Winter vs. Summer
Students compare the two seasons through hands-on activities — creating collages, sorting seasonal clothes, and completing a brief writing assignment.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Unit Plan:
Students learn about winter and summer through hands-on activities that connect science, math, and language arts.
- Identify pictures of winter and summer.
- Compare and contrast winter and summer.
- Sort and classify winter and summer clothing.
- Participate in independent writing.
- Magazines (Add to your parent wish list. Specify that you want magazines about food, clothing, animals, and plants.)
- Paper plates
- A T-chart with the words "Winter" and "Summer" written at the top
- Winter and summer clothing, such as mittens, ski coats, bathing suits, shorts, etc.
- 11 pieces of 18- by 11-inch construction paper, any color
- Writing paper
- Picture of each student's face
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (or any story that features several pictures of winter)
- Summer by Maria Rius (or any story that features several pictures of summer)
Set Up and Prepare
- Set aside five pieces of the construction paper, then cut out one letter of the word "winter" from each piece. For example, trace a large "w" on one of the pieces of paper and cut it out. Next, cut out an "i" from another piece of paper, etc.
- Repeat the above step for "summer," using the remaining six pieces of construction paper.
Step 1: Read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
Step 2: Ask the students which images in the book let them know it was winter. List their responses on the T-chart.
Step 3: Have the students go to their seats and cut out pictures from the magazines that correlate with winter. Have the students place their winter pictures on a paper plate set in the middle of the table. They will need enough to fill five pieces of construction paper.
Step 4: When students have gathered a substantial pile of winter pictures, distribute the construction paper with the "winter" letters cut from them, and invite students to glue pictures in collage form to the paper.
Step 5: Display the collage on a bulletin board.
Step 1: Read Summer by Maria Rius.
Step 2: Using the Winter/Summer T-chart, list the students' responses to the book that depicted the summer season.
Step 3: Have the students go to their seats and cut out pictures from the magazines that correlate with summer. Then repeat the rest of the steps from Day 1, this time with summer.
Step 1: Put all the winter and summer clothes in a big pile in the middle of the carpet. Have the students sit in a circle around the big pile of clothes.
Step 2: Ask the students what type of clothing they see in the pile.
Step 3: Tell the students that they are going to sort the clothing into two groups, winter and summer.
Step 4: Have the students sort the clothing.
Step 5: Have each student select an article of clothing.
Step 6: Split the class in half and have the students who selected a winter clothing item sit at the tables. The other students may go to a center. Hand each student a sheet of writing paper. The students should write these words: "In the winter, I wear ____________." Have them sound out and write the name of the article of clothing that they selected in the space provided.
Step 7: Switch the groups. Have the students who selected a summer clothing item sit at the tables. Hand each student a sheet of writing paper and have students write: "In the summer, I wear ____________." Have them sound out and write the name of the article of clothing that they selected in the space provided.
Step 8: Have all the students come back to their seats. Give each student a picture of his or her face and glue it to the top of the writing paper. Have the students draw self-portraits of themselves wearing the article of clothing that they chose.
Step 9: Display the Winter/Summer T-chart, which students can reference to add details to their pictures, such as a snowfall for winter or a bright sun for summer.
- Could the students differentiate between winter and summer?
- Could the students follow one- and two-step directions?
- Could the students stay on task?
- Did students cut out the correct pictures depicting winter and summer?
- Could students sort and classify winter and summer clothing?