Last week, I was all about the penguins, but this week, I’ve moved on to the other pole and am focused on the animals of the Arctic! 🐻❄️ This is another fun winter theme in kindergarten with so many opportunities for rich learning. Here’s a collection of Arctic animal videos for kids that will help as you teach about the interesting creatures of the Arctic Circle. Like my other video roundups, this one is divided into categories to help you choose Arctic animal videos that make it easy to integrate your theme across the curriculum. You’ll find Arctic animal videos for teaching science, math, literacy, and art concepts, as well as some that are just for fun!
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Ready to chill out with some Arctic animal videos? Below are 30 videos to help you engage your students and integrate your polar animals theme across your curriculum!
Arctic Animals Videos for Teaching Science
This first section is full of informational Arctic animal videos. You can use these clips as you would nonfiction books to develop anchor charts and help students build their background knowledge in preparation for informational writing.
From Free School, this first Arctic video gives a nice “big picture” of the Arctic environment. Explanations of the climate and the short daylight hours during the long winters set the viewer up to understand why Arctic animals need special adaptations. This video shares information about trumpeter swans, caribou, puffins, humpback whales, walruses, and polar bears (in addition to mentioning and showing several other animals).
Here’s another nice “big picture” of the Arctic. This 6.5-minute video is from Little Cozy Nook and discusses the climate, plant life, and animals of the Arctic. FYI, there is one point in the video where a photo of a red fox is used to illustrate what an arctic fox looks like in the summer. Here’s a page from coolantarctica.com with accurate pictures to share with your students. Otherwise, this video has great visuals to give students a deeper understanding of the Arctic and its animals.
This “Winter at the North Pole” video from Sci Show Kids explains how winter conditions in the Arctic make it easier for polar bears to hunt. It also briefly described the hunting habits of a few other Arctic animals, including the arctic fox. (There are no scenes of actual animals being successfully hunted.)
Speaking of hunting, this fun video from BBC America shows how arctic foxes hunt (by diving head-first into the snow). This video also includes under-snow footage of the cute little lemmings the fox is after. FYI, in case you have sensitive viewers: the fox does successfully capture a lemming at the end of the video, but the way the video is shot doesn’t allow the viewer to actually see the lemming being eaten.
Here’s one more about arctic foxes! From BBC Earth, this video follows a pair of fox parents through the Arctic summer as they raise their cubs. This video has lots of great footage, both adorable and dramatic. Be warned that an important part of raising arctic fox cubs is making sure they have enough to eat. So, there is hunting in this video, but nothing very graphic.
Here’s a video from Socratica Kids that describes ten Arctic animals. Each section includes clear photos and interesting facts. You can read which animals are included in this six-and-a-half-minute video in the description on YouTube!
With beautiful Arctic footage, this three-and-a-half-minute video from Scholastic introduces students to several animals and shares information about their environment. This short but engaging video doesn’t go in-depth about the included animals, but it does give an interesting fact about each.
Another from Sci Show Kids, this video teaches about the adaptation that many Arctic animals have that allows them to change their coat for winter.
Filled with high-quality footage and interesting facts, this “All About Polar Bears” video from Free School is about four minutes long. This is a great one for building knowledge in advance of an informational writing project!
At just a minute and a half long, this video from CBC Kids packs in a lot of polar bear information. This is a great one for a transition time or a warm-up to an Arctic lesson.
Here’s a full Wild Kratts episode from PBS Kids, “Snowy Owl Invasion.” In this episode, the Kratt brothers work to investigate why snowy owls are appearing outside of their natural range. You can see another Arctic Wild Kratts episode, “Polar Bears Don’t Dance,” over at PBS Learning Media.
This next video is a really cool follow-up to the Wild Kratts episode. In it, NPR’s Skunk Bear follows a snowy owl named Baltimore, who was part of the actual snowy owl invasion into North America. Using a GPS tracking device that was attached to Baltimore (after he was rescued from an airport and before he was released on a beach), Skunk Bear follows the owl’s path back up to the Arctic until he actually finds him again.
Planning an Arctic animals theme? This informational unit includes an eye-catching PowerPoint and a bunch of printable material! Find it in the website shop below or here on TPT.
Complete with an informational “Animals of the Arctic” PowerPoint, student research materials, arctic animal headband templates, and more thematic activities, this unit will teach your students all about 13 different arctic animals. You will download a zipped folder containing a PowerPoint file and a PDF.
