Our Snow Theme Week! An Integrated Week of Learning Fun!
Good Morning! I am so excited to be in Columbus, Ohio today for the SDE Ohio I Teach K Kindergarten Conference! I can’t wait to meet lots of passionate teachers and share ideas and resources for science, writing, small group reading, and comprehension instruction. I’ll be back this weekend with pictures and a conference recap.
Today, I’d love to share what we did in my classroom during our “Snow Theme Week.” Ohio did not let me down last week during our learning activities – we had lots of snow and plenty of COLD weather! Here’s a little peek into our week!
First, we gathered our schema together and brainstormed what we already knew about snow, ice, and of course – SNOW DAYS! It turns out that we have A LOT of things we love to do on our snow days! We also worked on our inference skills using the fabulous Babbling Abby’s Inferencing Investigators unit. I use this unit every year and it is always a hit with my kids. If you haven’t checked this out, it’s a must!
Do you know of this book?! Please tell me you have read this book! The Snow Glob Family is the cutest little story about a little family who lives in a snow globe. We used this book as the kick-off for our snowy week narratives. In the story, the little family wishes for a snow storm. When the snow globe falls off the mantel one day, the little family gets their wish!
After reading the book together, it was time to plan our own Snow Globe narrative stories. We started by drawing what would happen in the beginning, middle, and end of our stories. I think it’s SO important to let kids use their artistic creativity to plan out their stories before expecting them to write. They did a great job drawing detailed, engaging stories about their snow globe families.
Next, they got together with a partner and practiced orally telling their story to a friend. Of course, they had to speak in complete sentences and tell the story as if they were writing the book for their planning page. This strategy eliminates “writer’s block” for many students. The students know exactly where to go when their pencil hits the paper!
We used Krista Wallden’s cute, cute snow globe clip art set to decorate snow globes for the “toppers” of our narrative stories. My firsties were thrilled to add cotton balls for snow to their illustration. Oh to be seven again and be excited about cotton balls, right?! 🙂
The kids did an awesome job on their narrative writing pieces! Many of them have started to add great detail to their stories.
Our snowy fun did not end with our writing activities. Now, it was time to build some snow houses for our Marshmallow Engineering Challenge! This is a great little STEM activity that you can use in your classroom. It is always a hit! The Snow House Challenge is simple: Design a “snow house” out of marshmallows and toothpicks. The catch? The house has to survive a big wind and snow storm the following day – so you’d better make it strong!! We had a lot of discussion about what characteristics would make a strong house versus a weaker house. I was LOVING the “science dialogue” my kids were engaged in!
First, they designed the blueprint for their snow house in their science notebooks.
I just love their little illustrations!
Then, it was BUILDING DAY! You guys….it literally looked like it had snowed in my classroom. If you could have only seen the amount of marshmallows that had rolled onto our classroom floor during our engineering day LOL! It’s okay though, because their beautiful little brains were busy and thinking, right?! 🙂 I was loving it!
They had to make a prediction about whether or not they thought their house would survive the snow and wind storm the following day. We talked about the different reasons for their houses “surviving” the storm.
Finally, it was CHALLENGE TEST day! I brought in my not-so-powerful hair dryer, plugged it in, and started to blast their little snow houses with air. Cue lots of delighted squeals and shrieks. I wish I had a video of our hair dryer moment. Some kids were holding their partners hand in anticipation, waiting to see if their house would not tip over or fall apart. Others had their fingers crossed, and one little guy whispered, “Oh please, God, just let my snow house not cave in.” LOL #meltmyheart
That afternoon is now on my list of:
Top 10 Cutest Classroom Moments Ever!
GREAT news! All of the snow houses survived the storm.
Yay!!! It was a great day in first grade!
Do you want to try this activity out in your own classroom? You can grab the above pack for FREE in my TpT store by clicking on the cover page above or clicking HERE.
We used my See Think Wonder Write pack to brainstorm and learn even more “snowy” facts! In the picture below, I pulled up the photograph of icicles for that day’s See, Think, Wonder, Write activity. Many of the students thought the picture was one of frozen dinosaur bones haha. We completed the week with additional “snowy” photographs from the pack, including a glacier, a close up of a snowflake, and an iceberg. I love the integration of science and writing! You can check out this complete pack in my TpT store by clicking on the photo above or clicking HERE.
Here is a list of additional snow-themed books we read and enjoyed throughout our week: