The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats

Join Peter as he adventures out into the snow and how he discovers that when warmed, snow will melt.

 Materials

  • Several days’ worth of newspaper or ½ sheet of newsprint per child.
  • Bag of cotton balls
  • 1 bar of ivory soap, 1 roll of toilet paper, cheese-grater.
  • Piece of poster board cut into several simple boot shapes. Use a paper punch; to punch holes around the edge of the boot shape.
  • 10 inch lengths of yarn with masking tape wrapped around one end.
  • Copy of the hot and cold items cut out individually.
  • A bucket of snow if possible.

Vocabulary

 Before Reading the Story

            Talk to the children about snow. Have you ever seen the snow? Have you ever touched snow? What should you wear to go out in the snow, why? What kinds of things do you like to do in the snow? Make a list of the things the children like to do in the snow. If possible, bring in a bucket of snow and pass it around as you talk of the snow.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness and beginning understanding of changes in time and temperature.

Reading the Story

            When you get to the page where something is sticking out of the snow, point to the new track and ask the children what might make a track like that? When you get to the part where Peter looks for the snowball in his pocket, ask the children what they think happened to it, why?

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.  AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness and beginning understanding of changes in time and temperature.

After Reading the Story

            Compare the children’s list to what Peter did in the book. Have the children spread out and act out the different things that Peter did while playing in the snow (Walk with feet pointing out, then in, dragging feet, pretend to roll a snowman ball, lay on the floor and make an angel). Act out anything else the children have experienced while playing in the snow.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.  

Discovery

Make a copy of the hot and cold items and cut them out. Have the children sort them accordingly. As they sort, talk about any safety issues that the pictures show (matches and lighters are not toys, when you go outside to play in snow it is important to cover your body, etc.).

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, and size.  AND Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Music and Movement

            Ask the children if they can remember what the big boys were doing in the story (having a snowball fight). Ask the children why Peter did not join them in their snowball fight (he wasn’t big enough). Now ask the children to raise their hand if they have ever had a snowball fight. Tell the children that today you are all going to have a snowball fight. Give each child a half a sheet of newspaper or newsprint paper. Show them how to crumple it up into a ball. Use these to have a classroom snowball fight. Let the children have a few minutes to throw the paper balls at each other and you. Make sure to state any safety rules ahead of time (you may not throw your snowball near the fish tank, if someone is sitting in the dramatic center then they do not want you to throw your snowballs at them).  When you are finished you can have the children try to throw their paper ball into the trashcan or a box.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multi-step directions.  

Pretend to be snowflakes floating and twirling down to the ground. Now pretend that you are rolling a snowball. It starts out very small and as you roll it gets bigger and bigger. Now pretend that you are a snow person standing tall. Uh oh, the sun is shining bright and you are beginning to melt smaller and smaller until you are just a puddle on the floor.

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.  

Blocks

            Tell the children that in the story Peter climbed a hill and slid down. Challenge the children to use the blocks to make a hill/ramp that they can slide cars down. If they seem stumped, show them how to take a long block and prop one end up on a smaller block to make a ramp. As they experiment with the ramp, watch how they solve problems of cars going off the side of the ramp or how to make the ramp go faster. What else can they make slide down the ramp?

Science/Scientific Methods & Skills; begins t participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.

Art

            Show the children how to make a snowy day picture by taking a cotton ball and pulling it apart and then gluing it to a piece of construction paper. Let the children glue cotton balls onto the paper. When they are through, ask them if they would like to glue a person onto the snow. If they do, give them a person and ask them what the person is doing in the snow. Write their dictation down and attach it to their snow picture.

Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and play.

Sand and Water

            If possible bring in snow today and add gloves, spoons, shovels, and sand molds. Talk to the children as they play asking them what is happening to the snow? (it’s melting, it’s turning to water).

Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness and beginning understanding of changes in time and temperature.

Make clean mud. Have the children take turns grating the bar of ivory soap into the water table. While the child/ren are grating, others can be tearing the toilet paper into small lengths. When the children are finished preparing the soap and toilet paper, slowly add water and have the children mix. This will turn into a thick consistency that you will be able to sculpt with. It will feel very slick. Remind the children that this is made with soap so do not put your hands near your face.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; shows progress in understanding and following simple and multi-step directions.  AND Science/Scientific Knowledge & Skills; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Library and Writing

            Give the children pieces of black construction paper and white colored pencils or white chalk to practice writing their names today.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles shapes, and pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying and writing familiar words such as their own name.

 Dramatic Play

            Put out any dress-ups that encourage the children to practice their zipping, snapping, and buckling skills. Include gloves.

Physical Health & development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.  AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; develops growing capacity for independence in a range of activities, routines, and tasks.

Math and Manipulatives

            Put out the boot shapes and the lengths of yarn. Show the children how to “sew” around the boot shape by going in and out the holes. This is hard for younger children so accept anything that they do.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows  hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together  puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads and using scissors.

 Outdoor Play

If there is snow on your playground, go out and re-act all the things that Peter liked to do in the snow.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.  

Transitions

            Use the hot and cold cards. Hold up a card and ask a child to name the object and tell you if it is something that feels hot or cold when touched.

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, and size.

Dear Parent, today we talked about things that are hot and cold. Take a few minutes and talk to your child about safety with hot and cold items. Matches are hot and can burn, so can a pot on the stove. Dressing appropriately when going out into the cold. If possible go for a walk with your child and enjoy the snow!

Resources

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About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.