Animals in Winter
We decided that since we have been studying all sorts of mammals and their tracks all year, that we might take this opportunity to look at what animals do during the winter. We talked about the difference between hibernation (a deep sleep) and dormancy (a long sleep that animals wake up from time to time during the winter). We talked about how some animals migrate (like birds) to warmer climes and how some just survive through the winter even in the snow. Then I invited them to draw some animal during the winter. My fourth student drew fish dormant under the ice, and a raccoon hibernating. My third student drew a bear in dormancy. My fifth student drew a bat in hibernation. We also talked about how animals in hibernation should not be disturbed because not only do they tend to be violent if finally woken, but that they only store enough fat on them to carry them through the winter. If they are woken, they will use more energy than when hibernating and can starve to death if they use too much of their energy too early. This happens mainly with smaller animals such as bats.
My fifth student also drew groundhogs in dormancy