By Teachers, For Teachers
We recently had our first Chicago snow storm which meant digging out my car, an unpleasant drive to work and basically feeling soggy all morning. But I am determined to maintain a romanticized winter wonderland mentality this year.
To stay optimistic, I'm focusing on the upside of snow.
1. It's pretty (esp. through the window while you're warm and cozy next to a fire drinking cocoa).
2. Snowball fights and snowman building
3. Shoveling is great cardio.
4. Snow days!!!!
5. And, finally, seasonally sensational learning opportunities.
Here are a few of my favorite snowy school day activities:
Snow Physical Change Experiment
Bring in a snowball . As it melts, talk about physical change, temperature and how snow sticks together in a snowball. Melting and freezing are great fun, but sadly, it doesn't cover sublimation - the most bada@# of all physical change.
More Snowy Science Activities
It's also a great jumping off point to discuss weather patterns and what causes rain and snow. Here is a great site with tons of snowy science activities.
Brainstorm words you can use to describe snow. Using those words, have your students write stories or poems about students' favorite snowy memories.
Snowy Prose: Snow Day Adventure Story
Imagine that you got a snow day this week. Write a story about what you would do and how you could turn your day off into a wintry adventure. Be creative and take advantage of your snow-filled setting within the plot.
Here are recommended winter-themed books for different age groups:
Geometry Captured in Snow
Inspired by Math Assn of America's Snow in Geometry competition, have your students capture or identify geometric shapes and patterns using the snow.
Adjust problems and word problems to include stories of snow ball, snow ball fights, average snow fall, etc.
Sample problem: If Jimmy nails Tommy with a snowball moving 12 feet/per/second and Tommy is 8 feet away from Jimmy, how long was the snowball in the air?
For more winter math activities, including snowman glyphs, winter data graphing and more, check out Mathwire's winter activity guide.
Where does it snow? What locations on the Earth are the most likely to get snow? Why?
Weather's Effect on History
Discuss and research how snow/debilitating cold weather has had an effect on historical events. For instance, Russia's victory in World War II is largely attributed to their harsh winters. In another example, the Donner party's trek west turned to tragic because a snow storm stopped them in their tracks.
In general, discuss how weather shapes culture and how people adapt to survive the climate in which they live.
If you have snow/green space on school ground, schedule an outdoor class. Give parents a heads up to bundle up your students, then head outside for snow sculpting. They'll learn about this medium and create creative decor around the school. Make sure to bring your camera to capture their creations before they melt!
The Classic Snowflake
Folded paper snowflakes are a classic, not terribly original but always a crowd pleaser.
What snowy day lessons do you use in your classroom? Share in the comments section!