Yesterday we learned how blubber keeps animals warm in cold places especially the arctic ocean. We learned the difference between keeping warm with fur and keeping warm with blubber. It was a very educational day and the kids loved it!
We started by watching the Magic School Bus in the Arctic. Arnold discovers that his cocoa is cold, he demands to know where the hot went. In response, Ms. Frizzle whisks the class to the Arctic. What’s the freezing Arctic got to do with heat? While the kids try to find out, the bus’s engine freezes and the bus floats away on an ice floe with Ralphie and Phoebe inside! As the bus moves away, so does the heat from everyone’s bodies. How can Ms. Frizzle’s kids insulate their bodies to keep the heat in? Can they rescue Ralphie and Phoebe before they all become the Ice Cube Kids?
Then we pulled out our worksheets that I made (these are my very first ones, so please no laughing) and got to work on our experiment.
I took a sandwich bag and put it on Abby’s hand and then covered it in shortening to simulate the blubber that arctic animals have on them. We talked about what blubber was and why it was important. I had 2 bowls of ice water I had Abby dip both her hands in the bowls and see how long she could leave each one there. She pulled the bare hand out of the ice water in less than a minute, but she was able to keep the hand covered in shortening in the water much longer, in fact she probably could have kept it in there all night and never felt the cold, but she got bored and the other kids wanted a go. They each took turns with the blubber glove and were fascinated that they couldn’t feel a thing.
We also filled a sandwich bag with cotton and placed it on the kids hand, then I put an ice pack on each of their hands (one protected by cotton, one without). Not surprisingly they tolerated the cold much better with the cotton insulation. The last test we did was to place our hand inside the cotton baggie and then stick it in the water to see if it would protect from the cold water as much as the blubber had. They were very surprised that even thought the cotton kept them warm from the ice pack, when they were submerged in water they could feel the cold much faster than with the shortening. They came to the conclusion that fur was good for cold weather as long as you didn’t get wet.
Awesome experiment and so educational, my kids know pretty much everything there is to know about blubber LOL! Love Pinterest!!