You start hiking up the mountain. The snow stops but it’s still pretty cold outside—brrr! Bringing warm clothes was a good idea. Partway up, you look down at the valley below and spot a herd of bison. Many of them are huddled close together.
- Talk: What do you know about bison? Do you think they’re herbivores or carnivores? Why do you think the bison are huddling close together in the cold weather—how does it help them?
- Problem Solve: You see a group of 11 bison huddled together, then 3 bison wander away. How many bison are left huddled together?
- Draw & Write: Other than huddling in groups, how else do bison stay warm? Hint: Look at their bodies. What are they covered in?
- Dramatize & Engineer: Another way some animals stay warm is by burrowing underground during the winter. Pretend you’re a burrowing animal like a squirrel. Make a burrow for yourself at home. What could you use? A chair, a table, a corner or a box and blankets might help you. Now, pretend you’re a squirrel squeezing down into your warm burrow. Does it feel warmer in your burrow?
- Problem Solve: As you cover up with a blanket to stay warm you see 5 birds and 5 squirrels trying to stay warm too. How many animals do you see all together?
Astronaut Adventures #11: Parents’ Guide
Monday: Children learned about bison during their Ice Age unit. Bison are herbivores (they eat only plants) and they live in big groups called herds. Animals often live in herds because it’s safer. When it’s cold outside, some herd animals huddle close together to share and conserve heat.
Tuesday: Encourage your child to use manipulatives to solve this subtraction problem. Gather a collection of objects and count out 11. Take away 3 objects. 11 bison minus 3 bison equals 8 bison. Your child can write the equation 11 – 3 = 8.
Wednesday: Bison are also suited for cold weather because of their long, woolly fur which helps trap their body heat from escaping. You could ask your child what other animals have long fur. They might think of the woolly mammoths, wolves, or bears that they learned about, who also lived in cold climates.
Thursday: Children are welcome to choose any animal for their pretend play, but some other animals that burrow include prairie dogs, burrowing owls, polar bears, and rabbits. Once they’ve made their “burrow,” ask them if they’re feeling warmer and why (or why not). Their burrow will probably trap body heat, and it may also provide shelter from cold winds or wet snow.
Friday: Encourage your child to use manipulatives to solve this addition problem. Gather a collection of two different kinds of objects, for example several pennies and several paper clips. Count out 5 of one object to stand for the bison, and 5 of the other for the squirrels. 5 plus 5 equals 10 animals all together. Your child can write the equation 5 + 5 = 10.