is arctic animals. I have a ton of arctic animals activities to help you hook and engage students when they come back to the classroom.
From videos to read alouds to lesson plans and a freebie, I have plenty of arctic animals activities that are sure to get your students excited for science and actively participating in learning.
Arctic Animals Read Alouds
First, science read alouds are a fantastic way to integrate science into your day. They build background knowledge for your students before you introduce a new topic. They can also provide visual support for your ELL students to be more successful. Science read alouds can easily engage students and begin the conversations they will have with new vocabulary.
Here are a few read alouds that you could easily integrate into your arctic animals activities to help integrate reading and science:
- Where Do Polar Bears Live? by Sarah L. Thomson
- Who Lives Here? Polar Animals by Decorah Hodge
- Living in the Arctic by Allan Fowler
- In Arctic Waters by Laura Crawford
- Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons
- The Arctic Habitat by Molly Aloian and Bobbie Kalman
You can find a list of science read alouds for the entire year HERE!
All About the Arctic Unit
Make science super easy when you use the All About the Arctic science unit. It has everything you need for a week of lesson plans including graphic organizers, teaching posters, flip books, a pocket chart sort, and a science experiment. It also has literacy components like read aloud suggestions, a mini-book, a craftivitiy, a shared reading poem, and phonics activities.
Winter Flip Books
One of my class’s favorite arctic animals activities is Winter Flip Books. They are great for incorporating interactive notebooks or for an assessment check after learning about a topic. The arctic animals flip books can easily be used for research for little learners.
I love them because you can read just about any book with your students, and then grab a corresponding flip book to take learning a little deeper. These make integrating science and writing a breeze!
Arctic Animals Flip Up Book Activities
Another favorite arctic animals activity for kinder and first graders is arctic animals flip up books. These flip up books are not only engaging for students, but they’re convenient for you as the teacher because you have six pages of activities all on in place.
Both the All About Polar Bears Flip Up Book and the All About Penguins Flip Up Book are easy to print and assemble. Plus, they also come in a digital format for virtual learning or to use in a station. Each book integrates reading, writing, and science.
Arctic Animals Videos
Videos are a great way to introduce a new science topic, review a concept, or to use as an attention grabber. Here are a few that I found that your students might enjoy! Please remember to always preview videos to be sure they’re a good fit for your learners.
Polar Bear Craftivity FREEBIE
My students love a good craftivity. What’s a craftivity? It’s an educational, standard-based activity combined with a craft. I have a FREE Polar Bear Craftivity that you can use as an activity or as an assessment after teaching.
After learning about polar bears, students can write facts they have learned about them on the oval pieces. Then, they can create a polar bear to hold their fact books. These make for a super cute bulletin board display, too!
I know January can be a tough (and sometimes dreary) month of teaching, but it doesn’t have to be. Try one of these engaging arctic animals activities this year!