Animals in Winter

Kindergarteners had just returned from recess. The cold snap had prepared them to consider the needs of animals in winter. How do they stay warm? What do they eat?

An educator from New Canaan Nature Center was there to guide them to discoveries. She brought three friends with her—Tupelo, a red shouldered hawk; Willy, an eastern box turtle; and Tofu, a domesticated rabbit. 

By observing the visitors and sharing information with each other, the class was able to determine how animals cope with winter.

Students learned that Tupelo would hunt mice in the winter, if she was out in the wild. Willy has been at the nature center since the 1970s and never gets nervous around people—but if he did, his shell could close around him like a box. Rabbits even wiggle their noses when they are sleeping—they are sniffing for danger!

The program allowed students to use new vocabulary—including migration, hibernation and brumation—act out animal behavior and make connections to animals they see in their neighborhoods.