Elementary Programs

Wild on Top of the World: Adventure to the North Pole

Books to Share

  • Big Caribou Herd by Bruce Hiscock.
  • Nanuk: Lord of the Ice by Brian J. Heinz.
  • Polar Bear Son by Lydia Dabcovich.
  • Song of the North by Frank Asch.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • Arctic and Antarctic by Barbara Taylor.
  • Arctic Babies by Kathy Darling.
  • Arctic Son by Jean Craighead George.
  • Bear Says North by Bob Barton.
  • Iditarod Dream by Ted Wood.
  • Poles Apart: Why Penguins and Polar Bears Will Never Be Neighbors by Elaine Scott.

Bulletin Board

Way Up North in the Wild

Cover a bulletin board with white craft paper. Draw igloos directly onto the paper, or cut them from other paper and glue them to the board. Add book shapes cut from colored paper and tape or glue them at the entrances to the igloos. Write titles appropriate to the theme on the book shapes. Igloo patterns can be found on several Web sites, including AHA! Activities to Help Achievement at www.standardsmadeeasy.com.

Rhymes and Poetry

Read “Glacial Pace” from Earthshake by Lisa Westberg Peters.


Tell the story, “How the Sun was Rescued.” This Siberian tale is simple to learn and tells how a small animal was able to do what larger animals could not. A picture book version, How Snowshoe Hare Rescued the Sun by Emery Bernhart, is out of print but may be available through interlibrary loan.

Tell stories about Raven, the trickster, such as Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest by Gerald McDermott.


Polar Bear

  • Polar bear pattern
  • Cotton balls (small)
  • White glue or glue sticks
  • White poster board or card stock
  • Black construction paper or small black self-adhesive dots
  • Crayons or markers (optional)
  • White or light blue construction paper

In advance, cut the poster board in pieces slightly larger than the polar bear pattern. Instruct the children to trace the polar bear pattern onto white poster board. After they cut out the polar bear, have them glue on cotton balls to cover the bear and add black dots for the eye and a nose. If the cotton balls cover the head area, stick the eyes and nose onto the cotton. Alternatively, touch the cotton with black marker to form the eye and nose. Glue the finished product onto a white or light blue background and complete the drawing by adding landscape details with crayons or markers.

Paper Snowflakes

  • White paper
  • Scissors

Make 8.5-inch squares of white paper by cutting 2.5 inches from an 8.5 X 11 inch letter size typing paper. Show the children how to fold the square sheet of paper to form a six-sided star. Once the paper is folded, let the children cut designs in it to form snowflakes. Let the children make one or several, depending on the time and supplies available. Step-by-step instructions and diagrams are on the High Hopes.com Web site at www.highhopes.com/snowflakes.html.


Iditarod Maze

Duplicate the activity sheet provided and let the children complete it during your program, or give it to them as a handout to take home.

Guest Speakers

Invite someone who has visited or lived in Alaska to tell about the experience. Ask a pet store or pet owner to bring an Alaskan malamute or husky for the children to meet. Ask the staff at a sporting goods store to bring a small kayak and paddle for the children to see.


If you have a public performance license, show brief segments of one of these videos. Otherwise, display the videos for circulation.

  • Arctic and Antarctic. (35 minutes)
  • Great White Bear. (60 minutes)
  • Polar Prowl. (47 minutes)

Web Sites

AHA! Activities to Help Achievement
Activities to help children preschool through eighth grade succeed in school.

North Pole Cam
Live and archived photographs from the North Pole.

Paper Snowflakes
Patterns and templates for paper snowflakes, and a section of games and puzzles.

Polar Bears International
This Web site is not aimed at children but contains lots of information about polar bears for the serious student. The index at the left of the screen makes it easy to select specific topics of interest.

Professional Resources

Earthshake by Lisa Westberg Peters.
This user-supported site has an extensive collection of animal printouts for use as coloring pages or craft patterns, including arctic animals.

Iditarod Race Across Alaska
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/iditarod/ index.htm
Scholastic’s Web site has a section for teachers with many educational activities, including this one on the Iditarod race.


Texas Reading Club 2005 Programming Manual / Go Wild...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011