Winter Unit
Sneak Peek at the Week:
*Create snowflakes
*Go "ice skating"
*Prepare for the big snowball fight
Shared Reading
I Like the Rain by Claude
Belanger

Oh No! by Bronwen Scarffe
Focus Poetry
"Jack Frost"
"The Snowman"
Journal Topics:
*In the winter, I can see....
*Draw a snowman.
*Draw snowflakes.
*Draw icicles.
*What do you like to do in the winter?
*What do you like to eat in the winter?
*Draw an animal hibernating in the winter.
*Draw geese migrating for the winter.
*Draw Jack Frost creating a wintery scene.
Center Ideas:
fine motor center: perforate a snowflake, trace snowman, scribble art snowflake,
scribble art snowman

sewing: sew 2 mitten shapes together

art: paper snowman,  puffy snow painting,  cookie cutter printmaking




writing:
*stamp/illustrate winter words: ice, icicle, snowflake, snowman, sled, mitten, jacket,
scarf, cold
*prompts: "In the winter, I wear..."    "Winter is..."    "Bears are..."  
"Who hibernates?"    "Who migrates?"

construction: build structures using toothpicks and marshmallows (or packing
peanuts or styrofoam balls, etc.)

science: "Magic Static" experiments (using balloons, felt, confetti, and anything
else they can find!)
Literature:
Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin
*After reading this simple pattern book, discuss all the different action words used
in the story.  On the board, brainstorm new action words for each character.

Caps, Hats, Socks, and Mittens by Louise Brown
Here Comes Winter by Janet Craig
A Book of Seasons by Alice & Martin Provensen
*Discuss the characteristics of winter.  Students complete/illustrate the sentence
"Winter is______." .

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
*Kids LOVE Froggy books and this is a great one to act out.  After reading the
story, students work in committees to make the winter clothes for a "life-sized"
Froggy.  Then they label each article of clothing using transitional/conventional
spelling and meet together in the circle.  Discuss/read each label (adding correct
spelling below if necessary).  Then reread the story allowing students to dress
Froggy as the story goes.  All these props can then be placed in the
Storytelling
Center.   

White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
*Give students white paper and a collection of scraps (paper, fabric, yarn, twigs,
feathers, buttons, wrapping paper, etc.)  to create their own versions of a snowman.

Is That You, Winter? by Stephen Gammell
*Students create their own winter scene.  First they use crayons to draw the
picture.  Then they use a toothbrush and white paint to spatter "snow" all over it,
creating an illustration similar to those in the book.  Students write captions for
their winter scenes.

Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
Sleepy Bear by Lydia Dadcovich
Wake Me in Spring by James Preller
Good Night, Bear! Joanne Mattern
The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss
*After reading one, some, or all of these we discuss the concept of hibernation.  
Most children are surprised that lots of other animals (besides bears!) hibernate
during the winter.  To depict how long these animals really hibernate, we build a
"cave," and students' stuffed bears go in until spring!

Animals In Winter Henrietta Bancroft & Richard G. VanGelder
Honk! Honk! by Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom
Goodbye Geese by Nancy White Carlstrom
*These books are about migration, of course.  We always act this out on the
playground, honking and flapping in "V" formation.  Just like geese, we take turns
leading the flock from one side of the playground to the other.  We also "honk" our
encouragement to the leader... using the party horns from our New Year's
celebration.   It creates a very memorable experience!

Amy Loves the Snow by Julia Hoban

My Favorite Time of Year by Susan Pearson
*We discuss all the fun winter activities we can think of (even the ones we can't do
down in coastal Texas!).  Students then complete/illustrate the following poem to
add to a class book:
Listen now, don't you hear?
Winter is our favorite time of year!
(Student's name) loves to (winter activity) you see.
Yes, winter's best. We hope you agree!
We did this same activity in the fall!

Emily and the Snowflake by Jan Wahl
*Students create paper snowflakes by folding paper circles in half, then in thirds,
and then snipping shapes and wavy lines out of them.  This reinforces the
"uniqueness" of each snowflake!

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
*This book has such wonderful descriptive phrases!   If you can get the tape or
video, show it!  The narration is spell-binding (on par with
The Polar Express!). It's
always fun to ask the class whether they think the main character is a boy or a girl,
since the book gives no clues.

