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Winter Preparation at Wartburg

Students can observe the campus lawn at Wartburg College over the course of a week to see how animals, plants, and people move from fall to winter. 

Waverly, Iowa

Driving Question

  • What do the plants and animals at Wartburg College do during the winter?

Probing Questions

  • As you and your family get ready for the changing seasons, what do you do to stay warm? 
  • As you walk outside what do you notice? 
  • How do you know the seasons are changing? What about nature and the animals change that allow you to know the seasons are changing? 

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • Have the students look at the two different pictures of Wartburg’s campus and reflect on what they see and what they notice. Then have them discuss with their shoulder partner about what they see. Use their discussion to push towards changing seasons and how the different seasons affect their lives. What is different about each of the seasons? You can sit at the front of the room continuing to ask questions like this until all discussions and thoughts have stopped. 
  • Now that you have related the changing seasons to the students, have them start to think about what happens to the plants  and animals when seasons change. This is a great time for students to use inference techniques. Give them plenty of time to discuss and think. They will likely come up with some very interesting thoughts and ideas. 
  • As a class, go outside of your school and have them witness the changes of seasons for themselves. Put the students into groups and have them walk around and jot down notes about what they noticed and observed around them. This gives them an opportunity to see the leaves change and see if they notice the animals acting any differently. 
  • Have students draw a picture of what they see outside on a fall day, while also drawing what they would wear on a fall day. You could have them do the same thing with winter. Once they have made these drawings, the class could make final observations and predictions about how the plants and animals survive during the changing seasons and how that affects their daily lives. This will give the students a visual representation of the difference between fall and winter and how the seasons affect the plants and animals.

Relevant Related Resources

  • The Seasons Song: This is a fun song that will introduce what seasons are to the students and allow them to make connections to their life.
  • How Plants and Animals Prepare for Winter: This website gives clear changes that happen to plants and animals in the changing seasons while also giving great examples.
  • Iowans, Winter is Coming: A fun article that relates to the students by helping them, their plants and animals prepare for the winter. A real life connection.

Iowa Core Alignment


Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive

Credit Info

Phenomena submitted by Emma Nelson and Beka Gershennoff

Photo credit to Julie Drews

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