Arctic Animal Videos that Support Math Instruction
I did a lot of searching, but wasn’t able to find very many Arctic animal videos with math concepts. If you know of any that I haven’t included, please let me know! I’ve included what I did find below.
This read-aloud book/song has lots of opportunities for counting and playing with numbers. You could use this as an intro to a lesson on composing and decomposing numbers within five or to a beginning subtraction lesson. The book, Five Polar Bears by Wes Nehring and Alek Eglinton is here on Amazon if you’d like to add it to your classroom library.
This video isn’t actually about the Arctic or its animals, but I included it because, for many classrooms, the 100th day of school falls during their Arctic animals unit. This read-aloud of 100 Snowflakes: A Winter Counting Book could come in handy if that’s the case for you! You can find this book on Amazon here.
One more math read-aloud, this video of Polar Polka: Counting Polar Bears in Alaska by Chérie B. Stihler and Erik Brooks features polar bears and a host of other Arctic animals. This story counts back from ten and is a great story for building number sense and introducing subtraction. You can find Polar Polka here on Amazon if you’d like to add it to your collection.
If you’re looking to add a little math to your Arctic animals unit, you might also want to check out this post that includes an Arctic teen numbers activity!
Arctic Animal Videos for Your Literacy Lessons
This next set of Arctic animal videos includes some that can support your teaching of reading and writing skills and concepts in kindergarten.
I love this digital storybook from Little Fox – Kids Stories and Songs because it nicely merges science and literacy. The use of speech bubbles in this video is great for encouraging children to add writing to their drawings. As a follow-up activity, consider having children try drawing a walrus and adding a speech bubble with a walrus fact! (You can find a walrus directed drawing video in the art section!)
Another nonfiction read-aloud, Snowy Owls by Melissa Hill (here on Amazon), is a nice video for focusing on text features of nonfiction books.
If you’re working on rhyming, The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland is a perfect way to pull in your Arctic animals unit! Reading Rockets shares this fun rhyming book about an encounter between two bears of different species and how they work together to get the polar bear back to the environment he needs to survive.
Made by The Tiger Twins, this video shows a photo of an Arctic animal for each letter of the alphabet! Children will see several of their favorites and several that are new to them.
Told in the first-person perspective, I’m a Narwhal by Mallory Loehr and Joey Chou gives readers lots of fun facts about narwhals set to child-friendly illustrations. This read-aloud video by Brightly Storytime displays the entire book, so students can visually track the text as they listen.
Arctic Animal Videos with Art Ideas
A thematic unit isn’t complete without some opportunities for creative expression! Find Arctic animal videos with ideas for arts and crafts below.
From A Dab of Glue Will Do, this paper plate polar bear craft would be a fun project for a family night or a reading buddy event!
Here’s an Art for Kids Hub directed drawing video of a walrus that pairs nicely with the walrus read-aloud in the previous section!
How cute is this simple arctic fox handprint craft from Our Kid Things? Add some informational writing, and these would make a fantastic winter bulletin board!
And, while you’re tracing hands, this snowy owl craft from Fun Activities for Kids isn’t quite as simple but doesn’t look too tricky!
In this Art for Kids Hub directed drawing video, kids learn how to draw a narwhal, beginning with the letter N! Art for Kids Hub has additional narwhal drawings and lots of other animals as well, so check there if you want your children to learn how to draw more Arctic animals (like this arctic fox from the letter F!).
More Arctic Animal Videos: Just for Fun!
This last set of Arctic animal videos is perfect to pull from when you need a brain break, a cool-down time for recess, or a little reward at the end of the day!
Balance Kids Yoga brings a nice, gentle movement and mindfulness activity with this Arctic Yoga video. Children will need space for this video!
Perfect for a little treat at the end of a lesson, this one-minute video shows adorable footage of a polar bear cub being startled by a seal. Aww!
From Nat Geo Kids, this upbeat walrus song will get your kids up and moving! Great for a brain break!
“Paw Paw Polar Bear” from Pinkfong is another fast-paced song that kids can move along to while reviewing science facts.
Great for indoor recess on a cold day, this “Polar Bear Hunt” brain break from Coach Corey Martin is a great outlet for pent-up energy! This video does have a penguin in it, even though we are supposed to be in the Arctic. Maybe your kids will notice that and point it out!
I hope this video will save some time for you as you build your Arctic animals unit! Happy teaching!