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Winter Literature Focus Unit

April Larson
Fall 2007
Literature Selections
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Snow Day by Moira Fain
Stella Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay
50 Below Zero by Robert Munsch
Thomas Snowsuit by Robert Munsch
The Shortest Day-Celebrating the Winter Solstice
by Wendy Pfeffer
When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan
Weather Words by Gail Gibbons
Related Literature
The Biggest Best, Snowman by Margery Cuyler
The Lonely Snowman by Angela Holroyd
The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel
Elmer in the Snow by David McKee
Sadie and the Snowman by Allen Morgan
The Big Snow by Bertha and Elmer Hader
Pink Snow and Other Weird Weather by Jennifer Dussling
Rhinos Who Snowboard by Julie Mammano
Author Study
Students will be doing an author study on
Robert Munsch, who wrote Thomas Snowsuit
and 50 Below Zero. Students will look at the
other books Munsch has written about winter.
Unit Plan-Language Arts Web
WINTER
READING
TALKING
VISUALLY
REPRESENTING
VIEWING
WRITING
LISTENING
Students will create
a word wall with
snow/winter terms.
Students will make
snowflakes out of white
construction paper,
decorate them with glitter
and hang them from string
across the ceiling of the
classroom.
Students will color a
scene with crayons,
press hard, paint with
white paint, and
sprinkle with clear
glitter.
Read Snowmen at
Night and have
students make
predictions about what
snowmen really do at
night.
Students will write a
story about a
blizzard.
Students will write poems about
winter, playing out in the snow, and
their favorite thing to do in the snow.
Students will be taught about
limerick poems and write a limerick.
Students will write an If
I Were a Snowflake
poem. Their snowflake
poem will be hung with
the snowflakes they
made.

Students listen as
teacher discusses
winter, snow, and
how/why it happens.
Students listen to The
Missing Mitten on audio
tape at the reading center.
Teacher will introduce
snow/winter theme, students
will join in and have a grand
conversation on what they
like/dislike about winter,
what their favorite part is
about winter, etc.
After reading the book Snow
Day, students will be put into
groups to discuss what they
would do if they had a snow
day and school was cancelled.
Students will
participate in
readers theatre by
doing The
Snowflake Dance.
Students will use the
authors chair and read
their blizzard story or
snow/winter poems.
Students will read other various
books about winter, snowmen,
sledding, etc. They will be
guided to read Robert
Munschs books first.
Students will be directed to
websites about author Robert
Munsch and read facts about
him and his books.
Students will find a book or
poem relating to the theme of the
unit, read it, and write a response.
Students will watch
the video Rain and
Snow and discuss.
Students go on a walk
outside and take picture
of the snow, pictures of
them playing in the snow-
making snow angels, etc.
Students will view
paintings by famous
artists of winter scenes.
Students will participate in peer
conferencing workshops.
Students will watch
the video Snow.
Read Snowflake
Bentley aloud and then
watch the movie of the
book.
Peer conferencing for
poem and story.
Peer conferencing for
poem and story.
Students will create a
KWL chart they will
add to and adjust for
the length of the unit.
Unit Plan-Cross Curricular Ideas
WINTER
Students will take a
survey on who
likes/dislikes winter
and graph the results.
Students will insulate
snowballs using cloth,
packaging peanuts, and
other materials to see
which keeps the
snowball the longest. .
Students will take
snowballs and do
experiments to see
which is the fastest
way to get it to melt.
Students will be
visited by a local
weatherman.
Students will make
maps of the U.S. and
color the areas that
have the highest
amounts of snowfall.
S
o
c
i
a
l

S
t
u
d
i
e
s

Students will play
Jack Frost tag.
Students will sing the
song Snowflakes
Falling Down (to the
tune of Row, Row,
Row Your Boat.
Students will learn
concept of estimation by
estimating how many
cotton balls it will take to
make a snowman on the
bulletin board.
Students will listen to
Winter Wonderland
and choreograph
movements.
Students will play
Toss the Snowball-
tossing a white
balloon around a
circle, the goal being
not to let the balloon
touch the floor.
Language Arts Strategies
Tapping Prior Knowledge: students think about what they already know about winter as
they listen, read, view, or write.
Predicting: students make predictions about what will happen as they read.
Organizing Ideas: students organize ideas and sequence story events when they read,
write, view, or listen to stories read aloud.
Figuring Out Unknown Words: students figure out unknown words as they read, listen,
and view.
Visualizing: students draw pictures in their minds of what they are listening to, reading, or
writing.
Making Connections: students relate what they are listening to, reading, or viewing to
their own lives and to books they have read.
Revising Meaning: students continuously revise meaning as they proceed with a language
arts activity.
Monitoring: students ask themselves questions to monitor their understanding as they
participate in language arts activities.
Playing with Language: students notice figurative and novel uses of language as they
listen, read, and view.
Evaluating: students make judgments aloud, reflect on, and value the language arts
activities in which they participate
Language Arts Skills
Print
Sound out words using phonics
Use classroom resources
Consult a dictionary or glossary
Apply spelling rules
Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives

Comprehension
Categorize
Classify
Note details
Compare and contrast
Use context clues
Notice organizational patterns of poetry, plays, and stories
Recognize literary genres

Language
Notice compound words
Use contractions
Use possessives
Appreciate rhyme and other poetic devices
Use punctuation marks
Use simple, compound, and complex sentences
Combine sentences





Reference
Use a glossary or dictionary
Read and make graphs, tables, and diagrams

Study
Follow directions





Technology
Video
Primary Science Series Snow
Weather Fundamentals Rain and Snow
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Audiotapes
The Missing Mitten by Steven Kellogg
Tackylocks and the Three Bears by Helen Lester
Three Cheers for Tackylocks by Helen Lester
Winter Fun by Rita Schlacher
Internet
The Winter Solstice Trivia- http://fun.familyeducation.com/holidays-and-
celebrations/childrens-science-activities/32939.html
All About Snow- http://www.surfnetkids.com/snow.htm
The Official Robert Munsch Website- http://robertmunsch.com/
Snowflake Dance- http://www.ipgbook.com/books/WIIS.HTM
-Snow Songs and Poems- http://www.theteachersroom.com/snowmen.htm
Cameras
Digital camera for taking the walk outside and also can be
used to document activities throughout the week
Grouping Patterns
Whole Group
Discussion of winter
Read aloud of Snowmen at Night
Readers theatre of The Snowflake Dance
Grand conversation about people who like
winter and people who dont
Word wall
Walk outside and snow pictures
Viewing paintings
Watching videos
Jack Frost Tag
Singing the Snowflakes Falling Down song
Survey-who likes/dislikes winter
Estimation activity
Weatherman visit
Authors chair
Winter Wonderland choreography
Toss the Snowball





Small Group
Snowball melting
Snowball insulating
Peer writing workshops
Snow Day activity



Independent
Audiotape
Snowflake making
Mapmaking
Poem writing
Story writing
Reading other related literature
Robert Munsch author study
Website findings
Writing a response to poem or
story
Painting a winter scene


Schedule
MONDAY
L.A.-Introduction of unit.
Discussion of snow/winter
why it happens.
L.A.-Grand conversation
about winter/snow. Students
will brainstorm ideas as a
class for their stories about a
blizzard and begin writing.
L.A.-Students will create a
KWL chart which will
continue throughout the unit
at the beginning of each day.
MATH-Students will do a
survey of who likes/dislikes
winter and graph the results.
TUESDAY
S.S.-Students will be visited
by a local weatherman.
S.S.- Students will make
maps of the U.S. and color
the areas that have the
highest amounts of snowfall.
MATH-Students will learn
concept of estimation by
estimating how many cotton
balls it will take to make
snowman.
WEDNESDAY
L.A.-Students will find a
book or poem relating to
snow/winter and write a
response.
L.A.-Students will
participate in peer-
conferencing workshops.
L.A. -Students will watch
the video Rain and Snow
and discuss.
THURSDAY
L.A.- Students will participate in
The Snowflake Dance.
L.A.-Read the book Snow Day
and students will go into groups
to discuss.
L.A.- Students will be directed
to websites about Robert
Munsch.

FRIDAY
MUSIC-Students will sing
the song Snowflakes
Falling Down.
L.A.-Students will listen to
The Missing Mitten on
audio tape at the reading
center.
L.A.- Students will read
out various books about
snow, winter, snowmen,
sledding, etc.
L.A.-Students will
watch the video
Snow.
L.A.-Students will
create a word-wall.
L.A.-Students will
make snowflakes to
decorate the classroom.
MUSIC-Students will
listen to Winter
Wonderland and
choreograph
movements.
L.A.-Read Snowmen
at Night.
L.A.-Limerick poems
will be introduced and
students will begin
rough drafts.
L.A.-If I Were a
Snowflake poem will
also be introduced and
students will begin
rough draft.
L.A.-Students will go on
the walk outside, take
pictures, etc.
P.E.-Students will play
Jack Frost Tag.
SCIENCE-Students will
insulate snowballs and see
which materials keeps the
snowball the longest.
L.A.- Students will view
paintings of famous artists of
winter scenes.
L.A.-Students will create their
own winter scene.
L.A.- Students will listen to
Snowflake Bentley and then
watch the video.
SCIENCE-Students will
take snowballs and do
experiments to see which is
the fastest way to get it to
melt.
L.A.-Students will use the
authors chair and share
their blizzard story or their
poetry.
P.E.-Students will play
Toss the Snowball
A.M.
P.M.
Assessment
Spelling test with word wall words
6+1 Writing Traits (Rubric for stories and poems)
Observation of interaction with small groups
Report of elements of winter (Rubric)
Portfolios of artifacts from the unit (Checklist)
Science experiments (Observation of participation)
Social Studies maps (Quiz on states locations)
Math graphs (Worksheets on graphing)
Discussion and questions in a large group following videos on
snow/winter
Check for understanding by prompting questions to the class as a
large group