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HS Hibernation

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Interest Area Changes to Environment

Woodland Animals Stuffed Bear Animals Animal Tracks Card Board Boxes (for caves) Leaves Twigs Bark Animal Figurines Pictures of animals hibernating and or gathering food Hibernation File Folder Game Pajamas Robe House Shoes Flashlight Felt Board (Animal Sorting) Cotton Balls Paper Bags

Teaching Concepts for Large Group

1.  What does hibernation mean? 2.  What animals hibernate? 3.  What do animals do to prepare for hibernation?  What kind of food do they collect? How do they get it? 4.  Where do animals hibernate? 5.  Do people hibernate? 6.  What do people do to prepare for winter? How is this different than the animals that hibernate? 7.  What is the difference in hibernating, migrating, and adapting. Group animals into each category.

Teaching Concepts for Small Group

1. Little Mouse, Little Mouse, Where is your House - In advance draw out and laminate 1 small mouse and 1 house shape (each of different color). Make sure your mouse is SMALLER than the house shape! Tell the children they are going to help find the hibernating mouse! Tell the children to close and cover their eyes! You hide the mouse under one of the houses. Tell the children to look now. Ask them to join with you in saying “Little Mouse, Little Mouse, where is your house?” Ask one child which house you should look under. (Encourage them to NAME the color, not just point, to reinforce color recognition*). “Little Mouse, are you under the orange house?” Have the child lift up the orange house. “NO! Where could she be?” * Program the houses to work on the skill you are working on in the classroom such as letters, numbers, shapes, etc. (Little Mouse, are you in the “A” house? Are you in the “2″ house? Are you in the “star” house”). 2.  Where do I Sleep –  Materials Needed: Pictures of animals and pictures of the homes they sleep in. Frog–log Snake–lake and mud Turtle–mud Ground Hog–the ground (of course!)–his burrow Squirrel–tree trunk Bat–Cave Show the homes and ask the children if they can tell what they are. Show the animals and ask the children to identify them. Hand out the animals to the children. Ask the child “Where does your animal sleep in winter?”  ”Where do you suppose a —- would sleep?” Have the child place the animal on the home. 3.  Playdough / Clay Animals – Have props for the children to use, goggly eyes, pipe cleaners, rolling pins, etc.. Make animals and discuss whether they hibernate, migrate, or adapt. 4.  File Folder Game

Teaching Concepts for Music Movement Wellness IMIL

1.  Hibernation (tune: Alouette) Hibernation. Time for Hibernation. Hibernation. Time to go to sleep. In the winter where’s the bear? Sleeping in its log or lair. Where’s the bear? Log or lair. OH! In the winter where’s the frog? Sleeping by a pond or log. In the winter where’s the snake? In the mud beneath the lake. In the winter where’s the bat? In a cave is where its at 2. Where Is Bear? (tune: Where Is Thumbkin?) Where is bear? Here I am. Here I am. How are you this winter? Very tired, thank you. Go to sleep. Go to sleep. repeat using other animals that hibernate ex. rabbit, groundhog, raccoon, chipmunk, skunk, etc 3. Hibernation Song (tune: Are You Sleeping) Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping In the cave, in the cave. I wonder when he’ll come out, I wonder when he’ll come out In the spring, In the spring. Birds are flying, birds are flying In the sky, in the sky. I wonder when they’ll come back, I wonder when they’ll come back, In the spring, in the spring. 4. Hibernation Sleep (tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star) Woody Woodchuck goes to sleep, In his burrow dark and deep stretch out to relax ; breathe deep As you sleep, a watch I’ll keep Now, curl up, your body’s warm safe and sound from any harm. 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. Bettty bat hangs down to sleep in the cave so dark and deep let us now turn out your light rest your eyes all through the night baby human on your back Now I, too, will hit the sack. 5. Hibernation Freeze Dance (play music, when music stops call out a name of an animal, if it is an animal that hibernates the children will fall to the floor, if not they will say “No it doesn’t” and keep dancing) 6.  The Bear Hunt

