Another future use of the research done by some biologists suggests the use of hibernation imposed on astronauts to conserve food and oxygen during space travel. Write a space story about astronauts hibernating.

Effects of Hibernation:

Make bar graphs or other charts showing the body temperature, heart rate changes and sleep/wake patterns found in hibernating animals.

Make a calendar showing the months that certain animals, birds, amphibians and insects hibernate. Show the types of weather in each season and thus show why each animal would be hibernating then. Decorate your calendar with animal pictures and natural scenery.

Biologists have attached radio beepers to collars on bear's necks and followed them, studying their habits during cold weather. What have they learned? How can this knowledge help animal control officers and animal preservationists control the population of bears and help preserve their numbers? What have scientists learned of the birth and early months of bear's lives? Why do you think bears are born twins, and why are they born during the winter?

What the Bible Says:

What verses can you find that refer to sleep and hibernation? Copy five passages about sleeping into your book. Find a verse that says God does not slumber. Find one that says we should sleep and that God gives us rest. How important is good rest to your overall health? Can you find any verses about sleep that are referring to being lazy? Look in Proverbs. Sometimes in the Bible death is referred to as sleep. Why? Read 1 Corinthians 15:51-56. What is the "Great Mystery" spoken of here? The book of I Thessalonians (4:13-15) talks about persons who have died and will be raised again when Christ returns. This "sleeping" until Christ returns refers to physical death.

Books for Further Reading:

- My favorite book about hibernation is Do Not Disturb By Margery Facklam. It was published in 1989 by Little, Brown and Company
- Fun with Nature Take-Along Guide by Northword Press, 1999
- Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock

Search for five other books to read on the subject. List these in your notebook. Write a sentence or two after each title describing the teachings of each book.

Vocabulary Enrichment:

Define these words in your notebook. Learn the definitions and spellings of each word. Add to the list any new words you come across in your reading.
- Aestivate
- Hibernate
- Hibernacle
- Hibernaculum
- Estivate
- Biology
- Dormant
- Hypothalamus
- Diurnal
- Thermostat
- Circadian rhythm
- Amphibian
- Predictive
- Consequential
- Diapause
- Obligatory
- Poikilothermic
- Torpor

Project:

Choose an animal to study fully. Collect pictures from magazines and place them in your notebook. Research fully the habits of the animal. Is it a hibernator? How do we know? What type of hibernation does it use? What are its habits? Add this report to your binder.

Hibernation is an amazing process. Our Creator built into His creatures the abilities and physical characteristics that would help animals and humans live healthy, productive lives on the earth. Many attribute the lifesaving instincts and miraculous attributes of animals to someone they call "Mother Nature". This is a false teaching that has become almost universally accepted in our modern society. The book of Job can help you better understand who God is and how, as the song says, "He's got the whole world in His hands."

[Editor's Note: Did you find this article useful? Would you like to see more unit studies on our site? Send me your feedback! homeschooleditor@crosswalk.com ]

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Elece Hollis is a freelance writer and a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband Ron have seven children and eight grandchildren. Elece lives in eastern Oklahoma, near Okmulgee.

This Unit Study was originally published in the Jan/Feb '05 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com