Diorama
Polar zone - Little seal colony

A little colony of seals at the water hole, in the background hungry polar bears waiting. The children can focus on the typical animals that live in this particular region. For your support, we offer you coloring templates of selected animals that might live in this kind of landscape.

Downloads.
Further material for this article.

Diorama: Polar zone - Little seal colony

Already in 1822, Louis Daguerre created the world's first DIORAMA. To that time, it was a sort of darkened stage that was able to simulate the different times of the day by varying the light. Later on, nativity scenes were also called DIORAMA.

More about Louis Daguerre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Daguerre

Nowadays, model builders and friends of locomotives also build DIORAMAS, so to say sceneries of reality, in order to make their fantasy world appear even more real. At school, too, it is about the modeled presentation of real-life sceneries. It is the same, for example, with the topic "child and map" at primary schools, which is about rebuilding the own classroom, the area around the school, a volcano or a part of a landscape with its appertaining fauna.

 

The Pelikan Teachers' Info would like to encourage you to create your own DIORAMA and would also like to show you, how easy and effective these particular models can be made by students. We hereby orientate ourselves by the Earth's climate zones and would like to show you one of each striking landscape sceneries. Moreover, your students can focus on the typical fauna of the region.

As a support, we offer you coloring templates of preselected animals that might be living in the chosen environment. Moreover, it is also possible to shape the animals out of play dough later on.

 

In this issue:

The Polar Regions: Little colony of seals at the water hole, in the background hungry polar bears are waiting.

Climate zoneEstimated latitudinal lines north/southAverage temperatures
Frigid zone/cold zonesArctic circlesthe warmest month is up to approx.
Aside from ice and snow, there are a lot of glaciers at the poles. Our pictures show parts of the Stubaier glaciers in Austria.

The Polar Regions

Climate zone

Our model shows the landscape within the Arctic Circle. Even on the warmest days, the temperatures do not raise above 10°C. Apart from the cold temperatures, ice and snow characterize this landscape. One other peculiarity is the up to six months lasting polar day with its midnight sun at the North Pole and the polar night at the South Pole. Beyond the bordering trees, there is a tundra vegetation on the outskirts of the frigid zones. However, as no more plants grow nearby the poles, the animals living there must live from animal food. This way, for example the polar bears living in the north have to feed on seals and the penguins living in the south on Antarctic silver fishes.

Penguins and polar bears have adapted perfectly to the Polar Regions. For this reason, we offer you these animals as coloring and crafting templates to download.

Download template for the polar bear and the penguin
 

Penguin
The penguins only exist in the southern hemisphere and have adapted perfectly to the extreme frigid zone with their heat-insulating feathering. These non-flying birds use their wings to swim and to dive under water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penguin

A penguin and a polar bear designed with Pelikan opaque paints.

Polar bear
The white polar bear is closely related to the brown bear. It lives in the northern Polar Regions. Due to its big size of up to 2.6 m and its weight reaching up to 800 kg, it is known to be the largest predator living ashore. Young bears are born in the winter season between November and January.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_bear

 

Description of the DIORAMA

In our landscape, the last ice hole, which has so far been an entrance into the water for the seals and thereby consequently provided an access to food, is about to freeze closed. It is icy cold and the seal colony has gathered around the water hole for lunchtime. A seal mother is sitting on an ice floe and is taking care of her young ones. At a safe distance, a polar bear family is searching for food. As they tend to eat seals, the colony ought to bring themselves to safety. Or have the seals already noticed the polar bears and are ready to immediately jump into the protecting ice cold water, in order to escape the bears?

A DIORAMA with fallacious peace: The seals are still lying in the cold midday sun, when a polar bear family approaches. Everything is self-made and invites to play.

This is what you need:
Base plate (length, width, approx. 50x50 cm) made of wood and one made of Styrofoam® blocks, Styrofoam® glue and cutting device (or a sharp knife), PLAKA blue and white, paintbrush in the sizes 5 and 12, model polar bears and penguins, crafting glue, modeling plaster, modeling water (these items are available at model making shops or in well-assorted specialty stores.)

Substructure

You will need a 50x50cm smooth board as a substructure for this DIORAMA. An equally large Styrofoam® piece is glued on top of it. Then glue different sizes of Styrofoam® blocks on top of the Styrofoam® surface to make a landscape with different high icebergs. There are no limits to your imagination here!

Viewed from the side: There are a variety of options on how to arrange the Styrofoam® blocks.

The ice hole is made in the center of the landscape, in which the seals are placed, later on. For this purpose, cut a hole into the base plate. Then cover the Styrofoam® unevenly with modeling plaster. This way, the uneven structure will make the ice and snow look much more real, later on. After it has dried, the landscape is painted in white. Apply strokes of blue paint between the white paint and mix it directly on the substructure. This way, an uneven color appearance is created. The previously cut out ice hole is also painted in blue and white, whereby you should use more blue than white, to make it look like water.

Viewed in profile, the construction becomes clear: First, the Styrofoam is glued onto the base plate, plaster is applied and after it has dried, it is painted with PLAKA varnish.

Hint: To make the icebergs look rough, make small cuts into it with a knife. A special Styrofoam® cutting knife is particularly helpful, as the material can be processed more easily and has the great advantage that the Styrofoam® does not crumble.

 
 
Landscape of the Polar Region from bird view. The iceberg in the center is easy to see.

Finally, the modeling water is filled into the ice hole (please follow the instructions as specified by the manufacturer). Place a seal into the still liquid modeling water, so that it looks as if a seal is just crawling out of the water.

By placing a seal into the still liquid modeling water, the scenery will look even more real.

Now you can set in the rest of the animals. Glue the polar bears and the seals with crafting glue onto the PLAKA substructure, so that they do not fall down during transportation.

 

Impressions

There is a good view on the polar bear family in the background of the DIORAMA. When viewed from up close, the bears seem pretty dangerous.
Only the little bear cub seems to be helpless and tries to follow his mother as fast as possible.
One seal has made itself comfortable on an ice floe, another is lurking at the edge of the ice hole for prey.
Glue a smaller Styrofoam plate onto the even substructure and it will look like an ice floe on which the seals are resting.
By throwing light onto the model, one thing seems for sure: Usually, wildlife recordings like this one are made by professionals!