Winter Weather Teaching Box: Keeping Warm

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Goal: Students learn how people and wildlife keep warm during cold winter weather.

 

Engage students by having them consider that the clothes we wear help us stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

  • Dress for the Weather: This online interactive from PBS Learning Media allows students to play with dressing for different types of weather.
  • Dressing for the Seasons: This activity, from the Utah Education Network, gets kids to consider how to choose clothes depending on the temperature. To focus on winter weather, ask students specifically to dress the characters for cold and snow.

Explore with a student investigation of how wildlife is adapted to stay warm.

  • How Animals Stay Warm: This exploration from the New England Aquarium allows students to explore the role of fat as an insulator that helps marine mammals stay warm.
  • Animal Coverings: From the Utah Education Network, this activity allows students to explore different kinds of animal coverings and how each covering protects the animal or keeps it warm.
  • How Animals Prepare for Winter: Students learn that some animals migrate and others hibernate during the winter months in this activity from the Utah Education Network and Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears.

Evaluate student learning through pictures and questions.

  • Have students draw a picture of a cold winter day that includes people and wildlife that stay warm. Assess student ability to answer questions about how the people and other animals are staying warm. Watch out for common misconceptions about heat and insulation in student answers.

Performance Expectation and Standards:

  • PE: K-LS1-1. Students use observations to describe patterns of what animals (including humans) need to survive cold winter weather.
  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
  • NGSS DCI: LS1A Structure and fuction
  • NGSS Crosscutting themes: Cause and effect
  • National Geography Standards: 15 How Physical Systems Affect Human Systems (3. People adapt to the conditions of the physical environment)