Why Do Bears Sleep All Winter?

Hibernation is the focus of a lesson plan that looks closely at bears. A read-aloud introduces the lesson plan's topic with an engaging picture book. A whole-class discussion answers who, what, where, when, why, and how bears hibernate. Scholars work collaboratively to read the book, Why Do Bears Sleep by Mary Englar then discuss facts and summarize their new-found knowledge. A worksheet assesses learners' comprehension. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Conduct the lesson in an ELA small group center rotation—read the story and work with a group to discuss important information and recap what they learned orally
  • Gather and display a collection of books about bears, allow pupils to browse them with time permits 
  • Conduct the lesson at the start of winter or make instruction part of a unit on seasons
Classroom Considerations
  • Several copies of the story, Why Do Bears Sleep by Mary Englar, is required—if you do not have access to that many, make this portion of the lesson a teacher-led read-aloud   
  • Although the suggested grade levels are lower-elementary, the intended objectives are better completed by upper-elementary grades
  • Any bear-related picture book can be read during the introduction 
  • Class members practice speaking skills in small group discussions 
  • None
Common Core