Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Hibernation, and supports the standard of constructing an argument that animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


On the board, write:

  • How do animals stay warm in the winter?

Have students share different answers and keep a list on the board of the adaptations they come up with.


  • Read aloud the description on the Hibernation topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Etc,” “Mother Nature” or “Plus/Minus.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Hibernation Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about hibernation while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Take on the perspective of a hibernating animal. Make a movie explaining how you prepare for the winter and what happens to your body during hibernation.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying the different types of cold weather adaptations. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring cold-weather animals. Have the animals state one way they adapt to the winter months.
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine the pictures and cite details to answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore 

Ecology and Behavior Unit: Continue to build understanding around structures and processes in organisms by exploring more BrainPOP topics.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments