The Jacket I Wear in the Snow
This mini-unit covers topics in language arts, math, science and art. It can even be completed in one day. The end product can be used as a bulletin board display.
1. Read the book How Tall Are You? by JoAnne Nelson. This book was published by the McClanahan Book Company. I don't know if this book is available any longer but you can read any book with the topic of measurement or growth of a child. Trace the body of a student volunteer on to a large piece of paper. Use a yardstick to measure the length of the tracing. Give pairs of students a measuring tape and let them measure each others height. Assist as needed. Ask children to remember their height in inches as they will have to tell you the number later.
2. Create a predictable chart like below. The title will be "How Tall Are You?" Use this opportunity to review sight words said, I and am. Ask the children to describe what a number 44 looks like before they see you write it. Read the predictable chart together on subsequent days.
Example: Billy said, "I am 44 inches."
Sandy said, "I am 50 inches."
Richard said, "I am 48 inches."
3. Read The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Netzel. During center or playtime ask for student volunteers or call selected students to help you create a snow child like the one in the story. Use the tracing that you previously made during the measurement activity as the basis. There are many ways to create the snow child. Students can cut construction paper to create the hat, scarf, mitten and boots. Glue these on to the tracing. To make the jacket and pants simply paint or color the tracing. Students are in charge of gathering and putting away materials. They cooperate to create the snow child.
4. Next, students create the snow. Students make rainbow snowflakes by folding coffee filters in half (makes a half moon shape) and then in half again (makes a little fan). Students watercolor one side of the fan with PLENTY of water. Open up to make beautiful symmetry snowflakes. Let dry. Students or teacher can cut later. Discuss that snowflakes are frozen water and, like the ones that the children make, no two are alike.
5. Drink hot chocolate for a snack like in the story.
6. Students and teacher write sentence strips to go along with the snow child and text of story. See below for sentence strips. The snow child is put up on a bulletin board along with sentence strips, poem (see below) and rainbow snowflakes. I have the students actually write most of the words on the sentence strips since these are sight words.
This is the green jacket I wear in the snow.
This is the red hat I wear in the snow.
This is the red scarf I wear in the snow.
These are the black boots I wear in the snow.
These are the blue mittens I wear in the snow.
These are the blue pants I wear in the snow.
Poem (Author Unknown)
We were tired of winter days,
Being cold and wet and gray.
So we asked winter's wizard
To make it snow a rainbow blizzard.
7. Easy Extension: In the morning collect a container of snow (if there is any). Observe the container at three intervals. Students can record their observations by writing the time of day and drawing a picture of the container. Discuss the snows transformation to water and why it occurred. Take it a step further and boil the water to observe the "snow" turn into steam and return to the air. Discuss the water cycle.
8. Gross Motor Activity: Have a clothes relay in which students race to dress in their coat, scarf, hat and mittens.