Lesson video

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Hello, everybody.

Miss Hughes here.

What's your name? Today I've come to the coldest habitat of all to find out what wildlife can survive here.

I've come to a polar habitat.

And we're going to spend the lesson identifying the features of polar habitats, and finding them on a globe.

So put on your hat 'cause this adventure's going to get cold.

There will be three lessons on polar habitats.

The first with me, the second with Miss Sidenius and the third with Mrs. Garrard.

In this lesson, we're going to listen to a story, learn about polar habitats, and then build an igloo.

You're going to need a plastic bottle, some white marshmallows or you could use cotton wool, and some scissors and glue.

Make sure that if you're carrying or using your scissors, a grownup is there to supervise you.

Pause the video here, get what you need and restart when you're ready.


Let's begin by listening to a story.

This story is set in a polar habitat.

Look at the picture.

What can you tell me about a polar habitat? Tell your screen.

I can see.

That's right, we can see lots of snow and ice.

What might that mean? It might mean it's very cold there because snow and ice only happens when the temperature is freezing or below.

I bet the water is pretty cold too.

We're going to listen to the story "Where Snowflakes Fall," by Claire Freedman and Tina Macnaughton.

It's published by Little Tiger Press.

And when you're listening to this story, I want you to try and count the animals in the story.

"Where Snowflakes Fall." What animal is on the front of the book? It's a seal.

I can see it's got a thick layer of fur.

Maybe to survive in such a cold place.

The glittering ice world wakes up the sun.

In this fragile white land, a new day has begun.

Snow leopards wake to the pink blush of dawn.

Still drowsy from sleep, they're cosy and warm.

Perched on the cliffs where it's craggy and steep, hungry for breakfast, the puffin chicks cheep.

So far below where the sea meets the shore, foamy white waves crash the rocks with a roar.

Deep from their den, polar bears tumble out.

On wobbly paws, they slither about.

Full of excitement, they run and they chase in this most precious and beautiful place.

Baby whale glides into crystal blue sea.

In the calm waters, he's happy and free.

Close to his mother's side diving together, deep in the ocean that stretches forever.

Icicles glisten and glint in the light, silent magnificent towers of white.

Drawn from their cave by the first rays of sun, lively young lemmings dart out to have fun.

These are the lemmings.

Blue shadowed snowfields lie still and serene.

Here where the air is so pure and clean.

Sheltered by mountains, the caribou deer rest by the stream, flowing icy and clear.

Off to explore, the small Arctic fox peeps from his lair in the snow-sparkled rocks.

Eyes full of wonder, he can't wait to go.

Nimble and light as the soft, swirling snow.

Wings tipped with sunshine, the snow geese glide by.

They gracefully soar through the endless blue sky, calling each other as onward they go over the silent land far, far below.

Frosty winds blow, little penguins stay snug.

All safe and sound in a feather-soft hug.

Wrapped in his mother's wings, sheltered and still, warm through the blizzard and harsh bitter chill.

Soft shadows fall as the sun slips away.

Snowy white clouds turn to purple and grey.

Arctic hares hop home, all tired and dozy.

Soon they'll be sleeping and cuddled up cosy.

The Northern Lights shimmer and dance up on high.

Majestically snowy owl swoops through the sky, over the magical ice world he flies, and only the moon hears his soft haunting cries.

Little seal lies in his mother's warm cuddle.

In the cold stillness together they huddle.

The frosty land sparkles with softest starlight.

Sleep, precious ice world, sleep safely this night.

The end.

Did you count all of the animals? I counted 12 all together.

I had no idea that so many different animals could survive in polar habitats.

Which was your favourite polar habitat in the story? Great, I liked the baby seals.

I thought they were really cute.

Now that we know some animals that can survive in polar habitats, let's learn a little bit more about them.

A habitat is somewhere an animal lives.

It's somewhere an animal lives.

And different animals like different habitats.

That's because different habitats have different climates, different weather patterns.

Show me, climates.

They have different places of shelter for the animals.

Show me shelter.

And they have different types of food for the animals to eat.

Let's say all of that together.

Different habitats have different climates, different areas of shelter, and different types of food.

Different animals need different habitats so that they can survive, so that they can live.

And polar habitats are the coldest habitats in the world.

They're the coldest habitats in the world.

They are made of snow and ice, and really cold water.

So only a few animals can survive.

Polar habitats are located right at the top and right at the bottom of the globe.

They are coloured white on this drawing of the globe because they're covered in snow.

Point to the polar habitat at the top of the globe.

Well done, this white patch here is called the Arctic.

My turn, Arctic, your turn.



The Arctic is at the top of the globe.

And the Arctic has no land.

It is made of snow and ice.

The Arctic has no land.

Now point to the polar habitat at the bottom of the globe.

Well done.

This is called Antarctica.

My turn, Antarctica.


And Antarctica has some land but is covered by a thick layer of snow and ice.

So the polar habitats are at the top of the globe and the bottom of the globe.

