Friday, January 17, 2014

The Biggest Best Snowman!

This week we did a mini-unit on Snowmen. I don't know who had more fun, me or the kiddos!! We started the week off by brainstorming materials needed to build a snowman. Here is the list that my kinders came up with:

The next day I read the book The Biggest Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler. I really do love this book...for several reasons. But if you haven't read it, be sure to pick it up and check it out.

 After reading the book, I asked students to tell me what steps we would take to build a snowman. As I called on the students, I wrote down each step in turn. They were pretty detailed in their directions.

 After building the list, I noticed that they had used the same words throughout their directions, so we went through and circled the reoccurring words that were new to us. These words then became our new sight words for the week and the directions became our new poem for the week. The best part about it, the kiddos WROTE this POEM!!! They were so proud to take ownership. They wanted to change the title though. Instead of "How to Build a Snowman"...they changed it to "I Made a Snowman".

On Wednesday, we did a following directions activity. I gave each student a white piece of paper and students drew a snowman based on the directions I gave. Step by step, just like the students had told me the day before, I gave them directions. I also talked about using all of the space that they are given, meaning, don't make a teensy tiny snowman when they have a whole sheet of paper. This is how some of their snowmen turned out:

Thursday, I had students work together with a partner to make a snowman on a large piece of poster board. Again, I stressed the importance of an artist using the whole canvas to make their masterpiece, not just a tiny corner. When assigning partners, I pulled names out of our pick-sticks and the two names that I pulled out at the same time were partners. This was probably my favorite activity of the whole week. I watched them work so well together to design very unique snowmen/snowwomen!

When they were finished, I had the pairs stand up and talk about the snowman/woman that they drew. The one on the left has Santa in his sleigh being pulled by two reindeer. Very creative and they must be missing Christmas ;)

 Then today, Friday, students worked by themselves to build their own snowman with construction paper. The only materials they could use were scissors, glue and construction paper.

 Then lastly, I typed up the poem that the students wrote, and we illustrated them to help us remember the words. We also highlighted the new sight words that were learned this week. Then students glued the poems in their PIG (Poetry Is Great) folders and took home to read to their family.

And to top it all off, we ended our week with snowfall and more in the forcast for tomorrow! So, hopefully students will be able to go out and build their own REAL snowman with the freshly fallen snow this long three day weekend!

 Carie is a kindergarten teacher from Illinois who writes on the 17th of each month. She shares her experiences and ideas from her classroom, reading, writing, math, Art, and several other fun and exciting things!
Carie also writes her own blog: 


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