The idea of giving you tips on having a snow-themed day is slightly funny because I live in Southern California. In the winter time, we don't get snow. Our students don't get to play in the snow unless they travel to the nearest mountain range about an hour away! (Which really isn't that far.) In other words, I might not seem qualified to write about snow.
However, the kids still love all things snow + we wanted to have some snow fun! So one of the second-grade teachers, that I help support, and I created a modified snow day for the kids! We wanted to have fun but we still wanted it to be educational. So we made sure to tie everything we did back to ELA and writing!
Planning for a Snow-themed Day
The best thing about our Snow Day is that there wasn't a lot of prep work. (Teacher-Win) To get ready for the day, we collected all the books on snow and snowmen that we could find. We also decided we'd have the kids wear scarves and beanies while in the classroom to help get them into the spirit of things. To add to the charm of the day, we brought cocoa to serve to the students.
Time to Read
The day of our Snow Day, we started the morning with a read aloud about snow. (shown below) It worked! The kids (all dressed up) were ready to read more books! We let the children pair up with a friend to read more books about snow and snowmen!
Snow This book does such an amazing job of describing what snow is like. It gives the snow a personification of a friend! Plus the paintings/images of all the snowflakes makes for a beautiful book!
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder This is my other favorite snow-themed books! It does an amazing job of explaining how snowflakes start! It explains it in very simple language and with great visuals. By the end, the students can explain how snow is formed!
And it couldn't be a snow day without reading about SNOWMEN! To our students, building a snowman seems like the most fun thing to do on a snow day! The snowmen books were definitely the most popular!
Snowmen All Year In this story, a little boy imagines what it would be like if he had a snowman all year long! He images flying a kite with him or playing pirates! Have you read this book? The students really enjoyed it because they got a kick out of the thought of having a snowman all year.
We had only planned for the students to read for about 30 minutes but they were so excited to read, we let them read longer. Some students took out their reader's notebook (without prompting …teacher win, for sure) and started jotting down notes about what they read. While they read, we walked around and gave students some warm cocoa.
There are many ways to go about having your students share their learning or what they've read about. For this day we choose a grand conversation to discuss what we learned about snow. First, the students sit around in a circle so that they can see each other and easily listen to each other's ideas. Second, students can build on what others are sharing. In this situation, there wasn't much to disagree on because they all agreed that living in the snow would be fun. Finally, they need to give evidence to support their thoughts. In this case, having a snowball fight was probably on the top the list.
Time to Write
Whenever we have a grand discussion. I have the students take their thoughts to writing. I encourage them to use ideas they shared AND ideas they heard to write in the reader's notebook. Sometimes it is short and quick like a quick write and other times, I ask for more. On our Snow Day, I used the momentum the students had to get them to write.
Here are the prompts we used:
- What would you do if you had a snowman?
- Imagine you are a snowman. What would you do?
- How would you spend a day in the snow?
- What about snow is most fascinating?
Finally, it wouldn't be a Snow Day without a craftivity! After the kids were finished writing, we had them color and cut out the parts of their snowman and glue it to their writing papers.
It was a successful day. The kids had a great time, but, most importantly, we found a way to make learning fun and engaging.
Easy to plan…check
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