We’re sharing another entry in our unit studies series today: a fun hibernation unit study!
Since winter time is fast approaching, I thought it would be fun to look at hibernation – how it works, what it is, and which animals do it every year.
Plus, it’s a great excuse for talking about sleep, which I desperately need more of these days. (I’m sure I’m not alone there.)
Even if your students are always on the move and rarely want to sleep (like mine), learning about hibernation is just plain fun!
It’s really amazing to learn about mammals that sleep most of the winter season and what they do to prepare for that time of year.
And that’s what this hibernation unit is designed to help kids do. Plus, there’s a printable hibernation sorting activity you can pick up for free!
Read on to see how to get your copy.
If you enjoy this unit, don’t miss our bears unit study and our list of children’s books about owls!
Hibernation Unit Study for Elementary Kids
When we put together a unit study, we typically include books, crafts, printables, and more.
While I don’t always use every resource, I like to have as many as I can. That way, we can always stretch a topic out if the kids are super interested.
In this hibernation unit, you’ll find books about hibernation, crafts and activities for learning about hibernation, and a printable hibernation animals sorting activity.
There’s also a super cool hibernation facts video that explains this process in kid-friendly terms.
What is Hibernation?
Watch this video and see if students can answer the questions that follow!
1. What is hibernation? (Answer: The long sleep that some animals take during winter.)
2. Why do animals hibernate? (Answer: Because the weather gets cold and food becomes hard to find.)
3. How do animals prepare for hibernation? (Answer: As winter gets closer, they eat a lot of food to store fat that will keep them alive during winter.)
4. Why do some animals store food before winter? (Answer: These animals wake up from their hibernation to eat a little.)
5. Name a few animals that hibernate. (Answer: Bats, snakes, bears, hedgehogs, ground squirrels, groundhogs, and marmots)
6. Where do animals hibernate? (Answer: Wherever they feel safe from predators. Some hibernate in caves and some hibernate under the ground.)
7. What is the difference between sleep and hibernation? (Answer: During hibernation, the animal’s body temperature drops and its heart rate slows down. These things don’t happen during regular sleep.)
8. What is it called when animals hibernate during summer? (Answer: Aestivation)
Hibernation Books for Kids
Share a cozy storytime session with these kids’ books about hibernation! (Affiliate links are listed below. For details, see our Disclosure Policy.)
- Don’t Wake Mr. Bear! by Jill Newton
- Scholastic Reader Level 2: Hibernation by Tori Kosara
- Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows
- Hibernation (Patterns in Nature Series) by Margaret Hall
- What is Hibernation? (Science of Living Things) by John Crossingham
- Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
- Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear by Monica Carnesi
- National Geographic Kids: Sleep, Bear! by Shelby Alinsky
- When It Starts to Snow (An Owlet Book) by Phillis Gershator
- Baxter’s Hibernation by Michelle M. Birkenstock
Which Animals Hibernate? Sorting Activity
Once we learn about what hibernation is, it’s natural for students to wonder which animals hibernate and which animals don’t hibernate.
Teach them about some of the species that do with this free printable animal sorting activity!
This is a very simple resource to use for teaching hibernation in early grades.
Students can cut out the animal picture cards and then paste them into the correct column.
And an answer key is included!
To get your copy of these Arctic Animals flashcards, click the image or the link below to have it sent directly to your inbox!
You’ll also get our weekly newsletter this Sunday!
IMPORTANT: If you have a pop-up blocker installed in your web browser, you will need to disable it in order to fill out the email request form.
Hibernation Crafts and Printables:
Try these crafts and printables about hibernation for more learning fun during your hibernation unit!
- Printable Early Reader Hibernation Books – The Measured Mom
- Hibernation Sensory Bag – School Time Snippets
- Paper Bag Chipmunk Craft – I Heart Crafty Things
- Animals in Winter Printable – 3 Boys and a Dog
- Hibernating Bear Craft – Apples and ABCs
- Hibernation Vs Migration: Animal Sorting Activity – Totschooling
- Hibernating Bear Paper Bag Craft – Almost Unschoolers
- H is for Hibernation Craft – Teaching Mama
- Hibernating Bear Paper Plate Craft – A Little Pinch of Perfect
- Hibernating Animal Puppets – Love to Teach
Did you enjoy this hibernation unit study? Check out these other winter learning ideas!
Homeschool Unit Studies: Bears Unit Study for Kids
The days are getting shorter and shorter, which means that many of our forest friends are starting to gather food for winter. And that got me to thinking about bears, one of my favorite animals.
