Staying warm: memory game | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Staying warm: memory game

Test your students' memory and knowledge on how to keep warm.

Activity Image
20 mins


Play a fun memory card game to learn how animals, people and buildings keep warm in winter.


What you'll need

  • "Staying warm" memory game cards 
    • Print and cut out 1 set per group of 3-4 students
    • Optional: print on card stock or laminate to make cards more durable

  1. Ask students what keeps us warm when we go outside, such as coats, hats, gloves and boots. Explain that this is called insulation.
  2. Discuss with the class how animals might keep warm.
    • For example, ducks have feathers, and bears have fur and sometimes sleep in caves.
  3. Divide the students into groups with about three to four students. Give each group a set of "Staying warm" memory game cards.
  4. Ask the students to match the cards that show insulation with their less-insulated pair, like the sheep with wool matched with the sheared sheep, or the curtains open with the curtains closed.
  5. The students will now play a memory pairs game. Ask each group to shuffle the cards then place each card face down on the desk. Nobody should know what any of the cards are.
  6. The first player turns over a card, and then turns over another card, leaving them in their places. If there is a match like the bunny with long fur and the bunny with  shorter fur, then the student picks up the pair. If the cards do not match, the student turns them over in the same place. 
  7. Next the student on their left takes a turn. They may find a pair by luck or by remembering a card that has been turned over and not matched previously.  
  8. Continue playing the game until all cards have been match.
  9. Use the Teaching notes section to explain how each photo illustrates insulation. Ask students to share how insulation is used to reduce energy consumption in our home, using examples like insulation in walls, closing the blinds or curtains, and putting on a sweater at night. 
  10. Finish by discussing how it's important for us to do our part to save energy when we can.

Curriculum Fit

Grade 3 Applied Design, Skills and Technologies

Big idea

  • Skills can be developed through play.

Curricular competencies

Applied skills
  • Develop their skills and add new ones through play and collaborative work

Grade 3 Science

Big idea

  • Thermal energy can be produced and transferred


  • Sources of thermal energy

Curricular competencies

Planning and conducting 
  • Make observations about living and non-living things in the local environment
Processing and analyzing data and information
  • Sort and classify data and information using drawings or provided tables
  • Identify some simple environmental implications of their and others’ actions

Teaching Notes

Notes for "Staying warm" game

Pictures on the left of the template show examples of insulation and pictures on the right are examples of less insulation.

  • Sheep: Wool keeps sheep warm in the winter and acts as insulation. The wool can be shaved off in the summer. What do we use the wool that is shaved off for?
  • Curtains: Curtains are insulation for windows. If you go near a window with the curtains open, in the winter, does it feel colder? Warm air escapes through the glass, so closing the curtains helps keep your home warmer in the winter.
  • People: Each layer of clothing helps a person stay warmer. How many sweaters or coats we need depends on the weather. More layers mean we have more insulation against the cold.
  • Arctic fox: Arctic foxes also grow warmer fur in the winter, which is their insulation. In the winter, their fur is white, and in the summer, the fur can look more grey or brown. This helps them blend in with the colours around them.
  • Bed: Blankets are insulation for us when we are sleeping. More blankets mean more insulation, so we stay warmer. 
  • Houses: A treehouse doesn’t have insulation in the walls, so it would not be very warm in the winter. Our homes have insulation in the walls, so we can keep the cold out and the heat in.  

Insulation to keep warm 

Insulation is defined as a material that limits the travel of heat, sound or electricity from one place to another. 


  • Assess students’ understanding how insulation can keep our bodies and homes warm.
  • Assess students’ participation in the game.
  • Assess students’ ability to demonstrate respectable behaviour during the game. 

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