Here Comes Winter!
Students learn to track temperatures, research winter animals, and create a winter word wall that they can use as a reference tool.
- Grades: PreK–K
As winter is approaching, your students will notice the change in temperature as they don (and lose) their mittens, hats and scarves. Use this opportunity to engage them in lessons across the curriculum.
In this unit I focus on teaching my students to become independent writers and researchers. I teach them reading strategies to help them collect information from non-fiction texts and encourage them to take risks with invented spelling. I teach how to use resources, such as word walls and books, to help them in their writing. In math and science, we read thermometers and track temperatures throughout the year.
- Describe aspects of winter
- Read a thermometer and describe what it does
- Write a report
- Research a chosen topic
- Become familiar with winter behaviors in animals
Lesson Plans for this Unit
Have your students make a “Winter Zoo”. They can make their animals out of clay or play dough, paint the sculptures and create a habitat for them. Post the reports they wrote and hang the Winter Behavior chart nearby. Then invite other classes or parents to the Winter Zoo to tour the animals and ask the “zoologists” about their animals’ winter behavior.
Play Dough Recipe for the Culminating Activity:
(I usually triple or quadruple this recipe and cook it in a large deep frying pan.)
Combine in saucepan: 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 1 tsp. cream of tartar.
Add and whisk until smooth: 1 cup water, 1 tbsp oil, food coloring. (Cake decorators paste or liquid makes great colors!)
Cook over medium heat until play dough is nearly set. Add: 1 tbsp. imitation vanilla extract. Stir until vanilla is blended, then remove and knead when cool. Store in Ziploc bag or air tight container.
Note: This is the best play dough recipe I have ever found. The vanilla extract seems improve the texture and adds a nice scent as well.