Winter – the season where you just need to buy a tuque and embrace it. As cold as it is and as hard as it is for me to love Winter, there are some things I truly do like about it. For starters, you can hibernate and not have to make any excuses about it. You can drink hot chocolate and not feel guilty. Sliding is FUN! And Winter themes in the classroom are among some of the best out there. Penguins, polar bears, snow leopards, winter sports, the list goes on.
We are knee deep in polar bear learning right now and we love it! It brings out another side of my kids. An empathetic side of them that wants to understand why the sea ice is melting so fast and an activist side that wants to stop the rising thermometer. We read this fabulous story about that very subject, the shrinking of the ice floes.
I can’t recall reading a picture book that details a threat to an animal’s habitat the way that this one does. I usually always ¨preview read¨ the stories I read to my kids, however, I just grabbed this book off my shelf having not looked at it before and it was hard to contain my emotions during the read aloud.
There is an unspoken trust between the young boy Tigluk and Nanuq, the polar bear. They communicate with each other without saying a word and the boy just knows he has to follow her. For the polar bear, this young boy is her lifeline and what Tigluk finds when he follows her is heartbreaking and truly redemptive all at once. I could hardly hold myself together.
Since the read aloud, my kids have taken a special interest in the melting sea ice and the reasons why this is happening. So, I decided to listen to my audience and explore this in greater depth next week. I’ve included the section on sea ice from my Polar Bear pack. Just click the download button under the pics!