Monday, February 9, 2015

The Bear Essentials: Folktales of Polar Bears and Their Cousins

White-Bear King Valemon
Theodor Kittelson, 1857-1914
February 27 is Polar Bear Day and folktales from Iceland to Norway, Russia and Germany, folktales, fairy tales, myths and legends stories of polar bears and their cousins abound.  I offer some stories, curriculum, information, crafts and more about these beautiful, majestic animals.
 
SOME POLAR BEAR FACTS
 
* At birth, polar bear cubs are 12 to 14 inches long and weigh around one pound.
 
* Polar bears, also known as Maritime Bears, are the largest land carnivores in the world.
 
* Polar bears are marine mammals, and spend much of their time on Arctic sea ice. 
 
* Polar bears are strong swimmers, and individual have been seen in open Arctic waters as far as 200 miles from land. Their front feet are large, flat and  oar-like, making them excellent swimmers.
 
* The World Conservation Union estimates that there are between 20,000-25,000 polar in the world.

The above information was found at: http://www.defenders.org/polar-bear/basic-facts .

 
STORIES

Audun and the Bear – Iceland
http://www.storiestogrowby.com/stories/audun_bear_iceland.html
The Bear – From The Grey Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
http://www.classicreader.com/book/2190/23/

Bearskin – Germany

The Bear and the Fox Who Made a Bet - Norway
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~norway/BearFox.htm

The Bear Trainer and His Cat

East of the Sun, West of the Moon - Norway
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/norway034.html

The Fisherman and the Bear – Maine, USA
http://www.americanfolklore.net/folktales/me2.html

The Hunter and the Polar Bear – Native American/Inuit
http://www.astronomy.pomona.edu/archeo/alaska/eskimotale.html

King of the Polar Bears by L. Frank Baum
http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/5808/

King Valemon, the White Bear - Norway
http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/61913/

The Magic Bear – Native American/Inuit
http://learningtogive.org/materials/folktales/MagicBear.asp

Masha and the Bear – Russia

The Story of the Three Bears - England
http://www.authorama.com/english-fairy-tales-20.html

The Willow Wren and the Bear - Germany
http://www.authorama.com/grimms-fairy-tales-11.html

The Woman and Her Bear – Inuit

The Woman Who Had A Bear As A Foster Son - Inuit
http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/inu/eft/eft10.htm 

Why the Bear is Stumpy Tailed - Norway
http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/10/the_fisherman_and_the_bear.html

 
CURRICULUM                                                

Bright Hub Education  
 
Education World – Why Polar Bears Are White. Science and Art for grades
K – 2.
 
Discovery Education - Polar Bears Lesson Plan, Extensions, Reading Materials, etc. for grades 9-12.
 
National Parks Service: Bear Essentials – Lesson plans using the folktale, Why the Bear Is Stumpy Tailed.
 
Polar Bear International – A variety of information on polar bears, including scientific studies habitats and more.
 
World Society for the Protection of Animals: Bears of the World – Lesson plans on Polar Bears, Sun Bears, Speckled Bears and more. 
 
 
CRAFTS
 
DLTK-Kids - Polar Bear Crafts and Activities
 
Theme Station – Polar Bear art, activities, games, recipies and more.
 
BOOKS
 
The Children’s Book Review – Kids Winter Books: Snow Mitten, Polar Bears and Other Artic Animals
 
Karen Chace 2015 ©
This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.