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How do animals get ready for winter?

Time Frame

5 class periods of 30 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication


Rachel Martinez


Students will compare and contrast how different animals prepare for winter.


Books listed from bibliography What do you wear in winter worksheet I know about winter worksheet Sight word cards Two picture sets of winter animals(one set mounted on 7 different colors fo construction paper)and matching written names large sheets of white butcher paper crayons, markers, colored pencils, paints glue student scissors masking tape Let's Find Out poster and matching student magazines

Background for Teachers

Teachers should be familiar with native animals of Utah and be able to identify the animals and their winter habits.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students will need to know characteristcs of the seasons. Students must be able to visually discriminate between animals.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will learn how animals in Utah prepare for winter. Students will be able to match labels to 7 animals. Students will orally describe, as well as complete a fall to winter timeline for an animal of choice by the end of the unit.

Instructional Procedures

Into the lesson: Day One Review the four seasons. Students describe the outdoor temperature as well as the weather for each season. Focus on winter, asking students how they prepare to go outdoors in the winter. After discussion, partner pair students to complete winter wear worksheet. When worksheet is completed, have students tell the partner what items of clothing they own for winter wear. Through the lesson: Give students the objective: We want to find the answer to this question: How do animals get ready for winter? Does their fur change? Do they change color? Do they gain weight? Do they change what they eat? When we find the answers to these questions, we will share the answers through picture stories and the telling of our stories. We want to be able to share with others how each of these animals prepares for winter. Connect by explaining that just as we change our wardrobe for winter, animals need to change as well. Show pictures of animals. Name each animal and have students act out each animal. Next, group students in 2-3 per group, and hand out names of animals. Read each name for the groups, then have them match the name of the animal to the correct picture. Read the names of the animals together with the students. Day 2: Choral read the names of the animals. Fill in the class K-W-L chart about the 6 animals. Fill in facts the students know. Review objective, and ask students what they want to know about these animals. Prompt students by having them think about what they change for winter and to decide if animals need to make the same type of changes. Fill in that portion of the chart. Look at the cover of "Animals in Winter" by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard Van Gelder. Ask students what they see on the cover of the book. Re-read the objective, and ask students for their predictions of what the book will be about. Scan the pictures and have students take turns telling what they see on each page. Read the text. Review predictions from students, and determine if their guesses were correct. Recheck K-W-L chart and fill in any new information. Highlight where information is still needed. Day 3: Review K-W-L chart, and note information still needed to complete chart. Give each student a Let's Find Out magazine. Model reading the title of the magazine. Choral read the title. Predict what information this magazine will have to complete the chart. Go through each picture, and have students touch and label each animal. Help students place numbers with each animal 1-7 to help them keep their place as they proceed throughout the text. Next, ask students to scan for any familiar words, and read them aloud. Now name each animal, read each fact with students reading along to familiar words. Re-read the text. Have students turn to a partner and tell one fact about how one animal gets ready for winter, and vice versa. Finish filling in the K-W-L chart. Brainstorm ideas to find out any information not learned so far. Beyond the lesson: Day 4: Re-read Let's Find Out. Review K-W-L chart by having students re-tell new information. Group students into 7 groups, and randomly assign each group an animal by having students pick a color page where the picture of the animal has previously been mounted. Using a large sheet of construction paper, model for students a timeline of how we get ready for winter. Draw a picture of a child in fall, then draw a picture of a child in winter. Give students instructions to draw their animal in fall first, and next the animal in winter. Allow students to use crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints, scissors, glue, and construction paper to create their timelines. Day 5: Review the K-W-L chart. Allow students time to review timelines to ensure the project is completed. Help students decide which partner will tell about the fall, and which will tell about winter. Let students practice telling their partner about their portion of the picture. Next, allow each group to display their timeline, and describe what is happening in each picture. Display the timelines for students to see.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Vocabulary: birds, squirrels, raccoons, bears, hares, south. Vocabulary will be taught by matching pictures to words, and locating the geographical direction south within the classroom. Graphic organizers will be used to organize information learned. When reading the text, pictures will be numbered to keep students on track with the rest of the class.


Students could match animals to their tracks in the snow. Students could also make bird feeders, and determine which kind of bird food birds like best. (This will be a project that must be continued throughout the winter.) ELL students could also describe animals from their native countries and how they spend the seasons.

Assessment Plan

Students will be assessed through a final timeline project. It will be an informal assessment for content and language.


Chespax Kindergarten In-School Program Where they go in winter by Margaret Waring Buck Animals in winter by Henrietta Bancroft Now that days are colder by Aileen Fisher Keep looking by Millicent Selsam and Joyce Hunt What do animals do in winter? by Melvin and Gilda Berger When winter comes by Russell Freedman The big snow by Berta and Elmer Hader In winter by Jane Belk Moncure When will it be spring? by Catherine Walters

Created: 02/12/2003
Updated: 02/05/2018