NOVA: Polar Extremes | Watch & Wonder Weekly Highlight

Monday, March 25, 1 PM

For next week’s Watch & Wonder Highlight, we’re thrilled to feature this episode of NOVA. After watching, dive deeper with resources examining different species’ evolutionary responses to changes in climate on PBS LearningMedia.

In the two-hour special, Polar Extremes, renowned paleontologist Kirk Johnson takes us on an epic adventure through time at the polar extremes of our planet. Following a trail of strange fossils found in all the wrong places—beech trees in Antarctica, hippo-like mammals in the Arctic—Johnson uncovers the bizarre history of the poles, from miles-high ice sheets to warm polar forests teeming with life. What caused such dramatic changes at the ends of the Earth? And what can the past reveal about our planet’s climate today—and in the future?

PBS LearningMedia

Adaptations to Changes in Temperature | Polar Extremes

Grades 6-8
Explore the relationship between the traits of animals and changes in climate in these videos from NOVA: Polar Extremes. We know from fossils that while woolly mammoths evolved longer hair and smaller ears in response to a cooling climate, the body sizes of early horses shrank during periods of global warming. Use this resource to examine different species’ evolutionary responses to changes in climate.

In school or at home, take advantage of the Watch & Wonder broadcast schedule. Running each weekday from 1-3 PM, Watch & Wonder is great for classroom viewing, distance instruction, and families looking to spend some extra, quality time together. Featured programs are ideal for kids in grades 6-12, encouraging creativity with the arts, kick starting innovation through STEM, and expanding their horizons with stories from across the globe!

Each week, we’ll highlight a show from our Watch & Wonder block, and share a PBS LearningMedia resource — suitable for middle and high school students. Follow along on the Watch & Wonder Schedule page, or subscribe to our newsletter!