Whether the world is a little more wintry by your house or not, this week’s unit will give you and your child the opportunity to explore a variety of snow activities first-hand. If you are fortunate enough to have some real flakes around, be sure to spend as much time outside as you can this week, playing with and experiencing the magic of snow in person. Click here for a downloadable tracking document for your records.
Note: Occasionally we include project upgrades (for kids ready for more). We’ll mark those with the plus (+) symbol.
What you need:
Books (find at your local library or order below on Amazon):
- The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonders by Mark Cassino and Jon Nelson, Ph.D (or listen to this read aloud)
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Keats (or read it here on OpenLibrary)
- Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (or listen to this read aloud)
Optional extra reading:
- A Fraction’s Goal ― Parts of a Whole by Brian P. Cleary (or read it here on GetEpic.com)
Supplies (use what you have, but here are links to shop if you need anything):
- 5-6 glass jars
- pipe cleaners
- paper + access to a printer (don’t have one? we like this model)
- white cardstock
- glue stick
- muffin tin (optional for sorting)
- wax paper
- dimensional fabric paint
- baby oil
- white paint
- Alka-Seltzer tablets
- glitter and snowflake glitter (optional)
- blue food coloring (optional)
- scrap cardboard
- sewing needle and thread (optional for upgrade)
- plastic sandwich bag (the kind that seals)
- baking soda
- black and orange permanent markers
- laminator + laminator sheets (optional, but recommended for repeating lessons)
- dry erase markers (optional, if laminating)
- cookie sheet (with raised sides)
- liquid glue
- colorful piece of cardstock
- white sprinkles (or you can use glitter if you have extra)
- a medium to large cardboard box
- scrap cardboard
- toilet paper rolls
- construction paper, cotton balls, rocks, leaves, tissue paper, and/or felt for diorama
- woodland figurines (or you can use this smaller set or print and color these animal pictures to use)
- scissors or Xacto knife
- small plastic toy (that can fit in a jar for snow globe)
- hot glue gun + glue
- watercolor paper
- watercolor paint
- three mugs
- three packets instant hot chocolate
- measuring cup
What to do:
We recommend doing the below lessons in this order to build on each skill your child will develop, but don’t feel that you *need* to do them in this order. Do what works for you and your child. If they love an activity, feel free to repeat! Not a winner? Skip and try the next thing. Have fun!
New to our phonics guide? Start here. The Phonics Guide this week will highlight the OW phonogram—perfect for the Snow Unit! You will also find this phonogram in words like owl, plow, and how.
Read The Story of Snow. There is a LOT of information and amazing science in this book, so modify how you read to match your child’s interest level and attention span. If you simply read the large text and talk about the photos, that’s fine, too!
Activity 1: Our book taught us how snow forms around a speck of dust or other debris. Let’s recreate these growing crystals with this experiment. Note: You will set this activity up today, but it takes a day or two to see full results.
Activity 2: Snowflakes are a beautiful example of geometry in nature! Let’s learn more about this with this snowflake geometry activity.
Activity 3: Snowflakes are also made up of lots of angles due to the rigid form of crystals. Let’s learn about the three types of angles as we make some window clings that can decorate your school space or home. Print our snowflake angle printable, and then place a piece of wax paper over the printable and trace the snowflake shapes with your dimensional fabric paint. As your child traces the shapes, make it a game and try to find the different types of angles. Let dry overnight, and then peel off the paper and stick them onto a window for an instant flurry.
If you were with us for our Weather + Clouds Unit, you’ll remember learning a bit about temperature and moisture in the weather. Today, let’s look a bit more at our favorite winter weather, snow! Start by reading A Snowy Day.
Activity 1: When you get a lot of snow like Peter did, it’s called a snowstorm! Let’s make our own in a jar with this activity.
Activity 2: Felt mitten sewing activity.
(+) If your child is ready, let them use a real sewing needle and thread to make their mitten.
Activity 3: In the book, Peter makes a snowman. Let’s take a scientific twist on this with this exploding snowman experiment.
Activity 4: Snowman fractions. If you have the book A Fraction’s Goal—Parts of a Whole, we suggest reading it first to refresh your child’s understanding of fractions before tackling this activity.
Snow and ice star in some of our favorite science experiments for young learners. Let’s learn more about matter and density with some snow experiments today.
Activity 1: Melting matter experiment. If you don’t have snow, you can use crushed ice or simply do the experiment with ice and water.
Activity 2: Hockey ice experiment. (As the blogger suggests, use whatever you have on hand for this sliding experiment!)
Activity 3: Snow name writing activity. We recommend using glitter or the white sprinkles linked above to decorate your child’s name.
(+) Upgrade this activity by having your child write a few more snow sight words, like “snow,” “mitten,” “blizzard,” and “winter.”
Winter and snow play an important role in the lives of many animals! Today, let’s take a look at how it moves some animals to hibernate and others to thrive in Under and Over the Snow.
Activity 1: Let’s learn more about hibernation (and how it’s different from sleeping) with this video. Let’s bring this to life by testing how activity affects our heart rate! Take your child’s heart rate by having them count (or counting for them) their pulse for 15 seconds. Multiply this by four to find out heart beats per minute. Then, have your child do jumping jacks for 1 minute and take their heart rate again. How has it changed? Ask them what they think would happen if they rested for one minute and then took their heart rate again, then do this to test their hypothesis.
Activity 2: Next, let’s do this over and under the snow activity to sort a few winter animals.
Activity 3: Create a comic activity. Download and print this comic strip starter about the dreams of a sleeping hedgehog. Then, let your child draw what happens next! If they want to add words, use it as an opportunity to practice some copywork or scribe for them.
Activity 4: Let’s bring our wintry scene to life with this hibernation diorama project.
Ready for some Art + Music? Let’s learn more about some legendary artists with a snowy twist.
Activity 1: There are so many songs about snow and winter. Let’s listen one: “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” sung by Billie Holiday. But who was Billie Holiday? Also called Lady Day, she is considered one of the first ladies of jazz music. Watch this brief video to learn more about her and how she changed the music world.
Activity 2: Let’s make a snow craft to help us remember snow long after it melts—a DIY snow globe! Use one of your animal figurines or another small toy and follow this tutorial.
Activity 3: One of our favorite ways to warm up after a snowy day? A warm bowl of soup! But did you know that soup can be art, too? Andy Warhol thought so! He was an artist who became famous in the 1960s for a style called Pop Art. If you purchased A Child’s Introduction to Art, turn to pages 90-91 to learn more about him. You can also watch this video for more facts and images of some of his most famous work.
So what is Pop Art? Pop is short for “popular” because this innovative style believed anything in popular culture could become art. This challenged the art world at the time because it pushed the boundaries of what was truly “art” and what could be considered beautiful. Andy Warhol believed everything was beautiful, and he thought it was self-centered for artists to insert their own emotions into their work. Instead, he strove to let his subject speak for itself. One of his most famous examples is his silkscreen print of a Campbell’s soup can, called “Tomato Soup, Campbell’s Soup I.” At first, Warhol wanted to create the can exactly as it was, without inserting himself into it. Then, he would present it as something new by printing it in vivid colors, a signature of Pop Art, like you see here. Show your child both images and ask them to compare and contrast the two cans.
Next, let’s create our own pop art—while also learning about a new shape, the cylinder—with this craft.
(-) You can also print this coloring page for younger children to color in.
Activity 4: To end our week, let’s warm up with this hot chocolate STEM activity.
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