A Kindergarten Harvest Lesson Introducing the Concept of Winter Hibernation

A Kindergarten Harvest Lesson Introducing the Concept of Winter Hibernation
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Lesson Materials and Preparation

In today’s lesson, you will continue discussing trees, squirrels, and nuts, as well as the beauty of the autumn colors. You will instruct students on how to make a hand print leaf wreath, as well as a conduct a math skills game and a language activity.

Here are the things that you will need to be adequately prepared for the lesson:

  • Plush animal bear, squirrel, chipmunk (optional, but great for visuals)
  • Paper plates (cut out centers prior to class)
  • Various colors of construction paper
  • Bag of acorns, pecans, and walnuts (nuts can be purchased in bulk at the supermarket)
  • Styrofoam bowls
  • Tops and Bottoms adapted by Janet Stevens

Circle Time Discussion

  • Review tree names and facts from the previous lessons to reinforce learning.
  • Discuss animals that hibernate in winter. Explain that the animals must work all through the autumn months in order to gather enough food to last throughout the winter.
  • Read the story Tops and Bottoms adapted by Janet Stevens.
  • Discuss the differences between being a hard worker like the rabbit and being lazy like the bear in the story.

Make a Hand-Print Wreath - Art Activity

  • Give children two or three pieces of construction paper, in their choice of colors
  • Instruct the children to trace their hand-prints and carefully cut out each hand-print
  • Provide children with a paper plate (the center should be cut out prior to this project)
  • Children should glue their hand-prints on to the paper plate to form a colorful Autumn leaf wreath

Play the More or Less Math Skills Game

Display a collection of acorns, pecans and walnuts. Discuss with the children how bears, squirrels and chipmunks gather nuts to prepare for the winter.

Now we will gather nuts just like the animals:

  • Provide each child with a Styrofoam bowl to use in “gathering” nuts.

  • Pile the nuts on the floor, then instruct the children to gather the nuts.

  • When all nuts have been collected, ask:

  • Who has the most? Who has the least?

  • Who has the most walnuts? The least?

  • Who has the most acorns? The least?

  • Who has the most pecans? The least?

Language Skills Activity

  • Ask children what things they would collect if they would go into hibernation. Why?
  • Record their answers on a chart. Keep the chart for later reference.

Continue on to Friday’s lesson, the fifth and final lesson in this unit.

This post is part of the series: Kindergarten Lesson Plans: Leaves

A series of five lesson plans in the harvest theme created for kindergarten classrooms.

  1. Kindergarten Week-Long Unit on Leaves & Trees in the Fall
  2. Kindergarten Harvest Lesson Plans: Leaves II
  3. Leaves, Squirrels & Nuts: Day 3 of a Kindergarten Lesson on Autumn
  4. A Kindergarten Lesson on Hibernation: Part 4 of a Week-Long Autumn Unit
  5. Day 5 - Nature Walk & Bird Feeder Craft Craft for Kindergarteners