And polar habitats have a very cold climate.

They have lots of snow and ice, which means that the temperature is freezing.

Polar habitats are freezing.

They are.

Polar habitats are also very windy places.

And polar habitats have two seasons.

They have a summer where the sun shines all day and all night.

And they have a winter where the sun does not rise.

They have no sun all day or all night.

In the summer, there is lots of sun, and in the winter, there is no sun in polar habitats.

Many animals can't survive in polar habitats because it is too cold and windy.

But some animals can.

Tell your screen some of the animals that survive in polar habitats.

You might use the pictures on the screen or think of the animals in the story.

Well done, penguins can survive in polar habitats.

Polar bears.

Arctic foxes and seals to name just a few of those animals.

So let's think about the polar habitat at the top of the globe, the Arctic.

My turn, Arctic, your turn.

Who lives in the Arctic? Well, polar bears and Arctic foxes live in the Arctic.

They live in the top of the globe.

Name the animals that live in the Arctic.

Well done, there are some more, which you can look up later.

And different animals live in Antarctica, the polar habitat at the bottom of the globe.

My turn, Antarctica, your turn.

Which animals do you think live in Antarctica? That's right, penguins live in Antarctica.

Polar bears at the top, penguins at the bottom.

Now, I want you to pause the video here and tell your screen where the polar habitats are.

You can point to them and if your brain has remembered the name of them, you can say the names to the screen.

Pause the video now.

Well done if you were pointing to the top and the bottom of the globe.

At the top, we have the Arctic, and at the bottom, we have Antarctica.

Well done.

So let's think a little bit about how animals survive in such cold conditions.

There are not many trees or plants in polar habitats because it is too cold for them to survive.

So animals cannot shelter under trees and plants like they might in different habitats.

Polar animals may build caves or hide behind snow mountains if they need some shelter.

Because there are not many plants in the Arctic, polar animals usually eat meat.

We call then carnivores.

My turn, carnivore, your turn.

Carnivores eat meat.

Carnivores eat.

So most of the animals in the Arctic will survive by eating other animals, like fish or smaller animals.

Arctic animals have also adapted their appearance to be able to survive such cold conditions.

The polar bear has really thick fur.

Why do you think a polar bear has thick fur? Tell your screen.

Polar bears have thick fur so they can stay warm when it is really cold.

What colour is the polar bear's fur? It is white or a creamy colour, and it is white so the polar bear can camouflage, can disguise themselves in the snow to protect themselves from predators.

Animals that may want to eat the polar bear.

Under the polar bear's skin, they have a thick layer of blubber.

My turn, blubber, your turn.

Which is fat.

And that blubber keeps them warm too.

So polar bears are very good at surviving such cold places.

Let's take a look at these penguins.

Penguins are good at surviving in polar conditions too.

They have a thick layer of feathers to keep them nice and warm.

And penguins stand really close together, they huddle close together so that they can stay warm by sharing each other's body heat.

They also have a thick layer of fat under their skin to keep them warm.

Can you remember what that fat is called? Well done, it's called blubber.

So penguins have a thick layer of feathers, they huddle together, and they have blubber under their skin so that they stay warm and survive polar conditions.

Now it's your turn.

Pause the video here and tell your screen how these animals survive the polar conditions.

You may want to tell your screen or you could have a go of drawing and writing it down.


Let's take a look at the polar bear first.

They have thick fur, white fur and blubber.

You many have thought of some other things.

And penguins have a thick layer of feathers, they huddle together, and they also have a layer of blubber.

These animals are really good at surviving polar conditions.

Now that we've learned a lot about polar habitats, I think we're ready to go exploring.

Are you going to go to the Arctic at the top or Antarctica at the bottom? Tell your screen.

Wow, I'm looking forward to seeing what you find.

But when we go to a polar habitat, we're going to be very cold.

So we must wrap up warm and we must build somewhere for us to shelter.

And we're going to build an igloo.

My turn, igloo, your turn.

An igloo is a cave or a home made of snow.

What do you notice about the igloos? Tell your screen.


You notice that they are made of snow.

They have a hole for us to get inside, and they even have some snow bricks on this one.

They've very clever.

So we're going to build an igloo using a plastic bottle, marshmallows or cotton wool, and then you're going to need a scissors and some glue.

Remember to ask your grownup to help you with using the scissors.

These are the steps that you're going to follow.

First, you're going to plan your igloo.

How big is it going to be? What are you going to use? Then your grownup is going to need to help you with this part.

We're going to cut the bottle in half like this.

Then you're going to place and stick your marshmallows or cotton around the bottle so that it looks like snow bricks.

I'm really excited to see your marshmallow igloos.

Or maybe you could build a really big igloo, maybe in the garden or using cushions.

If you'd like to, please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, tagging @OakNational and #LearnwithOak.

It's been so great learning about polar habitats with you today.

And I hope your igloos turn out really well.

I'll see you soon.