Among his inquires were:
- Which animals hibernate? Why do they hibernate instead of migrate?
- Why IS it so cold and snowy in Michigan but still so warm in Alabama? (He just returned from a visit with my little sister's family)
- How does the Earth orbiting the Sun affect our weather?
Good questions! While I could easily partially answer his questions, what a wonderful opportunity for learning this presented! With a stop at Walmart for additional supplies we needed for our investigation and presentation, including Styrofoam balls and an Elmer's 18" x 24" Guideline Foam Tri-Fold Display Board turned into its own adventures as we explored the Memory Keeping section. We found just what we needed for our project, including some products that would work out great for my son's Destination Imagination group, as well Elmer's 3D Washable Paint Pens for pizazz and Elmer's X-TREME glue sticks!
Join us as we discover Memory Keeping treasures at Walmart
Supplies We Used:
Elmer's 18" x 24" Guideline Foam Display Board
Elmer's 3D Washable Paint Pens, Classic Collection
Elmer's X-TREME Glue Stick
Glitter Pipe Cleaners
What we learned:
As we already knew, some animals adapt to the winter environment (rabbits, deer, fish), some migrate (birds) but others hibernate instead. Bears, many amphibians including toads, frogs and salamanders, as well as chipmunks and skunks are hibernators. Behavior of their food sources, as well as other factors, including size and length of necessary travel for migration, are among some of the reasons these animals hibernate.
With their food sources scarce or non existent in the winter, these creatures eat heavily prior to the onset of snow, when they bed down for the winter. Although squirrels will squirrel away extra stores of food to help them survive, the metabolism of the other creatures slows down and their bodies live off stored energy from their fall feasts.
In regard to the variance in temperatures and seasonal conditions across the United States, we explored how regions located in closer proximity to the equator where warmer year round due to the way the Earth orbits the sun. What about the seasonal weather changes? Although we already knew how the Earth's orbit creates our day and evenings, we discovered that the seasons, including long days and long nights are directly related to the "spin".
Although we discovered some good examples of the Earth spinning on its axis, the way this works was brought home through playing with the model we created. The model also proved to be quite useful for investigating different time zones across the globe by simply inserting pins with different colored heads to represent various regions during our "spin" sessions.
Our conclusion: My family had a great time learning more about the world around us and creating our presentation! Our in depth exploration, both online and hands on, will help keep the information we gathered ingrained My son is terribly excited about sharing the finished project with his classmates at school! I am looking forward to investigating the questions he'll have in the future.