Get your motors running: we are headed back to the classroom. It always seems that January is a fun-filled month with The Jens. Yay!! All of the holiday craziness is over! The kiddos have had an opportunity to release some energy during winter break and return to school a little refreshed and ready to learn.
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner is one of our favorite winter stories. It is a fun, creative story that makes you wonder why snowmen don’t always look the same the next day. What do they do at night??? In this post we'll share some fun activities we use with this story.
After reading Snowmen at Night, we have our students pretend that they are snowmen. We walk around and form them into the perfect snowmen. Once we have placed their arms just right, we tell them good night and then turn around, going to sleep. While we're not looking, they do what they think snowmen do at night. We give them a few seconds and then "wake up," saying, "Wow! My snowmen don’t look the same. What did they do last night while I was sleeping?"
Using the letters in the word CELEBRATION, students work to make at least 12 words on our "CELEBRATION" worksheet. They then write a sentence using one of the words they made.
We pull vocabulary from the story and discuss one word each day of the unit. Students are asked to make predictions before we visit the dictionary for a definition. Toward the end of the lesson, students have to write one sentence for each vocabulary word and draw a picture.
We use a circle map to record what the children think snowmen do at night. Students then create their own snowman scene and write: "At night, my snowman . . . "
Our students love to read what their classmates have written. We put together student writing and illustrations to create the class book titled At Night, My Snowman . . .
Students get to plan a party, deciding who, what, when, where, and why. The kids have fun thinking of all the food snowmen might eat. Some of our favorite snowmen snacks are marshmallows and hot chocolate. ;-) Once they have successfully planned a snowman party, using the party planner worksheet, they create their own party invitation.
We spend the entire week writing about how snowmen celebrate. I have my students use a tree map to plan their writing. They focus on writing what happens first, next, and last.
Throughout the week, I like to surprise the kids with different snowman snacks. A few of the yummy snacks we share are marshmallows, hot chocolate, snow cones, and graham crackers.
How do you celebrate winter in your classroom? Comment below!