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.
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!
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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!
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!
And don’t miss these other fun posts!
See more science learning ideas on my It’s Science Pinterest board!
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. Like pretty much every kid in the 80s.
We’re from Florida originally and I really, really, really wanted to go to space camp.
But, alas, it never happened. I did ride one of those anti-gravity swings at Church Street Station in Orlando, though. Not quite the same somehow.
Outer space is still a fun early learning theme for kids, so I thought I’d put together a few resources for learning the solar system.
There are videos, books, and activities below that make learning about the solar system even more fun!
You can use some or all of these solar system unit resources to introduce your students to our neighbor planets.
If you like this unit, take a look at our Spanish and English Solar System Learning Cards too!
Learning the Solar System for Kids
Watch the following YouTube video and discuss the following questions with your class:
(Note: The last two minutes of this video includes a hypothesis that states the solar system will cease to exist in 500 million years, which might frighten some students. Giving you a heads-up in case you want to skip it. None of the questions below are about that part of the video.)
- How old do scientists think the solar system is? Answer: 4.5 billion years old
- How often does the solar system circle the galactic center? Answer: Once every 250 million years
- Name the four terrestrial planets in our solar system: Answer: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars
- Name the four gas giants in our solar system: Answer: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
- Why does Mercury experience large temperature fluctuations? Answer: Because a Mercury year is shorter than a Mercury day.
- How hot does temperature get on Venus? Answer: Up to 497 degrees Celsius
- Why is Earth able to sustain life? Answer: Because temperatures are moderate enough to retain a water supply.
- Name the largest mountain on Mars: Answer: Olympus Mons (It’s also the largest mountain on any planet in the solar system.)
- What two gases comprise most of Jupiter? Answer: Hydrogen and Helium
- How many moons does Saturn have? Answer: 62
- What makes Uranus unique? Answer: Its axis of rotation is tilted sideways.
- How long is a Neptune year? Answer: 164 Earth years
- How much of the solar system’s mass is made up by the sun? Answer: 99.86%
- Where is Pluto located? Answer: In the Kuiper Belt at the edge of the solar system
Solar System Outer Space Binoculars Craft
Make a simple solar system craft with this outer space binoculars activity!
Little learners can use them to “stargaze” on their own!
Supplies: (Affiliate links are listed below. For details, see our Disclosure Policy.)
- Two empty toilet paper rolls
- Colored tissue paper
- Child-safe scissors
- Glue stick
- Elastic cord
- Stretch rubber necklaces
- Outer space-themed stickers
- Glue circles
Wrap the tissue paper around each toilet paper roll. Use scissors to cut off the excess.
Stick glue circles onto the side of one of the toilet rolls. Press the other roll onto it to stick them together.
Let students decorate the tubes with the outer space stickers.
Cut the elastic cord and thread it inside both of the paper rolls.
Tie the ends of the cord around the rubber necklace to make a lanyard.
Solar System Flashcards for Kids
Teach your students about each member of the solar system, including the sun, moon, and stars, with these printable solar system flashcards!
These cards feature colorful illustrations and vocabulary words for early learners to memorize the planets in our solar system.
A full blackline version is included too.
Best of all – you can get these solar system printables for free!
Click the image or the link below to have these solar system flashcards sent directly to your inbox! You’ll also get our weekly newsletter – coming this Sunday!
25 Books about the Solar System:
There are so many great picture books about the solar system for kids to read. Many of them have beautiful illustrations and, sometimes, even pictures from space.
I’ve put together a list of 25 selections that are excellent for early grades.
Take a look at the collection below!
Solar System Crafts and Activities for Kids:
Try some of these hands-on ways to learn about the solar system for kids!
- Solar System Edible Playdough – Look! We’re Learning!
- 10 Fun Children’s Books about Space – Crafty Mama in ME
- Children’s Astronaut Books – The Jenny Evolution
- Solar System Coloring Pages – Look! We’re Learning!
- Melted Bead Planet Mobile – Schooling a Monkey
- Stargazing Apps for Kids – iGameMom
- Coffee Filter Solar Eclipse Craft – Look! We’re Learning!
- Space sensory salt tray activities – The Usual Mayhem
- How to Spot Meteors When Camping – FrogMom
I hope you love using this simple solar system unit with your students! If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know in the comments!
