Information provided for classroom use only; not for publication. 2005






Brrrr ... it's freezing outside!!!  Come on in.  Unravel yourself from your coat, mittens, scarf and hat and wrap your hands around a steaming mug of cocoa.  The steam will thaw your frozen nose as well!  Now put your feet up and visit with me for a while.  I've got lots to show you ....


Originally, this was going to be my "Winter" thematic page, but I've since decided to at first devote it to Jan Carr's book Frozen Noses.  At some point I will come back and add more winter activities to the page, because goodness knows I have enough of them (a 3 inch binder crammed full!)


Frozen Noses by Jan Carr (I ran across this book last year and I fell in love with the vibrant colors and crafting of the illustrations.  As a matter of fact, I liked them so much that I named this page after the book and I'm going to use Frozen Noses as our January Back to School theme.)

Flannel Kisses by Linda C. Brennan

Snowmen at Night



Frozen Noses


Jan Carr


Bulletin Board: Create a winter scene on your board by backing it with light blue paper and overlapping it white paper to create snowy hills and foreground.  Then add some green fir trees with snow laden branches and one or more snowmen.  (Snowmen can be created by students)  Take a picture of each student bundled up in coat, mittens, scarf and hat sitting on a sled that has been placed on a white backdrop (sheet).  Print the pictures as large as possible and add them to the board as if they're sledding down the hills.  When setting up the picture, try to elevate the back of the sled underneath the sheet and have the student sitting on the sled so it will look like they're sledding.  If you really want to do it good, make their noses and cheeks pink with blush or paint and have a fan blowing on them to make their hair fly out!!!!  FUN!!!!



1.15.05 Update!

The idea for this board didn't turn out quite the way I thought, but it's still cute and the kids like it.  Turns out that the white backdrop wasn't much use since I had to cut around the kids anyway.  The white sheet/paper didn't turn out "white" in the picture, more grayish.  So it didn't match the white snow on the board.  The key to this was really elevating the back of the sled.  That really helped.   Later I thought about adding a snowflake border using white snowflakes cut with the Ellison machine, but I didn't want to use all my white construction paper for that, so I didn't add it.   Oh, and I did add sticker snowflakes in the sky.  It just needed something else. :)  The caption I made on the computer with a special font ... hmmm, can't remember the name of it.


Thematic Word Wall

girl snowman hill hat sled scarf  mitten
boot snow house window nose toe cold
icicle glasses coat sock pant snowball dog
chubby coal eye arm button friends ice skates
sun cloud storm blanket cocoa fire sleep
rope mug three        


I print 2 sets of the words along with pictures onto cardstock and laminate.  Also print a second set of words without the pictures.  Place the first set of words with the picture in a pocketchart.  Then place the set of words without the picture in the bottom rows of the pocketchart or in a ziploc bag that has been secured to the pocketchart.  I use a "clamp" for this.  Review the words daily and students will use them in their writing.  They can also match the words without pictures to the correct word with the picture as a pocketchart activity or as part of a Pocketchart Station.  If needed, the student can pick up the word they need to use in their writing without the picture they and take it to their seat to copy.


The second set of words with pictures can be cut apart and placed in the Word Study Station.  Students will match the correct word to the picture and then use magnetic letters or plastic letter tiles to "build" the word.


Winter Clothing: Using clipart pictures, or pictures cut from a magazine, have students sort them onto a mat divided into two columns and labeled: Winter/Not Winter    More advanced students may sort word cards.


Winter Not Winter
coat swim suit
hat sandals
scarf shorts
boots t-shirt


Favorite Character: Have students choose their favorite character from the book (one of the 3 girls or the dog) and create the character using construction paper like in the book.  This might be difficult for some students, so you would need to provide models for them to look at and to create at least one character in front of them making sure to explain to them the thought process that you use in creating the character.  Ex.  I want the hat to look like the one in the book, so I'm going to make it red.  I'll cut out the bottom part first, then cut a smaller circle for the ball on top.  Then I'm going to use my green crayons to make the spots on the hat.  This would be a great activity for your Creation Station.


Retelling: If you have a lot of time, you could create all the parts of the book using felt to use on the feltboard.  OR, you could scan the pictures, print them on cardstock, laminate and cut them out.  Then add velcro dots to the back.  OR, if you choose, you could add the pictures to craft sticks to make stick puppets. 


Story Innovation: Have your students create their own story innovation by naming the girls and the dog and creating a story with those characters.  You could record their story on chart paper, practice rereading it until it's familiar, then make a class book with it by typing up the text for each page and having students illustrate the book.  They can illustrate on a separate sheet of paper and then you can glue it to the book page with rubber cement.  Laminate the book and bind it to go in your Reading Station.


