Polar Bears and the Northern Lights

Creative learning activity – ages 8 and up

More bears! Well, they really are very cute and interesting! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been researching polar bears for some prints and drawings I’m making, and was excited to find this resource at Polar Bears International

Here you can find out amazing facts about Polar Bears and their daily lives. And the resource they have that blew me away is Polar Bear Tracking,ย where you can actually click on a particular bear and its family and follow its route round the sea ice on Hudson Bay in Canada. Take a look!

They also have videos of the wonderful Northern Lights, including a live Northern Lights cam. See if you get lucky enough to view some live.

Check out the National Geographic website for more Polar Bear facts

Find out more about the Northern Lights here

Now over to you…

Use the Polar Bear International and National Geographic websites to find out as much as you can about Polar Bears. Write down all the things you think are most interesting about them.

Lots of artists and illustrators are inspired by Polar bears. Have a look at the gallery below for just a few examples of Polar Bear art..


Which one do you think is the most realistic? “Realistic” means like it is in real life. What is realistic about it? List the details. Which one is the least realistic? Why isn’t it realistic? What makes it look not real?

If you’re not sure, have a look at the photos of real Polar Bears below and compare them with the drawings.

Get Creative!

Have a look at the photographs above (or find some online) and choose one that you really like. Copy it using pencils and crayons. You can paint it if you like.

They are quite white, so you might think there is not a lot to draw, so make sure you draw the texture of the fur.

It’s also true that they are not pure white, they are kind of yellowy against the snow, and even a little bit pink-looking in some of the photos. (Why do you think they might look pinkish? I can’t be 100% sure, but maybe they are photographed at sunrise or sunset, and the colour of the light is reflected in their fur.) You can show this in your picture too.

Do a background too. You could maybe draw the Northern Lights as the background


There is a famous book called “Northern Lights” by Philip Pullman. It is the fantasy story of a girl called Lyra Bellacqua and her journey to the Arctic to find her friend Roger, and features a talking polar bear called Iorek Byrnison. It’s a great book, but a bit scary in places, and suitable for children age 10 and up.

Here’s a clip from the BBC adaptation of Lyra riding on Iorek’s back! – very cool but not very realistic! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s all for now, guys!

Take care, have fun, learn lots and stay safe! ๐Ÿ™‚


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