Subject: Science

#3293. Hibernation

Science, level: Kindergarten
Posted Sat Nov 20 13:31:32 PST 2004 by Deirdre Cardona (
Primrose Elementary School, Lincolndale, NY USA
Materials Required: listed in thematic lesson
Activity Time: several days
Concepts Taught: What animals hibernate and why; what the environment looks like for animals to know its time

What is ?
Lesson Plan by Deirdre Cardona

Grade Level: Kindergarten

Language Arts
Earth Science Curriculum: Weather Matters V How does the weather affect people and animals?

Kindergarten Standards:
LA Standard 1 & 3: Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding & critical analysis and evaluation.
Science Standard 1 Scientific Inquiry & 4 The Living Environment

Description: Science activity teaching what hibernation is, how animals know its time to hibernate and the actions some animals take getting ready to hibernate through books, active engagement, charting information, oral story telling and songs.

1) To understand and define hibernation
2) To learn the environmental indicators signaling an animals need to hibernate
3) To learn the names of some hibernating animals
4) To connect the students knowledge through multi-disciplinary teaching: charting information and creative representation (oral story telling/songs)

Objectives: Students will:
1) actively listen to books read to them
2) explore their natural surroundings outside
3) chart three things: what animals hibernate; how do the animals know it is time to hibernate (changes to the environment); what actions do they take to get ready to hibernate
4) synthesize the information through oral storytelling

Books: Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane; Animals Prepare for Winter; Hibernation; Time to Sleep
Large chart paper
Songs: Hibernation and Sammy Squirrel (lyrics in lesson)

Motivation: Ask the students, Did you ever wonder what it would be like to sleep all winter long? Then have an open discussion informing the students that some animals do and discover their current information base. Develop the procedures for day 1 and 2. Medial Summary: Teacher prepares to curl up and go to sleep snoring. Startled awake (by giggles) ask, Would I be getting ready to hibernate? What animals do we currently know hibernate? Review the chart. (After reading third book) What new information did you learn about animals and hibernation to add to our chart? (During our outside exploration) What signs do you see/feel that animals need to get ready for hibernation? What signs do you see that animals are getting ready for hibernation?
Final Summary: After three times using the oral story telling technique to develop a deeper understanding of story, the class will create a mural to help establish long term memory through further transference of knowledge.

Prior to actual lesson informally talk about the changing weather and seasons; read Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane by Victoria Sherrow (fiction based on facts)
Day 1:
1) Ask the students if they know what hibernation means.
2) Inform the students that they will be learning about animals that hibernate, why and how they prepare.
3) Read Hibernation by Melven and Gilda Berger (non-fiction)
4) Begin developing a large chart: Hibernation
Animal Names Environment Animal Actions

5) Teach song: (tune Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Day 2:
1) Review yesterdays learning and read, Animals Prepare for Winter by Elaine Pascoe (non-fiction)
2) Add new information students learned to the chart.

Day 3: (observation)
1) Teacher curls up in front of students and pretends to fall into a deep sleep. She is awakened by the students giggles and asks, Would I be getting ready to hibernate?
2) Review chart and read, Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming (fiction based on facts)
3) Ask students what new information they learned and add it to the chart.
4) Go outside to explore our natural surroundings for signs that animals need/are getting ready to hibernate (if necessary sprinkle ground with whole nuts and shells ahead of time).
5) Gather inside making a circle on the rug and create an oral story telling using the groups shared experience.
6) Teach second song: (tune Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
Sandy Ground Squirrel stows away
Acorns for a snowy day
Plans to sleep the winter through.
One night's good enough for you.
So, cuddle on my shoulder, dear;
Feel my heartbeat; Mother's near
Day 4:
1) Re-tell yesterdays group experience/oral story telling trying to add more details and precision.
2) Begin mural of both facts and personal experience

Day 5:
1) Teachers judgment: repeat day 4 adding dialog to oral story telling or go to #2
2) Finish mural

Assessments: Informal V active listening, questioning, answering, sharing, exploring with purpose and wonderment, transferring knowledge from read alouds to charting to active exploring to oral story telling to mural creation (gathering data through sensory: visual, auditory, kinesthetic)

Extensions: Interactive writing focusing on the shared experience/oral storytelling. Computer program Sammys Science to investigate what some animals do in the fall and winter. Most children have a stuffed teddy bear, therefore I will continue the learning of this specific hibernating animal through books, tapes, classroom bear den(large diswasher box painted with children and glue yarn strips over opening) store bear books 2 children can take turns reading with their bear, song and movement (music, art and classroom teacher performance for holiday celebration with parents gathering). Ending the unit with burying the students bear replicas outside in a den for the winter and retrieving them in the spring.