Here Comes the Snow by Angela Shelf Medearis
*We like to do "magic snow pictures" after reading books about snow.  Each
student gets a piece of paper (any kind will do- manilla, copy paper, conmputer
paper, etc. ) and folds it in half vertically (like a book). Then he/she "colors"  half
of the sheet with white chalk. (When folded the chalk-side should be on the inside.)
Next he will tuck a half-sheet of blue construction paper in the folded chalk
paper... and use a pencil to draw a winter scene on the outside paper.  When it's
opened the chalk has transferred the design to the blue page!  (It works like NCR
paper or carbon paper and the kids will want to do it again and again!)

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

Snow on Snow on Snow by Cheryl Chapman

Geraldine's Big Snow by Holly Keller

Snow by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Snow Day by Barbara M. Joosse
*We use up all the paper in our recycling can to make "snowballs".  Then we take
our chairs and our snowballs to the gym.  We line them up in two "forts" facing
each other..... and start lobbing snowballs at the other side! We "reload" at least
10 times before cleaning up and heading back to the room to write about the
experience!

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel
*This is a great rebus story!  The kids will want to read it again and again. As a
response to this story, students are given a paper divided into 8 boxes.  These
incomplete words are in the boxes:
_ittens,  _ong  _ohns,  _acket,  _carf,  _oots,  
_weater,  _loves,  _ants.   
Students will complete the initial letter and illustrate in
each box.

Snow Child by Freya Littledale
*We do a patterns and puzzles"book talk" after reading this book.  We list things in
the book which seemed like a story pattern (similar to other stories) and things
which puzzled us.  This is great for developing better comprehension as well as
critical thinking skills.

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

The First Snowfall by Anne and Harlow Rockwell

Winter Rabbit by Patrick Yee

Little Penguin's Tale by Audrey Wood

Antarctica by Helen Cowcher

Let's Go Home Little Bear by Martin Waddell

Do Like Kyla by Angela Johnson

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
*After reading this classic, students create a torn paper winter scene.  Then they
write a caption describing it.

Skating on Thin Ice by Louise Everett
*We give each student 2 wax paper "skates," turn on "The Skater's Waltz," and
have a blast twirling and skating around the rooms.

Mrs. Toggle's Zipper by Robin Pulver

Reasons for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons
*As a culminating activity, students complete a booklet titled "My Winter Word
Book"
.  Each page lists a winter word we've discussed in previous lessons (icicle,  
migrate,  hibernate,  dormant,  snow
).  Students illustrate each page and even write
captions, as appropriate.

The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt
*We read this story using puppets, too!  Students help act out the tale again using
the puppets.  We discuss the sequence of events, especially the order of the
characters.  Then each student is given a mitten-shaped booklet with blank pages.
 Students glue the characters' pictures in order to retell the story.

Snow On the Hill (kid-booklet copied from Warren Publishing House, Inc.)
*
Each child gets a copy of the booklet and we read as a class;  focusing on
directionality, tracking/voice-print match, and punctuation.  What else could snow
be on?  Students complete their own sentence strip flip book.  Each student is
given a page divided into 6 boxes (1st box=Snow, 2nd box=on, 3rd box=the,
4th-6th boxes= ____.).  They cut apart the boxes and glue the words in order from
left to right, using the blank boxes to illustrate what else snow could be on.  If the
blank boxes are stapled together, the sentence strip becomes a flip book.
Math/Graphs:   
*We estimate marshmallows.
*We do a yes/no graph to "Have you ever thrown a snowball?"
*We discuss symmetry and create symmetrical designs on a pair of paper mittens.  
They place the mittens side by side (left mitten on the left, right mitten on the right).  
What ever design they place on the left mitten, they must reproduce on the right.
Science/Social Studies:  
*We create crystal snowflakes (see link below). We discuss how the crystals form.  
These are placed in the Science Center for closer observation.  We also lightly mist
black paper with water, then place it in the freezer.  With magnifying glasses, tiny ice
crystals can be seen.

*We place a colored ice cube in a clear glass full of vegetable oil.  At first the ice will
float, but as it begins to melt, little colored droplets will sink to the bottom.  When the
ice is completely melted, there will be 2 distinct liquid levels... a perfect opportunity to
discuss density.

*We also do an experiment to show the importance of wearing warm clothes during
cold weather.  We fill 2 jars with hot water.  One we "dress" in a sweater/jacket and
hat.  The other "wears" a T-shirt.   We place both jars outside for an hour or two.   
Then we bring them inside, open them up, and test the water temperature.
Links:
*It's Snowing in the South?? (Kinder~garden's Winter Unit)      *Grow a
Snowflake!     
*
The School Bell's January Links       
*
Hummingbird's Winter Unit             
*
The Mitten