Dear Parent: Eileen Carr, Ph.D. Loviah E. Aldinger, Ph.D. Founders Thinking Works. Teachers Thinking Works

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1 Post Office Box 8891 Toledo, OH Ph/Fax Dear Parent: We know that you and your children are looking forward to your visit to the Arctic Encounter exhibit at the Toledo Zoo. You can make the most of your day at the zoo by helping your child complete the activities contained in this packet. The information needed to complete the activities can be found in the displays of the Arctic Encounter exhibit. The packet was developed by Thinking Works, a Toledo-based company that provides training and professional development in the areas of literacy and critical thinking. While Thinking Works was originally school based, it is our belief that much important learning takes place at home and that family support is essential. Research shows that children need to practice learning and thinking in activities outside of school. The activities presented here are fun and will challenge your child to read, think, and write with your help. The packet contains four activities, and each activity is essential for effective learning. The first activity helps children relate new information to knowledge that they already have. The second activity helps children learn new vocabulary words. The third activity helps children understand and learn information. The fourth activity challenges children to apply what they have learned to a new situation. We hope that you enjoy doing these activities with your child. The activities have been linked to improved proficiency scores in reading and writing. Eileen Carr, Ph.D. Loviah E. Aldinger, Ph.D. Founders Thinking Works Kelly Bodmer Karen Mitchell Julie Wallace Teachers Thinking Works Pat Daniel Cheryl Pilatowski Sylvia Washburn

2 Grades 4-6 Experience Text Relationship Parent Directions: Before touring the exhibit with your children, ask them to think of an animal or a pet that is smart and explain why they think so. After your discussion, explain that polar bears are considered smart animals also because they have learned how to adapt and survive in a difficult environment. The zoo exhibit has been designed to provide a habitat for the polar bear that is close to its natural one. As you tour the exhibit, explain to your children that they will learn many things about polar bears and see how they live in the wild. They can judge then for themselves whether polar bears are smart and can use information learned in the exhibit to support their opinions. *Alternative Questions and Topics for Discussion: 1. Our bodies help protect us from the cold. We shiver when we get cold. Shivering generates friction in our muscles and that gives off heat to warm us. Although the heat produced is not adequate protection, it warns us to get inside or into warmer clothing. Polar bears bodies allow them to live in the brutal arctic weather. What do you think helps them survive arctic weather? The exhibit will help us learn many things about polar bears. 2. If you went camping in the woods, what would you need to do to provide food and shelter for yourself? What do you think a polar bear does to provide for its needs? The exhibit will help us learn many things about polar bears.

3 Personal Clues Student Directions: (1) Before you tour the exhibit, discuss the meaning of these words with your children. (2) Once they understand the definition of each word, they can write down a personal clue that will help them remember what the word means. For example, for the word enormous, their clue could be dinosaur, your friend s clue could be a jumbo jet. (3) After they have seen the exhibit, they can add a zoo clue under their personal clue for each of the words. For example, they could add polar bear as a zoo clue for enormous. Later their personal and zoo clues will help them remember the meaning of these words. Word: Predator Carnivore Personal Clue: Zoo Clue: an animal that hunts other animals for food meat-eating animal Word: Translucent Personal Clue: Zoo Clue: allowing light to pass through but not providing a clear image

4 Personal Clues Student Directions: (1) Before you tour the exhibit, discuss the meaning of these words with your children. (2) Once they understand the definition of each word, they can write down a personal clue that will help them remember what the word means. For example, for the word enormous, their clue could be dinosaur, your friend s clue could be a jumbo jet. (3) After they have seen the exhibit, they can add a zoo clue under their personal clue for each of the words. For example, they could add polar bear as a zoo clue for enormous. Later their personal and zoo clues will help them remember the meaning of these words. Word: Habitat Personal Clue: Zoo Clue: natural environment where an animal lives Word: Blubber Insulation Personal Clue: Zoo Clue: blanket of fat under skin that prevents heat loss material that prevents heat loss

5 Personal Clues Parent Answer Key (Personal and Zoo Clues are examples only. Students should develop their own clues) Student Directions: (1) Before you tour the exhibit, discuss the meaning of these words with your children. (2) Once they understand the definition of each word, they can write down a personal clue that will help them remember what the word means. For example, for the word enormous, their clue could be dinosaur, your friend s clue could be a jumbo jet. (3) After they have seen the exhibit, they can add a zoo clue under their personal clue for each of the words. For example, they could add polar bear as a zoo clue for enormous. Later their personal and zoo clues will help them remember the meaning of these words. Word: Personal Clue: Zoo Clue: Habitat my house polar bears/arctic natural environment where an animal lives Word: Blubber Insulation Personal Clue: blanket hat Zoo Clue: polar bear body fur layer of fat under skin that prevent heat loss material that prevents heat loss Word: Predator Carnivore Personal Clue: fox lion Zoo Clue: polar bear polar bear an animal that hunts other animals for food meat-eating animal Word: Personal Clue: Zoo Clue: Definition Translucent frosted windows polar bear hairs allowing light to pass through but not providing a clear image

6 Personal Opinion Parent Directions: Discuss the following statement with your children. Then ask your children to support their opinions with information from the zoo exhibit. Statement The polar bears habitat in the zoo is similar to their natural habitat in the arctic. Yes The polar bears habitat in the zoo is similar to their natural habitat. Reasons: No The polar bears habitat in the zoo is very different from their natural habitat. Reasons:

7 Poster Parent Directions: After your visit to the exhibit, have your children complete a poster about their impressions of some aspect of the exhibit. They can choose to create a conservation poster, a wanted poster, or an ad. Encourage them to include vocabulary words learned from the exhibit in the poster.

8 Poster Parent Answer Key Parent Directions: After your visit to the exhibit, have your children complete a poster about their impressions of some aspect of the exhibit. They can choose to create a conservation poster, a wanted poster, or an ad. Encourage them to include vocabulary words learned from the exhibit in the poster. WANTED Illustration Zoo officials are searching for polar bears to enjoy a new home. Residents can live in air-conditioned comfort and have some opportunity to hunt prey. Suggestions for posters: Conservation Protect the arctic, polar bear, or environment Ad Describe what people can expect to see at the Arctic Encounter exhibit Wanted Poster 1. Zoo employees or volunteers to work at the Arctic Encounter exhibit 2. Observers to learn about polar bears

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