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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Snowy Day Activities

Friday morning started off just like any other normal school day.  Homework turned in, attendance taken, classes started.  But then, it started to snow.  Of course, I had to stop and let then kids look out the window.  The wind was blowing the snow in what looked like waves across the parking lot.  As we looked outside, I decided to
  scrap my plans for the day and do some  snowy day work instead!

We started off by putting our coats on and going outside to see observe the snowflakes. I gave each student a black piece of paper to catch snowflakes on.  There were a few  times when we could even see the six sides of an individual snowflake.

 When we came back inside, I wanted my students to remember what the snow looked like on the black paper.  I gave each student another piece of black construction paper and some white paint.  We used small wooden dowels that I found in the art room {they looked like grilling skewers} to paint snowflakes onto our papers.  I showed them how they could make six sided snowflakes or just use dots to show how many snowflakes there were.

Some of the students did a little more than just paint snowflakes!

Our next activity was a quick adjective review.  We took turns listing adjectives that described either the snowflakes or the snowy day.  They came up with some creative responses {like tasty}!

From there, I introduced similes.  This was a concept that I had been planning on introducing within the next week or two, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity.  After all, we already had all those great adjectives to spark our imagination!  I defined a simile on the board and gave them a few examples.  I then let the students take turns coming up with their own similes using either like or as to describe the snow.  They amazed me with similes like "The snow is as quiet as a ninja" and "The snowflakes are as sparkly as tiny diamonds." 

Next we wrote a sense poem about the snow using this awesome
 free snowflake writing paper from The McGrew Crew.  It was interesting to see what the students thought snow felt, looked, and sounded like.  Taste and smell were a little more difficult, but we came up with some creative lines for those senses too.

By now, the snow was really falling hard and starting to pile up.

Finally, I decided to read my students some wintery poems by other authors.  I pulled out my poetry anthology and read the four or five poems that dealt with winter.  Two of my favorite winter poems are "The Bells" by Edgar Allan Poe and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost.  

I hung all their paintings, simile papers, and poems on the wall in my classroom.  We moved on to our regularly scheduled subjects, but I know our snowy fun was the highlight of my day.  When the snow finally stopped later on, a few of my students offered to go out and help brush off the teachers' cars. 

I am usually a stickler for following my lesson plans and teaching exactly what I had planned.  Friday though, I was definitely glad that I decided to take this opportunity to let my kids learn from the beauty outside.  

When are some times that you have changed your lesson plans last minute?  How did it work out for you? 

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