Teaching Concepts for Fingerplays

1. Here is a Cave Here is a cave. (bend fingers to form cave) Inside is a bear. (put thumb inside fingers) Now he comes out. (thumb out) To get some fresh air. He stays out all summer In sunshine and heat. He hunts in the forest For berries to eat. (move thumb in circle) When snow starts to fall He hurries inside. His warm little cave (thumb in) And there he will hide. Snow covers the cave Like a fluffy white rug. (cover with other hand) Inside the bear sleeps All cozy and snug 2. A Squirrel Song (tune: She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain) I’ll be gathering all the acorns till they’re gone. I’ll be gathering all the acorns till they’re gone. I’ll be gathering all the acorns, gathering all the acorns, Gathering all the acorns till they’re gone. (Children make collecting motion with their hands) And I’ll put them all inside my little home. I will put them all inside my little home. I will put them all inside, put them all inside, Put them all inside my little home. (children pretend to place nuts in treehouse) And I’ll eat the nuts until the winter’s gone. I will eat the nuts until the winter’s gone. I will eat the nuts until, eat the nuts until, Eat the nuts until the winter’s gone. (children pretend to eat acorns) Then I’ll do it all again come next fall. I will do it all again come next fall. I will do it all again, do it all again, Do it all again come next fall. (children make gathering motion with hands and arms again)

Teaching Concepts for Outdoor Experiences

1. Parachute Play – move the parachute up and down the way an animal would go. Name and animal and ask if it moves fast or slow. Then move (or shake) the parachute accordingly. Examples; snake, skunk, bear, sloth, elephant, bird, frog, etc. 2.  Animal Hibernate Relay Race 3.  Nature Walk – Look for animals. (Or put stuffed animals on playground to intentionally find).  If any are found ask questions like “Does this animal hibernate, migrate, or adapt?”  Extend off of the answers given. 4.  Build a cave with large empty boxes 5.  Gather materials to make a bed for hibernating animals (twigs, bark, leaves, etc..) 6.  Look for animal tracks. 7. Laminate acorn patterns and have the children find them. 8.  Hibernation game ( who woke the sleepy bear!) Directions: Have all the children sit in a circle  One child will sit in the middle and pretend to sleep all curled up like a bear hibernating. Make sure their eyes stay closed! Pick a child and have them sneak up and touch the bear then quickly return to their spot in the circle. Then everyone in the circle says WAKE UP SLEEPY BEAR! WAKE UP! and the child will then sit up and have to guess who woke them up. Let them guess 3 times. You can vary the game by letting them ask 3 questions such as was it a boy do they have on a red shirt ex.

CLASS Concepts

Explain that there are three basic ways that animals respond to winter. They migrate, adapt, or hibernate. Explain the differences of each one and connect this to the children’s lives by asking how humans respond to winter.  Do we have to migrate or go to other places where the weather is warmer or where we can find food? Do we hibernate, sleep through the winter? Or, do we adapt to the change in the weather by changing our habits so that we can survive the cold winter months. Make a list of the ways we adapt. Ask many open ended questions like “what if you didn’t adapt, but instead migrated, where would you go? Why would you go there? What would you need to do before you migrated?”

Teaching Concepts for Distance Learning

Scavenger hunt

You can gather a list or some ideas include looking for particular shapes, colors, letters, number, items that are a certain length, or items that start with a particular sound.

Make an ABC/123 Sensory Bin

Take letter shapes, scrabble tiles, letter puzzle pieces, etc. and bury them in a sensory bin. You can use any fillers such as rice or sand. Set up a letter wash with warm, soapy water and foam or plastic letters. Alternatively, you can use numbers and shapes too.

I Spy

Pick an item that can easily be seen by all the children and share a clue.

Letter/number search

Use a magnifying glass to search letters/number of the week or just randomly in books, magazines, and anything that has words or numbers.

Dance and Freeze

Play music and encourage children to get up and dance, then children must freeze when the music stops.

Animal Walks

Show an animal card or say an animal and students move like that animal.

Keep moving!

Make up a dance routine to your favorite song.


Create a cave using blankets, baskets, and chairs. Discuss how bears and other animals use caves as their homes and sleeps in them for the winter

Lets kids play instruments online. Instruments include the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos.

Farm Fresh 360-Virtual Field Trip


Guide to gardening for kids.

National Geographic for kids. Learn all about geography and fascinating animals.

History for kids.

Practice phonics skills with these read-along stories.

Have some of your favorite stories read to you by movie stars.

Practice math and reading skills while playing fun games.


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