Animals In Winter

Animals in Winter is a classroom presentation focusing on Saskatchewan animals, their basic needs and how they have adapted to their environment. Several taxidermy mounts are brought to the classroom and are used to assist with identification of various species and to show specific winter adaptations. The presentation is approximately 45 minutes in length and requires four (4) tables to set animals on.

The presentation focuses on the following key concepts.


Hibernation is the dormant state in which some animals spend the winter. Not all animals that are dormant for the winter are true hibernators. Some animals will waken to eliminate body waste or have something to eat. Students will learn about the different types of hibernators, the locations in which they hibernate and why they hibernate at all.

Migration is the movement of animals from one location to another in response to environmental conditions and/or food supply. Migration occurs by flight, land and by water depending on the species. Students will learn about why and how different animals migrate.

Colour Change

Some animals change colour in the winter months as a protection from predators, or to aid in camouflage for hunting food. These animals change their colour by the gradual shedding and replacing of the guard hairs twice yearly. This colour change is triggered by the change in the amount of daylight.

Food Storage
Some animals will change their diet in the winter, while others will store food supplies. Food is stored in different ways. Some animals store food as fat on their bodies, while others will collect food to be stored in a burrow, tree cavity, or under water.

Winter Coats
Many birds have soft, thick feathers which they can erect to trap warm air close to their body. Some may even grow thick layers of feathers on their toes for insulation. Many mammals that are active in the winter will grow longer, thicker coats than they have in the summer. With a thicker coat, more air is trapped in the spaces, thus providing greater insulation.


Curriculum Connections   Outcomes Indicators
Grade 1 Science LT1.1 Differentiate between living things according to observable characteristics, including appearance and behaviour H,I,L
  Science LT1.2 Analyze different way in which plants, animals, and humans interact with various natural and constructed environments to meet their basic needs A,C,E,F,I
  Science DS1.2 Compare and represent daily and seasonal changes of natural phenomena through observing, measuring, sequencing, and recording A,B,D,F
Grade 2 Science AN2.1 Analyze the growth and development of familiar animals, including birds, fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, during their life cycles D
  Science AN2.3 Assess the interdependance of humans and animals in natural and constructed environments A,D