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Endangered Polar bears

  • Key Stage 3
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Interactive teaching
Topic: Biodiversity

Polar bears habitat is disappearing. Global warming means hotter summers in the Arctic. This in turn means that the sea ice, which polar bears need to help them catch food, is melting too fast.
This activity is the first in a series, based around beautiful images. It's a fun quiz, presented in PowerPoint, and designed to get pupils talking and thinking about the science. The format is similar to the new TV quiz show QI (stands for Quite Interesting), hosted by Stephen Fry. Students get 'points' for 'interesting' answers - correct or not (to reward them for paying attention to the news). They lose points for 'obvious and wrong' answers' which we've designed to expose some of their misconceptions. Tell us what you think!

Published: 22nd January 2005
Reviews & Comments: 12

Try the activity

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11-14 (KS3)
Environmental Chemistry QCA 9G: Is global warming happening? KS3 science strategy:
Interdependence Year 9 yearly teaching objectives: Recognise that habitats change in response to changes in physical factors

Running the activity

The PowerPoint quiz is designed to be projected onto a screen. The slides could be printed out onto if a digital projector is not available.

To play the quiz competitively, you could split the class into two teams. The rules:
Tell pupils that you will give up to 5 points for any interesting answer, or the correct one. But for an obvious and wrong answer, you will deduct 10 points.

Running the presentation:
The first slide shows the main image of a large image of a polar on a huge expanse of ice (with sound effect).
Following slides present the questions. You click 'left' or 'right' arrows to go forward or back.

When you have collected answers from pupils, you reveal the correct answer by clicking the 'tick' button
If someone gives the 'obvious and wrong' answer, click the 'cross' button. The wrong answer will flash with an alarm sound. You can then click the 'tick' button to get the correct answer

News links

World Wildlife Fund
Find out all about polar bears, and even track where two polar bears are on the Arctic ice right now

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?


Jun 25th, 2012

5 Star

A very good resource. Lower achievers found it interesting whereas lhigh achievers thought it was not challenging enough


Global warming

Oct 16th, 2011

4 Star

I used this with two different year 9 classes. Had a different reaction from both classes, the most able really enjoyed trying to get the answers right and it started some good discussion points about global warming. The less able class found it more difficult but alot of the information was repeated in their answerswhen they did their progress test.

Reviewer: Pamela Smith


Dec 8th, 2010

5 Star

My year 9 really enjoyed this activity.

Reviewer: Sarah Irving

Endangered Polar bears review

Apr 15th, 2009

4 Star

My year low ability year 10 class loved it and were dissapointed that there weren't more questions.

Reviewer: Alysia Relf-Phypers


Jan 8th, 2009

4 Star

This is an excellent activity and I used it with my year 7s as a link to adaptation.

My only criticism is having the cross on some slides removes the suspense a little when pupils clearly see you clicking the cross. A different less obvious icon, would be beter.

Reviewer: Niamh O' Neill

Endangered Polar bears review

Sep 17th, 2008

4 Star

I used this ppt for an open day activity. It is topical and evokes interest from everyone.

Reviewer: Laura McSharry

Polar bears

Jan 27th, 2008

5 Star

Excellent. A really good way of getting pupils to share and discuss their ideas. I used it with bottom set year 9 after studying glogal warming ( Environmental chemistry).

Reviewer: kantha choudhury


Nov 20th, 2007

4 Star

Great idea using the new QI format. It allowed my kids to share what they knew about polar bears. This was shown alongside a video about loss of polar bear habitat and it was a great consolidating activity.

Reviewer: Carol Pratt

Endangered polar bears

Nov 28th, 2006

3 Star

Very interactive . Used with a year 9 class. requires about 20 minutes I used as main section of global warming lesson

Reviewer: Erin Lashmar

Polar Bears 26 May 2006

May 26th, 2006

4 Star

I did this activity with top set year 8. They really enjoyed it and it sparked a really interesting discussion. They happen to be doing global warming in geography as well at the moment so it helped to avoid a repeat lesson. I will definitely use it again...maybe even have some prizes!

Reviewer: Helen Evans

Polar bears

Nov 17th, 2005

5 Star

Great to have real photos - a really super starter for my Y10 group

Reviewer: Mrs R Hodson

Game quiz fun!

Jul 15th, 2005

4 Star

It really was a great way to get the pupils talking about issues. They keep on asking me if they can do another activity like this.

Reviewer: Shaelene Bruce