Mrs. Oryszak's First Grade
Orchard Hill Elementary
North Canton, Ohio

Living in Ohio usually means we can count on lots of fun in the Winter snow. However, this year has been different! It felt like the snow would never come! At last it arrived and we set out to explore. We brainstormed a list of all the things we like to do in the snow. When we got done, we used GRAPH CLUB to organize and create a graph to see what our favorite activity was. Although snowball fights and forts ranked high, building a snowman was our favorite. This led us to read a great book called Snowballs by Lois Ehlert.
In the book, odds and ends of junk are collected and used to build several snow characters on a "perfect snowball day." After reading the book, we decided to gather any interesting bits and pieces we could use to create a snow character. Our teacher added to the pile and set up our classroom craft store with the materials. Each month we set up a store to help us learn to count and use money. This was the perfect activity for January. We put price tags on each type of item and visited the store to "purchase" the items we wanted. We used the teacher's money to count out the given amount and then spent it on the items we wanted. Here is a picture of "Gladys" created from these materials. We had a choice of Model Magic or styrofoam snowballs. We each filled out a receipt, and added the amounts with a calculator.

Next we decided to get our 5th Grade buddies involved. We meet with them each week for various activities. We taught them what a Glyph is. We were surprised to learn that they didn't know! We each completed a snowman Glyph of our favorite Winter activities. Then we used the Glyphs to compare our favorites with those of our buddy using a Venn Diagram. We used hula hoops to demonstrate the circles, then did one on paper. Here is a picture of us working on the Venn diagrams.

In the book, the snow characters melt when the sun comes out. We decided to try out some of our Science skills. We got out out thermometers. We put our thumb on the bulb and read the thermometer. We wrote that on our observation sheet. Then we went outside and stuck the thermometer in the snow! It was fun to watch it drop down so fast!

We wrote that temperature on the observation sheet for comparison.
Next, we broke up into teams. Each team built a small snowman out of snow and put it in a pan to bring inside for "The Great Snowman Race"! We could put our snowman anywhere in the room. The object was to put it where we thought it would melt the fastest. The ones on the register won. We were surprised how dirty the pans were after the melted snow evaporated! We won't eat snow anytime soon!
Our teacher brought in her snow cone machine and we ate those instead.

Our theme in Reading is "Imagination". We talked about what it would be like if snow was not white. If it could come down in colors, what would it be like? We painted pictures and wrote about them.

If it snowed colors I would like the red snowflakes the best because they would taste like cherries and I love cherries! The snow would look like sprinkles on an ice cream cone. The brown snowflakes would be doughnuts. I would catch them on my tongue.

by Lindsay


If it snow stormed it would look like this and it would be colorful. It would be like a rainbow. The world would look weird but I would like it. It would be so pretty like rainbow colored snow cones!

by Thomas

We read some great snow and Winter poetry.


Tiny ice crystals
In freezing weather,
Tiny ice crystals
Sticking together.
What do they make?
A single snowflake.

Our teacher copied this poem on blue paper and we painted it with water mixed with Epsom salts. It left a pretty glittery page.

We also tried a Making Words lesson using the word "Winter". Words to make: in win tin ten/net tie tire twin wire went wren wine twine write WINTER

We found some great ideas on the Family Fun web site! Check it out at Family Fun (click on "Winter Fun".)


Create and use graphic organizers such as Venn diagrams or webs, with
teacher assistance, to demonstrate comprehension.

Compare information (e.g., recognize similarities) in texts with prior
knowledge and experience.

Identify the sequence of events.

Visualise the information in texts, and demonstrate this by drawing
pictures, discussing images in texts or writing simple descriptions.

Use organizatiomal strategies (e.g., brainstorming, lists, webs, Venn
diagrams) to plan writing.

Use available technology to compose text.

© Patricia Knox & Susan Silverman - Frosty Readers 2002 - All Rights Reserved