We have bears here in Georgia, but (fortunately) I have never seen one near my house. So I put together another one of our homeschool unit studies: a simple bears unit study for kids who want to learn more about these amazing mammals! There are videos, printables, and crafts below that you and your kids can use to study our furry friends!
If you like these, be sure to check out our list of bear books for kids to go along with this unit!
Homeschool Unit Studies: Bears Unit Study for Kids
Start your unit by learning about some of the most common bears around: The brown bear, the grizzly bear, and the black bear.
Brown Bear Facts for Kids:
Watch the following video and then ask your child to answer a few questions about brown bears.
- Name three ecosystems in which brown bears live. (Answer: Rivers, meadows, and forests)
- What else do brown bears use their sense of smell for besides sensing danger? (Answer: Communicating with other bears)
- List three of the things brown bears eat. (Answer: Sedge grass, flies, salmon)
- What skills do brown bear parents teach cubs? (Answer: Survival, hunting, and how to find shelter)
- What animals often live in the same ecosystems with brown bears? (Answers include: Squirrels, wolves, deer, fish, bald eagles)
Grizzly Bear Facts for Kids:
To learn about the grizzly bear, watch this video and try to answer the questions that follow.
- How did the grizzly bear gets its name? (Answer: Because the silver tips on its fur give it a “grizzled” appearance.)
- What features set a grizzly bear apart from a black bear? (Answer: Grizzly bears have a large hump on their shoulders right behind their heads. Grizzly bears have claws that are twice as large as the black bear’s. Grizzly bears have curved profiles, while black bears have straighter profiles.)
- What does a grizzly bear use its muscular shoulder hump for? (Answer: For help in digging up their food.)
- How fast can a grizzly bear run? (Answer: Between 35 and 40 miles an hour.)
- How much can a grizzly bear weigh? (Answer: Up to 700 pounds.)
- Does a grizzly bear eat a lot of meat? (Answer: No, 85% of its diet consists of vegetables.)
- How much distance does a grizzly bear travel in a day? (Answer: Up to 20 or 30 miles.)
Black Bear Facts for Kids
Now it’s time to learn a bit about black bears! Watch this video and then discuss the following questions. Just to be technical: This video refers to pandas as bears, which they are not. Other than that, it’s okay. 🙂
- Where do black bears live? (Answer: In the forests of North America, Mexico, and Canada)
- How do black bears keep themselves fed during hibernation? (Answer: They live off the energy from stored body fat.)
- Is a black bear an omnivore, herbivore, or carnivore? (Answer: Omnivores, because they eat almost anything, including berries, fruit, and other animals.)
- Do black bears live alone or in groups? (Answer: Black bears are solitary animals, typically living alone.)
Bear Printables for Kids
These bear printables for kids include activities for each elementary grade level!
- Grade Tot/PK: Printable Bear Snores On Pack – 3 Dinosaurs
- Grade PK: Printable Bear Math Patterns – Fun-A-Day
- Grade PK: Brown Bear, Brown Bear Printable Activity – Growing Book by Book
- Grade 1: Black Bear Reading Comprehension Worksheet – Comprehension Worksheets
- Grades 1-2: Bear Essentials Lesson Plan – National Park Service
- Grade 2: Grizzly Bear Printable – Enchanted Learning
- Grade 3: Black Bear Worksheet – Education.com
- Grade 3: Grizzly Bears Facts Worksheet – Education.com
- Grade 4: Bear Essentials Lesson Plan – National Park Service
- Grades 4-6:Grizzly Bears and Wolves Curriculum – U.S. Forest Service
Bear Activities and Crafts for Kids
Add some hands-on fun with these adorable bear activities and crafts!
- Hiberating Bear Paper Plate Craft – A Little Pinch of Perfect
- Paper Bag Bear Puppet – Crafty Morning
- Cupcake Liner Bear Craft – Glued to My Crafts
- Fuzzy Brown Bear Craft – Cutting Tiny Bites
- B is for Bear Craft – I Can Teach My Child
- Recycled CD Bear Craft – I Heart Crafty Things
- Simple Pom Pom Bear Craft – Easy Peasy and Fun
- Paddington Bear Toilet Paper Roll Craft – Red Ted Art
- Potato Stamped Bears Craft – Glued to My Crafts
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear Color Matching Activity – No Time for Flashcards
Books about Bears:
Read about these lovable mammals with these fun bear books for kids!
Children’s Books about Bears – Look! We’re Learning!
And don’t miss these other fun posts!
See more science learning ideas on my It’s Science Pinterest board!