Springtime is an excellent season to talk about weather. Spring pretty much has it all: cold weather in the beginning, windy days, thunderstorms, light drizzles, rainbows, sunshine, and (down here in the South) high temperatures!
Since one of our family movie night features last year was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, we made it into a weather unit featuring the story and weather activities! Check out our Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs unit study – one of our fun homeschool unit studies!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Unit Study
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Of course, we started by reading the story Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett.
As you probably know, the book features a tall tale told by a grandpa about a town called Chewandswallow – where food literally rained down from the sky. At first, everything was nice and predictable, but something awful happened and the town became deluged with food that drowned, crushed, and ruined everything. People had to escape on stale pieces of bread. It was pretty rough. 🙂
Since the book centers on the concept of weather, we decided to start our unit with some simple weather charting. I got this simple weather observation chart from the Notebooking Nook. (It’s free!)
On the chart, you can note the forecast for each day of the upcoming week.
Then you do a comparison to see if the actual weather is close to the forecast.
Ours ended up being pretty close. What I really like about this chart is that you can use actual temperature readings, weather words, or just let the kids draw pictures. It’s easy to adapt it for everyone’s level.
We also started talking about some common weather phenomena. These resources are super handy:
- What is a tornado?
- What is a hurricane?
- What is a flash flood?
- How do weather forecasters predict the weather?
After our discussion about weather, we watched the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
And that sparked a lively discussion about how books often differ from their movie versions. The movie was wayyyy different, but still good. Plus, it featured a wonderful message for young girls to be comfortable with themselves, even if they’re “nerdy”. I loved it.
Of course, you can always make spaghetti and meatballs with your kids. 🙂
For more weather learning fun, check out these weather lessons for kids!
And to learn more about what makes up a town, grab our Spanish community word flashcards!
Don’t miss all of our other unit study resources on Pinterest!
Get more ideas for learning about weather from these great bloggers!
This post is part of the Movie and a Big Idea linkup from iHomeschool Network! Click over to read more movie-themed activities for kids!
Based on the news, the Northeast is currently getting slammed by a massive blizzard. (Stay safe and warm if you’re up there!) If you’re studying the Northeast or the city of New York, you might like this New York City Unit Study!
Winter weather or not, New York City is a fascinating place. And most kids love the idea of the Big City, so you can use this homeschool unit study to introduce your kids to the Big Apple!
New York City Unit Study
Since there are so many famous landmarks and geographical features in NYC, it can be tough to narrow them all down for a unit study!
We took a trip up there earlier this year and while we drove through the city, my conversation was basically “Oh, there’s the Brooklyn Bridge! Wait, there’s the Empire State Building! Kids, look! It’s the Hudson River!” Not the best way to learn about the city.
So I’m excited to share these activities and books that can help kids get a better understanding of what makes the city so special!
New York City Video Tour
Watch the following video about New York City and ask your kids to answer the questions below.
1. How many pizzerias are in New York City?
2. Name one special feature of the Empire State Building.
Answer: The top 30 floors change colors to represent seasons and events of the year.
3. How does the Whispering Gallery at Grand Central Station work?
Answer: A person can stand in one corner and hear what a person standing diagonally whispers into the wall.
4. When was the Atlantic Avenue subway tunnel built?
5. How many trees are in Central Park?
6. How many sculptures are in Central Park?
7. How many floors does a building need to be considered as a skyscraper?
Answer: 40 or more
Activities about New York City:
These kids’ activities about New York City can help kids learn more!
2. 3rd Grade: NYC History Quiz – Education.com
3. Elementary: New York City Boroughs Activity – PBS
4. Elementary: Statue of Liberty Coloring Page – Super Coloring
Books about New York City:
These children’s books about New York City feature gorgeous illustrations and stories that will get kids excited about taking a trip to the Big Apple for themselves!
If you want to see even more teaching ideas for your New York City unit, I shared a simple New York City Unit Study that features videos, books, and articles about NYC. Click on over to Year Round Homeschooling to get the details and use the unit with your kids!
Did you love this post? Check out these other ways to teach geography to your homeschoolers!
Plus, get more ideas on my Geography for Homeschoolers Pinterest board!