Keeping Warm in Winter

A. Wills
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will understand why animals store fat for the winter or colder months and how this affects how temperature is felt. How does the environment and our protection of it help this?

Grade Level: K - 2nd

Subject: Environmental, Science

Length of Time: About 30 Minutes

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Objectives & Outcomes

Learners will be able to explain the difference in having a layer of ‘fat’ as a form of protection and not having one available.

Materials Needed

  • plastic wrap
  • a pair of mittens per child
  • two bowls with ice water
  • towels


Opening to Lesson

Ask students if they know anything animals do to prepare for winter. Ask if animals have anything people do not (hair, fur, etc.) that could help them stay warm since they live outside during the year. Explain to students that you are going to do an experiment that will show how animal fur offers protection during cold weather.

Body of Lesson

  • Have students begin by placing their hand in the ice water for 15 to 20 second. Ask students how the water feels.
  • Now have students put on a single glove.
  • Explain this is like fur for an animal.
  • Have students put the gloved hand in ice water for 15- 20 seconds.
  • Ask how it felt different with and without the glove.
  • Remove wet gloves and place them somewhere to dry.
  • For the final part of the experiment have students wrap their hand in plastic wrap and then add the dry mitten to the hand.
  • Stick the hand back into the ice water for 15 – 20 seconds.
  • Ask students how the plastic (fat) helped keep their hand warm.


Allow students to discuss why it is important for animals to have a layer of fat when living outdoors. Time permitting, ask students what humans do to stay warm since a thick layer of fat is not healthy.

How does the environment and our protection of it help these animals stay warm?

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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will be assessed on participation and discussion only.

Modification & Differentiation

No modifications should be needed unless the child is sensory defensive in which case this may be a lesson to avoid.

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