A wonderful way to explore bears and hibernation in your classroom!

Winter is here!  It’s so very cold outside right now, making this the ideal time to share our unit on hibernation…

Introducing a Story

To begin our study on hibernation, we read the book “Time to Sleep” by Denise Fleming. This sweet book begins with a bear who smells winter in the air.  He acknowledges that it is time for him to curl up in his cave, but first, he must go and tell all of his friends that it is time to sleep.  This was the perfect book to read before creating our own hibernating bears…

We used our direction board and the table below it as our “build-a-bear” workshop and as a visual guide to help the children create their own bears…

Preparing the Activity

Deborah and I pre-cut bear shaped patterns out of heavy brown construction paper.  We also stapled the outer edges of each bear, leaving just the tops of their heads open so that they could be stuffed later.  The first step was for the children to decorate their bear.  Most of the children just decided to give their bears faces.  And, oh, they were darling little faces…

Building their Bears

Then it was time for the children to stuff their bears.  We had some cotton balls leftover from our cotton ball blizzard so we used those as stuffing for our bears.  We encouraged the children to use their fine motor skills to pull and stretch the cotton balls so that their bears would be fluffy, rather than lumpy…

When their little fingers couldn’t quite reach the small spaces near the bear’s hands and feet, the children used pencils to gently push the stuffing into place…

The Final Step

The last step in making our bears was to finish stapling up the edges.  Some of the children were eager to try the stapler and some preferred to let us grown-ups do the stapling…

Our bears sure were tired after all of that drawing and stuffing.  They needed a nice warm cave to snuggle in and rest for the winter.  Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how we tucked our bears in for their long winter hibernation…

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