Cold Weather Animals Pt 2

Lesson Overview

In this two-part lesson, students will learn how different animals survive in cold environments using their physical, behavioral, and physiological adaptations. Endothermic or “warm-blooded” cold weather animals maintain a regular body temperature internally.

First, students are introduced to ectothermic animals, or animals that rely on external sources of heat. They will discover that ectotherms are typically more reliant on their behavioral adaptations to keep warm during the colder months of the year. Then, students are introduced to endothermic animals, or animals that maintain their internal temperature through biological processes. For these animals, students will focus on how physical adaptations help them to survive in cold climates.

After each lesson, students have activity options to act out, draw a diagram, build a model, write an explanation, or a combination of these to create their own perfectly-adapted cold weather animal.

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  • Cold Weather Animals Pt I presentation
  • Student activity sheet
  • Pencil

  • Coloring supplies
  • Other craft materials: fabric, paint, construction paper, collage, yarn, etc.
  • Digital sharing platform such as Google Classroom, SeeSaw, etc.

  • 2-LS4-1 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
    Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • 3-LS3-2 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
    Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
  • 4-LS1-1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
    Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
  • MS-LS1-4 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
    Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.

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