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A Traditional Winter/Snow Unit for Preschool/Kindergarten

Posted by homeschoolmentormom on January 12, 2011


     Here is a traditional, literature-based preschool/Kindergarten unit on winter/snow for one week.  I listed the finger plays and songs first, since you will enjoy them all week.  The finger plays have been passed from teacher to teacher, and are therefore “author unknown.”  If anyone knows the author of these poems, please let me know so that I can give credit where credit is due.

Music/Finger Plays for the Week:

Snowman  (use this as a finger play, or sing it to the tune, “I had a little turtle, his name was tiny Tim…”)

There was a little snowman, who had a carrot nose (circle arms in front of self like a fat snowman.)

Along came a bunny, and what do you suppose?  (Hold up two fingers to make bunny ears and make them “hop”)

He was very very hungary (rub tummy)

And looking for some lunch (put hand over eyes to shade them and look from side to side)

He ate the little snowman’s nose (pretend to put food in your mouth)

Crunch, crunch, crunch! (pretend to chew a carrot).

5 Little Penguins

5 little penguins sat on the shore (hold up 5 fingers); One went for a swim, then there were 4 (“swim” one finger away; hold up four fingers.)

4 little penguins, looking out to sea, one went swimming, and then there were 3.  (hold up fingers OR remove felt board figure from the board.)

3 little penguins said, “What can we do?” One jumped in the water, then there were 2 (hold up 3 fingers; “jump” one finger away, then hold up 2.)

2 little penguins sat in the sun, this one swam off, then there was 1 (hold up 2 fingers; “swim” one away and hold up only 1.)

1 lonely penguin said, “This is no fun.” He dived in the water, and then there were none.  (Hold up 1 finger; make it “dive” into pretend water.  Hold up closed fist to show “none.”)

NOTE:  Find a picture of a penguin in a picture book or a felt board pattern book; make your own pellon felt board figures according to the directions  HERE. 

Songs to Sing

1 little, 2 little, 3 little snowmen.  4 little, 5 little, 6 little snowmen.  7 little,  8 little 9 little,  10 little snowmen, 10 fat little snow-men. 

Scroll down on THIS SITE to read some cute poems, finger plays and songs about winter/snow. 

Weekly Plan

Day One: 

Read the book, Snowflake Bently  by Jacquelin Briggs Martin. 

Activity:  Look up Snowflake Bently online and click on the snowflakes to get a closer look at his real pictures.

 Art:  Cut snowflakes and tape them to your windows or walls.  You can find directions HERE and HERE (Note to mom:  Save several detailed snowflakes of various sizes for another craft later in the week.)

Day Two:

Read Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. 

Discussion:  Katy kept going without complaining even though her work was hard. 

Activity:  Talk a little about maps.  Take your child for a walk around the block, and draw a map for your child (similar to the maps in the book) of your neighborhood or of other major landmarks close by (the grocery store, the library, Grandma’s house, etc.)  After your walk, let your child color her map.

Art:  Paint with white tempera paint on blue paper, like the pictures in Katy and the Big Snow.  Teach your child how to paint asterisks (“snowflakes.”)  TIP:  Mix tempera paint with salt to make sparkly, textured “snow”.

Day Three: 

Read The Mitten  by Alvin Tresselt (this is, by far, my favorite version.)

Art:  Make your own pretend “mittens.”  Trace around your child’s hand to make a mitten shape, and have your child cut them out (cut only one for each hand.)  Use a hole punch to make holes around the edges of the mitten; “sew” around the edges with yarn (you may need to tightly tape around the end of the yarn with masking tape to make it easier to thread through the holes.)   Last of all, decorate with felt-tipped pens. 

Punch holes where the dots are, then "sew" your mittens

Discussion:  What would these animals really do to keep warm during winter? (You can find out more tomorrow!)

Day Four: 

Read Animals in Winter (A National Geographic Book for Young Explorers) by Ron Fisher or another book that explains how animals survive the winter.  Another good book to consider is First Snow in the Woods, a Photographic Fantasy, by Carl R. Sams. 

Vocabulary to learn:  Migrate, hibernate, den, burrow.

Art:  Lay out one of the more detailed snowflakes you saved onto navy blue construction paper.  Use a sponge or cotton balls to dab paint around the snowflake and in all the holes.  Carefully lift up your snowflake to reveal a new snowflake. (NOTE:  You can also use doilies for this.)

Day Five: 

Read the Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. 

Activity:  If you live in a snowy area, bring in some snowballs and watch them melt. If you leave them a little longer, you can talk about how they disappear altogether (evaporate.)  If you don’t live in a snowy area, substitute ice chips for snow.  You can also experiment with salt and snow; does salt make the snow melt more quickly?  Why do cities put salt on their roads?

Vocabulary to learn:  Melt, freeze, salt, sodium, evaporate.

Poem:  Read the poem “Snowball” by Shel Silverstein HERE. 

Art:  Make a snowman.  Use two or three different sizes of doilies (very cute) OR paper plates OR construction paper circles to make a snowman.  Other option:  Have your child paint the circles, and let dry before decorating.  Add real buttons, small sticks for arms, black construction paper circles for eyes, nose, and mouth OR draw facial features.  Other ideas:   Mom can cut  a “carrot nose” out of construction paper, and a hat out of construction paper or felt (OR draw them out and let your child do the cutting.)   Here’s an old snowman that one of my kids made years ago:

     If you live in a snowy area, be sure to make a snowman  outside, too!  You can also try dragging a stick through the snow, smacking the stick on trees or bushes, and making snow angels just like in the book.  We live in sunny southern California, so we made a special trip to the mountains to play in the snow as a wrap up for our unit.

Other Books to read:

Big Snow, the, by Bertha Hader

Hat, The, by Jan Brett

Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen

White Snow, Bright Snow, by Alvin Tresselt

Other unit ideas: 

-Play with white play dough (make snowmen, animal tracks, etc.)

-Finger paint with shaving crème (our favorite place to do this is during bath time, on the walls of the tub.)

-Stamp with snowflake-shaped stamps onto black or navy-blue construction paper.

-Making a paper bag penguin is a tradition in most preschools—and easy to do at home, too.  Find directions HERE  or HERE

-Collage with white packing peanuts (to emulate snow.)

-Make a scarf out of fleece.  Purchase fleece remnants.  Cut a rectangle to the length you desire. Mom should cut a fringe; children can tie the finge off (knot every two fringes together) OR—allow your child to cut a shorter fringe.  For more detailed directions, look HERE

-Read other books about penguins,  polar bears, and Inuits (what we used to call “Eskimos”.)

-Make an Inuit out of a paper plate:  Cut tan construction paper to fit the inside of a small paper plate.  Color a face with felt tipped pens.  Glue on black yarn for hair (forehead area) and cotton balls on top all the way around to make a fur hood around the face.

Have fun!

     ~Susan

© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.  Copyrighted materials may not be re-distributed or re-posted without express permission from the author.

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