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Lesson Plan: Hibernation (Reading - Grade 3)

Subject:  Reading

Grade: 3

Lesson Objective: To read a myth about why bears hibernate and discuss the message conveyed in the myth.

Common Core StandardCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.2- Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.




  • What is hibernation?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • Today we are going to be talking about hibernation. 
  • Hibernation is when an animal becomes inactive, sleeps a lot and doesn’t move very much.  This happens to some animals in the winter months.
  • Hibernating helps the animals save energy since the winter is a time where there is not much food for them to eat.
  • We are going to be reading a Native American legend today about why bears hibernate.
  • Legends are just like myths.  They are stories that people have told for hundreds of years to explain things that happen in nature that they did not understand.
  • Legends and myths are very common in many different cultures.  Most cultures have legends or myths to help explain different things.
  • I am going to read a legend called, “Bear Did Not Always Hibernate.”
  • While I read the legend to you, I would like you to be thinking about how the legend helps to explain something that people may not have understood.  (Read the excerpt)
  • After hearing the legend, what do you think?  Do you think this story explains why bears hibernate?  (Allow the students to answer)
  • I am going to give you a worksheet that has questions about the legend that I read to you.  I will also be giving you a copy of the legend so that you can read it to yourself.
  • After you have finished reading the legend again and doing the worksheet, we will talk about your answers.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share your answers?  (Allow the students to share.)

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Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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