Story Writing: More advanced students can use the idea above and create their own book.


Winter Relay: Divide class into 2 teams to see which team can each don a hat, scarf, coat & mittens first (each student will get a turn putting the items on).  The first team to have all their members "dressed" wins, and gets to have a snowball fight with snowballs made from wadded sheets of paper.  As soon as the rest of the other team completes their task, they get to join in the fight as well for a few minutes.  MAKE SURE YOU EXPLAIN YOUR RULES FOR HOW THE SNOWBALL FIGHT IS TO GO.  Otherwise, you'll have a free-for-all.


Snowball Fight:  Each student has a chance to read a pre-determined number of sight words.  For each sight word they get correct, they get a sheet of paper.  After they've finished reading their words, they must write one sight word on each sheet of paper.  Then they're going to make snowballs from the paper by wadding up each sheet of paper and putting it in a brown paper bag.  (Tell them not to wad the paper up into too tight a wad or someone might get hurt.  I tell mine they can only use one hand to wad the paper. :) Snowballs not meeting those specifications can be confiscated.)  After everyone is ready, which might be on a different day, give the terms of the snowball fight to your students (what will be allowed and what won't).  Make sure that they understand anyone who breaks the rules will be removed from the fight on the FIRST offense.  After a brief time-out and warning, they may be returned to the fight, but you don't have to tell them that when you're going over the terms. :)  On the second offense, they're out of the fight all together.


After the fight is over, have students collect the snowballs back into their bag (don't tell them why and you'll see who your helpers really are).  Then have them remove the snowballs and straighten out the paper.  If they can read the word on their snowball, they get to keep the paper to remake the snowball.  If they can't read the word, they lose the paper.  After they've remade their snowballs with the paper they've got left, have them put them back into their bag and staple them shut.  Now they can take their snowballs home and have a snowball fight with their friends and family. :)


Before the day of the "reading of the words", you might want to tell the class that they really need to study their words and learn as many as they can because you're going to do a FUN activity with them and the more words they know, the better it will be.   This may give some of them an extra incentive to study/learn their words.  And even if you have some that know very few words, they can still participate because they can pick up some of the thrown snowballs.  And you can differentiate this activity by also using letters, sounds, blends/digraphs, compound words, contractions, rhyming words, or whatever you choose/need to use!


Ice Skating: Pretend to go ice skating by placing knee-hi's or something else "slick" over their shoes or socks and let them "glide" around the classroom or hallway.  Make sure to model first the proper ice skating form .. gliding, swaying, etc.  ALSO, make sure your rules are stated BEFORE they start and follow the same procedures as for the snowball fight. 


Rosemarie just emailed me with another idea for the ice skating ... let them use paperplates instead of the knee-hi's.  She also suggested a relay where they're to put x number of marshmallows in a cup while they transport them one-by-one on a plastic spoon.  As I have tile in my classroom and not carpet, this sounded a little risky to me.  However, she says that they did it at a birthday party and it was a hit.  So you make the call ... :)


Lacing & tying:  Provide boots or other appropriate items for students to practice lacing and/or tying.  You can use extra ice skating time (as explained above) as an incentive for those who still haven't mastered these procedures.  Great activity for your Fine Motor Station.


Bookmarks:  Make felt ice skates and use paperclips as runners on the skates.  Position the paperclips on their side underneath the skate with just one side of the paperclip showing.  Glue these onto an appropriate sized strip of cardstock.  This activity is perfect for the Creation Station.


Vocabulary: Have students use context clues and prior learning experiences to define/explain the following words or phrases:



sniffle, snuffle


quiver, shiver






roly-poly, chubby chap

proper topper

whoosh of wind

onward, upward



veer down







all a-sprawl



sun sets early

sky's a-swirly

clouds collect

another storm?

winter warm






More advanced students can read the words/phrases on cards and match to the correction definition on another card.  To make it more interesting, you winter appropriate cut-outs for cards, such as a round white circle for a snowball and a colored mitten.


Writing Prompt: If there was snow I would ...

Have students tell or write what they would do and illustrate it.  If appropriate, they can be bound into a class book.


Emergent Readers: There are several "snow" emergent readers at The Teacher's Bookbag There Is Snow would be especially appropriate for this unit.


Instant Snow: Visit the Steve Spangler site listed below in the links to purchase instant snow for your Discovery Station.  Your kids will have a ball!!!


Snowman: Create a snowman using 3 round, white styrofoam balls.  Cut the bottom ball to where it has a flat bottom.   Glue to sturdy white paperplate.  Insert an appropriate size dowel (thin) into the bottom ball, through the second ball and into the top ball.  Remove the dowel, add glue into the holes and reinsert the dowel.  Have students use felt, buttons, wiggly eyes, pompoms, yarn, twigs, etc. to decorate their snowman.  Small hats, brooms, shovels, flowers, birds, etc. may be purchased or made for each snowman.  Finish off the project by smearing glue all over the plate and sprinkling or spraying with fake snow.  (If spraying, no glue needed.)


