Objective: Children will learn about animals that hibernate in the winter and create a hibernation station.
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Note: Cut a door in the bottom half of the box so the children can easily climb in and out of the hibernation station.
Hibernation is a very deep sleep experienced by some animals during the cold days of winter. Animals hibernate to conserve energy because food is not so easily found. During hibernation, an animal becomes inactive, its heart rate slows, and its breathing slows down. Animals that sleep in the winter have an internal control that will wake them up if they get too cold. True hibernating animals are chipmunks, groundhogs, opossums, dormice, bats, frogs, toads, turtles, lizards, snakes, snails, fish, shrimp, and some insects. Bears, raccoons, and skunks are NOT true hibernators. These animals are known as “light hibernators” and are dormant during the cold winter months. Light hibernators take long naps and can wake up for short periods of time to find food and then go back to sleep. They are like true hibernators in that their activity is reduced and their heart rate is much slower.
Hibernating animals get ready for winter by eating large amounts of food in the fall and storing it as body fat. Their excess body fat is used as energy during the winter. Animals seek out a good shelter for their long winter naps. Types of shelters include caves, underground tunnels, holes in trees or logs, under rocks or leaves, or in burrows. Some reptiles, such as frogs and turtles, may bury themselves deep in the mud.
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.