Sunday, January 13, 2008

Let it Snow!

Oh, it is sooo late tonight, but I wanted to type out our plans for the next week (or maybe two). This was not my original plan for this week; however, it looks like we might get a good snow or two in the next few days, and I just couldn't wait any longer to do one of my favorite units - SNOW!
We are going to "row" two FIAR books this week, Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Burton and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. These two books are both treasures, and Jane Claire Lambert has some wonderful lessons in the Five in a Row manuals for them.
In addition to the Five in a Row lessons, we'll do some other wintry activities. There are so many wonderful art, nature, and cooking possibilities for this season, and I just can't pass them up. This unit will more than likely turn into a two-week adventure. (Can you tell I'm a transplanted southern girl who just can't get enough of the cold, white stuff? O.K., by March I usually have had enough of it, but for three months or so, I'm a kid all over again - LOL!) Don't worry, my children are just as enchanted with it as I am, so they'll be thrilled!
I don't know if we'll get to all of these activities, but we'll certainly try.

Crafts
-this pretty suncatcher craft

-beaded snowflakes

Contact Paper Snowman
What You Need:
Contact Paper
Cotton or marshmallows
Pom-poms or chocolate chips
What You Do:
Give children contact paper cut out as a snowman. Let them put cotton and other pom-poms and anything else they want to in order to make a unique special snowman.

-Paint puffy, winter scenes with a mixture of shaving cream and glue.

-Paint over doilies to make snowflakes.

Glitter Scene
What You Need:
Glue
Glitter
Black Paper
What You Do:
Have children paint a winter scene on black paper using glue. Before the glue dries sprinkle glitter all over it. This makes a lovely winter scene.

Popsicle Art
What You Need:
Kool-Aid or Jell-O (in powder form)
Ice
Paper
What You Do:
Make ice in a popsicle mold. Sprinkle Kool-Aid or Jell-O on the child's paper. Let them use the ice popsicle to push the powder around and create a really neat design.

Science/Nature Study
-Catching snowflakes on black velvet and looking at them under a magnifying glass.

-We have already had a ball looking for animal tracks and identifying them, so I know we'll be doing a lot more "tracking".

-And of course, we'll continue putting out special treats for our feathered friends and see if we have any new visitors.

-Use spray bottles filled with colored water (preferably red, yellow and blue) to spray the snow and do some color mixing.

-We'll do this icecube experiment to kick off our unit tomorrow.

-We'll make a snow guage from a 2-liter Coke bottle and measure the snowfall.

-We'll read the thermometer and graph the temperatures for each day. (This is something I've wanted to do all year as part of our Circle Time (Superman really likes to measure things), but we've never gotten around to it. Hopefully this will become a new addition to our morning routine.)

Cooking
Snow Muffins from Northern Canada
You need:
2 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind or lemon rind
1/2 cup clean snow
1/2 cup raisins

To make:
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add milk, melted butter and grated rind. Stir lightly with a fork.
Add snow and raisins and mix lightly. Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes.

Edible Snowmen
Stack three marshmallows one on top of the other and secure with toothpicks. Add licorice strip for the scarf, pretzels for the arms, raisins for buttons, candy corn for nose. (We've made these in the past, and they are a huge hit around here.)

Snowflake Tortillas
Fold a flour tortilla in half, then in half once again to make a triangle. Use scissors to cut out shapes along the sides. Bake on a pan in oven at 350 degrees until desired crunchiness. Remove from oven and cool. Use a brush to spread on melted butter. Then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Icecream Snowmen
Have kids make "snowmen." In advance, use a melon baller or a small ice cream scoop to drop ice cream onto wax paper and shape into balls (3 for each snowman). Quickly transfer to a metal pan chilled in the freezer. Cover with foil, and freeze until firm.

In bowls, line up 3 "snow balls" for each child to dress up with chocolate chips, sprinkles, coconut, etc. Provide vanilla wafers, gumdrops and marshmallows for hats, and pretzel sticks, licorice and candy canes for brooms.

Just for Fun
"Drive" on ice
Fill a cookie sheet with water and put it in the freezer until it is frozen. Use toy cars and practice "driving" on the ice!

I don't have time tonight to post our reading list, but I'll do that tomorrow.
Stay warm!

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