Objective: Children will explore different ways animals prepare for winter and make a hibernation cave.‹ Return to Theme
Many animals change their bodies or their behavior to adapt to the winter weather. Many animals grow new, thicker fur to keep out the harsh wind and cold. Some animals have difficulty finding food in the winter, so they migrate or move to other places where the weather is warmer and food is more plentiful. Many animals hibernate for part or all of the winter to conserve energy. Some animals sleep in the winter but are not true hibernators. They can wake up to eat and then go back to sleep. Winter sleepers like to burrow into caves, hollowed out trees, and rock crevices. They may rake leaves, twigs, and other plant materials into their den to form a nest. Bears, skunks, raccoons, and opossums are animals that sleep in winter but are not true hibernators.
An animal that truly hibernates goes into a deep, deep sleep during the long, cold winter. When animals truly hibernate, they do not eat at all unless they are awakened. The animal’s body temperature drops and its heartbeat and breathing slow down. Sleeping all winter takes preparation, and animals that hibernate begin preparing in the fall. They try to put on as much fat as possible because they will not be eating during the winter. Groundhogs, chipmunks, and bats are examples of animals that hibernate.
If children are having difficulty getting started, suggest painting the inside of the tissue box with the black and brown paint so it is dark for the sleeping animal. Then they can cover the box by gluing the sticks and dried leaves on the outside.
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.