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Lesson Plan: Hibernation (Science - Grade 3)

Subject:  Science

Grade: 3

Lesson Objective: To learn why animals hibernate and then answer questions related to that information

Standard:  3-LS4-3 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.




  • Why do you think that some animals hibernate?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • Hibernation is something that some animals do in the winter.  Many animals live in habitats that get very cold and snowy in the winter months. 
  • Think about what you know about the winter.  Do you think that animals that eat plants would be able to easily find food in the winter?  (Allow the students to answer.)
  • In a habitat with very cold winters, but where it is warmer in the spring, summer and fall, some animals have learned to survive by hibernating because the food that they need to eat is not available.
  • Other animals that live in that same habitat can survive in other ways.  One way is by collecting food like nuts and seeds and storing them to eat throughout the winter.
  • Another way is that some animals migrate to warmer areas during the cold winter months.
  • There are several different ways that animals in habitats with warm summers and cold winters survive.  Which way do you think is the best way for an animal to survive and why?  (Allow the students to answer and have a discussion)
  • Different animals find different ways to survive.  Some survive a habitat with a warm summer and cold winter well and some do not do as well.
  • You are now going to read about why animals hibernate.  You are then going to answer questions about what you have read.
  • 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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