Animal Hibernation and Migration
We will discuss why some animals in Iowa hibernate or migrate, and why that helps them to survive in the Midwest better than other animals. Students will learn how to construct an argument for why in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge, Wapello, Iowa
- Why do some animals migrate, some hibernate, and some do neither?
- What do you think animals do differently to continue living depending on the weather in Iowa?
- Why do you think some animals stay in Iowa during season changes and some leave?
- Why do you think the animals who leave come back?
- How might animals' bodies allow them to stay in cold temperatures?
- Choose an animal native to Iowa to research and then share with the class. They would look up how their animal survives in the winter; if their animal stays in Iowa or travels somewhere else if their animal hibernates etc. They could also describe characteristics their animal has that would help them survive the winter, or would not help them survive the winter. Students could then create a presentation with their information to share.
- Begin by filling out a KWL worksheet with what they know about hibernation and migration, and what they would like to know, and then after a class discussion, they could fill in what they learned. You could then watch a video on the differences between hibernation and migration. After watching the video, you could discuss as a class which the students thought was better, hibernation or migration, and why.
- Learn about and discuss the differences between adaptation, hibernation, and migration. Students could then, either in small groups, pairs, or individually, complete a picture sort, moving the animals to their correct locations, either hibernation, migration, or adaptation. This could be done using strictly animals native to Iowa, or whatever group of animals you’d like.
Relevant Related Resources
- The Reason for the Seasons book by Ellie Peterson: Follow an adventurous kid scientist on his journey to finding the science behind the changing seasons.
- Migration and Hibernation Video: This 10-minute video describes and identifies both migration and hibernation. Includes a review at the end!
- Animals in Winter-Migration, Hibernation, or Adaptation: This set includes six sets of three-part cards for hibernating, migrating, and adapting animals. You could also use these for a classifying center where you mix up all of the small photo cards and put them in the correct category.
Iowa Core Alignment3-LS4-3:
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
Phenomena submitted by Katie Steene and Alex Holden
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