Hibernating Animals and Bear Can’t Sleep: 13 Ways to Integrate Science

Hibernating Animals and Bear Can’t Sleep: Integrating Science and Reading

Hibernating Animals are fascinating to most people, but especially Kindergartners. As winter approaches and the days grow colder, many animals embark on a remarkable journey into hibernation.

In this blog post, we will explore what hibernation is, why animals do it, and how to engage your kindergartners with a delightful picture book by Karma Wilson, “Bear Can’t Sleep“. If you’d like more books, check out a previous post.

Understanding Hibernating

Before we jump into the enchanting world of picture books, let’s make sure we have a clear understanding of what hibernation is and why animals do it.

Hibernation is a state of reduced metabolic activity and dormancy that allows some animals to survive harsh winter conditions. During this period, an animal’s heart rate, body temperature, and overall energy consumption drop significantly.

By going into hibernation, these animals conserve energy and avoid the challenges of finding food and staying warm during the cold winter months.

Hibernation helps with Survival: Hibernation helps animals survive when food is scarce, temperatures are low, and the environment becomes harsh.

Hibernation helps with Energy Conservation: It’s a way to save energy during periods when it’s difficult to find food or remain active.

Hibernation helps with Reproduction: Some animals use hibernation to time their reproduction, ensuring their young are born when conditions are more favorable.

Hibernating Animals and Bear Can’t Sleep: Integrating Science and Reading

Shared reading and hibernating

There are so many books about animals hibernating, but everyone loves Karma Wilson’s Bear. The book “Bear Can’t Sleep” is a delightful preamble to “Bear Snores On.”

The story follows Bear, who, despite his best efforts, can’t seem to fall asleep as winter approaches. All of his forest friends are getting ready for their winter slumber, but Bear is wide awake.

He tries various methods to help him sleep, such as counting sheep and drinking warm milk.

Throughout the story, his friends, including Mouse, Hare, Badger, and Gopher, try to help him by suggesting cozy activities and keeping him company. They share their winter traditions, like making snow angels and having a feast.

The heartwarming tale of “Bear Can’t Sleep” is not just about the bear’s struggle to fall asleep but also about the friendship and care shown by his woodland companions. It’s a charming story that teaches young readers about the changing seasons, the value of friendship, and the importance of helping one another.

Teaching kindergartners about hibernating animals is not only a fun and engaging activity but also an opportunity to instill in them a sense of wonder and respect for the natural world.

By exploring picture books and engaging in creative activities, you can help your students grasp the concept of hibernation and foster a lifelong love for learning about animals and their amazing adaptations.

Hibernating Animals and Bear Can’t Sleep: Integrating Science and Reading

Providing a smaller text, a simple 4-line poem, can help students interact with text. The poem might be in a onoe-page format or a 5-page booklet created by students.

Allowing students to interact with different hibernating animals can be surprising, too. Did you know ladybugs hibernate?

Using a Hibernating Animals Word Card can provide many lessons with vocabulary, word work, and comprehension.

Hibernating Animals and Bear Can’t Sleep: Integrating Science and Reading

Using the accompanying set, students can dive deeper into the world of hibernating animals.


  • Word Card (8 1/2 x 11) and individual word cards
  • Hibernate Poem and Shared Reading
  • Cloze Poem
  • Order Lines of Text Poem
  • Hibernate Student Book (2 options)
  • ABC Order
  • Syllables
  • Word Search
  • Tic Tac Toe Activity Page
  • Hibernation Sort
  • Hibernation Beginning Sound Sort
  • Writing Pages (2 sheets)

Hibernating ANimals Set

If you are interested, check out the video below. There are so many ideas for sharing hibernating animals with your students.

Cathy Collier

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