Students draw snowmen, explore adjectives associated with winter, and more.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
About this book
Woof! Woof! The focus of this lesson is to encourage children to learn about and understand seasonal concepts through reading, expressive language, and art.
Clifford's Big Idea: Believe in Yourself
Children build confidence in themselves when they begin to feel secure in their decisions. By giving them opportunities to make choices and express themselves in the learning environment, you allow them to grow in self-esteem and knowledge.
The following activities nurture essential:
- language and literacy skills
- auditory comprehension skills
- fine motor skills
- creative expression skills
- Clifford's First Snow Day by Norman Bridwell
- Assorted Clifford books
- Crayons or colored pencils
- Reproducible snowman coloring pages, one per student
- Square sheets of plain white paper, at least one sheet per student
Set Up and Prepare
- Before teaching Day 1: Snow! Snowman!, make photocopies of a snowman coloring page, either printed from the web or hand-drawn. You should make enough photocopies for the entire class.
- You may want to color one of the snowmen yourself as an example.
Day 1: Snow! Snowman!
Step 1: Ask children if they have ever played in snow or remember the first time they ever built a snowman. Have children express their ideas on how to build the best snowman. Ask students to describe the kind of clothing that is best for snowy winter days.
Step 2: Read Clifford's First Snow Day by Norman Bridwell aloud to the class. In this story, Clifford goes outside in the snow for the first time. He sleds, skates, and helps build a snowman.
Step 3: After reading, hand each child a snowman outline and crayons or colored pencils. Explain that they are to listen and carefully follow directions to color the snowman's clothing pieces with the correct colors.
Step 4: Dictate instructions for coloring the snowmen to your students. Sample Instructions: Color the snowman's cap green, color the snowman's nose orange, etc.
Step 5: When finished, have children compare pictures. Were they able to follow the directions?
Optional: To extend language practice, brainstorm sentences about the snowman's clothing and activities. For example: The snowman's nose is an orange carrot!
Day 2: Indoor Snowflakes!
Step 1: Introduce the concept of adjectives or describing words. Model the use of adjectives in English.
Step 2: Hold up several Clifford books for children to see. Share that Clifford is a "big" and "red" dog.
Step 3: Encourage children to express their use of adjectives. Ask them to describe things in the classroom, their clothing, what Clifford looks like, etc.
Step 4: Transition to the art area or desks by directing children to "drift" like snowflakes.
Teaching Tip: Give children sufficient time to make mental and physical transitions from one activity to another. Routine is a key factor in helping children know when and how to move about in the classroom with ease, confidence, and obedience. The use of instrumental music can be a useful prompt for children to know when to move and when to stop moving and focus on instruction.
Step 5: Demonstrate how to create a traditional paper snowflake by folding a piece of paper into eighths and cutting shapes into the folded paper.
Step 6: Have students start folding and cutting out their own paper snowflakes. Move around the room helping children write words associated with wintertime on both sides of snowflakes. Use this list of adjectives as inspiration:
Step 7: Hang the finished snowflakes around classroom.
Optional: Create additional snowflakes as children discover more wintertime adjectives.
Knowing how to dress on a summer or winter day is an important life skill!
- Present children with a large box filled with summer and winter clothing pieces and accessories. Divide the children into "summer" and "winter" groups. Set a timer for several minutes and let the groups compete to dress a group member in appropriate seasonal clothing. Switch groups and go at it again!
- Have fun adjective hunts by using Clifford books.
- Hand out Clifford-themed coloring pages, like the Clifford the Big Red Dog: Snow Poster and the Clifford the Big Red Dog: Ski Poster.
These books support Clifford's Big Ideas and reinforce valuable early literacy skills:
- Arctic Alphabet: Exploring the North from A to Z by Wayne Lynch
- Snow Bear by Jean Craighead George
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Mitten by Jan Brett
Also check out the Clifford the Big Red Dog Book List.