In thinking about the arctic and animals that are found there, we discussed what keeps the animals warm. We learned that the blubber found underneath the skin insulates the animals. To demonstrate this we did a "blubber mitten activity". It went like this:

Polar Bears

Blubber Mitten Activity


To find out what it's like to have a layer of blubber to keep warm, try this easy Blubber Mitten experiment. You'll need:

 * 2 C Crisco (or other fat)

* 2 zippable sandwich bags

* a bowl of ice water with ice cubes



1. Fill one of the zipper bags about 1/3 full of shortening, then turn the remaining zipper bag inside out. Place it carefully inside the bag with the shortening so that you are able to zip the one bag to the other. This creates a "blubber mitten" for you to put your hand in.

2. Put your bare hand in the bowl of cold water and see just how cold it is!

3. Next, place your hand in the "blubber mitten" and now place your mittened hand in the ice water. How cold does the water seem with the "blubber mitten" on? Do you think a nice layer of blubber would be great protection against cold? Walrus, whales, and seals also have wonderful layers of blubber which help to keep them warm.


Activity courtesy of Arctic Animals: The Polar Bear

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