Hibernation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is hibernation, why does it occur, and to whom? A text lesson allows students to move through key facts while a research project gives them the chance to dig deeper. Related lessons and extra activities help support ongoing learning.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'hibernation'
  • outline the process of hibernation
  • research and report one one animal that hibernates


  • 30 minutes to 1 hour for instruction
  • Up to 1 week for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

Key Vocabulary

  • Hibernation


  • Begin by asking students to define 'hibernation,' writing their key ideas on the board.
  • Now ask students to watch the introduction and 'What Is Hibernation?' sections of the video lesson What is Hibernation? - Definition & Facts.
  • With the information they watch in the lesson under consideration, were the students on target with their previous definitions of hibernation? If not, fill in the blanks now.
  • Now ask students to brainstorm potential reasons for hibernation, listing these on the board for the class to see.
  • Now ask students to watch the 'Why Do Animals Hibernate?' section of the lesson.
  • Again, using what they've read as a guide, ask them to review the reasons for hibernation that are listed on the board. Are any missing? Are there incorrect reasons listed? Correct this now.
  • Have students watch the remainder of the lesson now in preparation for an activity.

Discussion Questions

  • Can humans hibernate?
  • What types of animals hibernate?

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