Create Then Write:  Draw wintery scene with white chalk on dark blue paper.



Paint white snow, evergreens, snowman onto light blue paper.  When dry, add details such as snow on trees, details to snowman.  Use a Q-tip and white paint to make snowflakes. 



Cut paper to make scene similar to illustrations in the book, then add snow to trees with white paint.  When dry, have them punch out white dots with a hole punch and glue them on for snowflakes.


Last, have them write or dictate a story about their pictures onto a snowflake shape.  Can be displayed on bulletin board or bound into class book.


Counting by 2s: Use pairs of socks, mittens, & boots to practice counting by 2s and understanding pairs.  These can also be used for matching for younger students.


Contractions: Copy a hat pattern onto different colors of construction paper and then pairs on mittens on other colors of construction paper (not necessarily a set ... hat may be pink and mittens may be red).  Cut out and program each hat with a contraction, and each pair of mittens with the two words that make up the contractions.  Laminate.  The students will match the appropriate mittens to the contraction on the hat.   Ex.  hat = isn't   left mitten = is   right mitten = not


Drama Station: Provide a blanket, plastic mugs, spoons, small ziploc bag of marshmallows, stuffed dog, sled, coats, hats, mittens, scarves, and white pompoms for snowballs.  These can be used to retell the story.  Don't forget to add a copy of the book!


Maureen, from the Kinder Kapers newsletter, covers 3 graduated square boxes with white paper.  Then she sprays snowman felt accessories with tacky spray or something, then the students can "build a snowman."  This would be a great activity to add to your Drama Station as well.  The snowman can be rebuilt as often as necessary if you use the tacky spray.


Alphabetizing Words: This is a good activity for your Word Study Station.  Write sets of words on white circles and place in ziploc bags.  You should add an additional top circle for each set of words that's been decorated like a snowman's head.  One of the middle alphabetized words should also have two stick arms added to it.  Program the circles with words and laminate all.  Students will alphabetize sets of words and create snowmen at the same time.  Ex. Word Sets ...


Set 1

Set 2














*Words can be stored inside real or paper mittens as well. :)


Snowmen Math Mats: I created snowmen math mats with a snowman on each.  A number is on each hat.  Students count the correct number of buttons onto the snowman.


Non-standard Measurement: Use "snowballs" (white circles or pompoms) to measure mitten, scarf, hat, sock, boot or shoe.  Provide a recording form for each student to record their answers for each.


Estimation:  Fill clear mug with marshmallows.  Have students estimate how many marshmallows in the mug and record their answer on a slip o paper.  Graph the estimates and see which student came the closest.  The closest estimate wins a small bag of marshmallows or a bag of Snowman Soup. (link below)


More Estimation: How many miniature marshmallows will it take to cover a snowball (white circle)?


Patterning: Use Ellison die-cuts for mittens, socks, etc. to create patterns.  Students can extend patterns that you've began in a pocketchart of glued and laminated on a sentence strip or create their own patterns.  You can also specify on a "snowball" (white circle) what kind of pattern you'd like for them to create (AB, ABC, etc.).


Snack: Purchase Snoballs (round, white cakes covered in coconut).  You can also use 3 of these per student and have them create their own edible snowman on a plate.  Provide candies, licorice string for mouth, fruit roll-ups to cut scarf, mini carrot for nose, etc.


Frosty Fellows snack:  Spread peanut butter on a graham cracker.  Cut two large marshmallows in half.  Use three of the marshmallow pieces to form a snowman on the graham cracker.  Microwave for 5 - 8 seconds.  Decorate the snowman.  You can use a Cheese Nip for the hat, candies for the buttons, raisins for the eyes, a peanut for the mouth, and pretzel sticks for the arms.


Flannel Kisses: The book Flannel Kisses appropriately accompanies this book.


Culminating Activity: Have students create a snowman snack and hot chocolate.  Yummy!


General Winter Activities


Winter Counting Pocketchart:  Students count objects in each row and match the correct numeral.  The number line is provided for those students who have difficulty recognizing their numbers.  They can count down on the number line to find the number they need.  It's very useful for those students who have one-to-one correspondence but do not recognize their numbers.




There is Snow emergent reader


Snowball Cupcakes


Sites on Snow and Winter


My Winter Clothes printable book


Ideas for Frozen Noses


Instant Snow


Snowman Soup


Snowman Unit


Magical Mittens


Winter Printables


A Snowy Day printables







updated 3.22.08


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