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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But No Elephants, by Jerry Smath

Grandma Tildy decides that she would like to get a variety of pet animals but is quite clear that she does not want an elephant. What will happen when an elephant decides to stay anyway?

Materials

  •             Directions on drawing an elephant.
  •             Stuffed “pet”animals and pet supplies to along with.
  •             Pictures of animal helpers.

Vocabulary           

  •              Pet (an animal that you keep in your home to love and enjoy).
  •             Animal helpers (animals that help people to do work or chores).
  •             Strong (able to hold up under the weight)

Before Reading the Story

 Tell the children that the story today is about a lady who decides she wants a pet. What kind do you think she should get, why?  Ask the children if they have any pets at home.  Make a graph that shows who has what kind of pet. 

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.  AND Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; begins to make comparisons about several objects based on a single attribute. 

Reading the Story

As Grandma Tildy acquires each pet, stop and ask the children if they think it would make a good pet why or why not?.  When the elephant gets stuck in the house, ask the children if they can think what might happen.  When he begins walking, ask the children where they think he might be walking to.

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.  AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

After Reading the Story

Bring in pictures of animals and ask the children if they would like to have it for a pet and what special thing the pet could do (A tiger could scare away the bad guys, a penguin could wash my Daddy’s car).

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

Discovery

Pictures of animal helpers.   Put the pictures out where the children can look and discuss the ways animals help people.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and abilities to observe, describe, and discuss the natural world, materials, living things, and natural processes.  AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; progresses in understanding similarities and respecting differences among people such as genders, race, special needs, culture, language, and family structures.

Music and Movement

Sing the Opposite song, to the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush.

Everything I always say,
You always say the opposite.
When I say cold, you say hot
(sunny-cloudy,big-little, yes-no)

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; progresses in abilities to initiate and respond appropriately in conversation and discussions with peers and adults.

Sing the Elephant Song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQf6yWEScB8

One elephant, went out to play
All ona spider’s web one day.
He had such enormous fun
That he called for another elephant to come.
One elephant……
Two elephants, went out to play

(With each verse have a child dance in the middle of the circle)

Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to 10 and beyond.

Blocks

 Add animals and people to the center.  Encourage the children to build houses.  Can they act out parts of the story?  Can they adapt the story to fit the animals in your center?

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.  

Art

Encourage the children to draw pictures of houses and then draw or cut out an animal picture to put inside. 

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.  AND Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons and computer.

Library and Writing

Make a copy of the Elephant drawing directions. Encourage the children to read the directions and draw elephants.

Literacy/Early Writing; experiments with a growing variety of writing tools and materials, such as pencils, crayons and computer.  AND Creative Arts/Art; progresses in abilities to create drawings, paintings, models, and other art creations that are more detailed, creative, or realistic.

Sand and Water

If you read this story during the winter months bring in snow to put in the water table for the children to play with.  As the day progresses, help the children to notice what is happening to the snow.  Ask them why they think this is happening.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to describe and discuss predictions, explanations, and generalizations based on past experiences.  AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to the attributes of time and temperature.

Dramatic Play

Add any  stuffed animals that could represent a pet. Bring in pet supplies to enhance the play of caring for a pet, (A stuffed cat with a collar, a can of cat food, a brush, and a mouse toy).

Creative Arts/ Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.

Math and Manipulatives

Make two simple bar graphs.  At the bottom of the first, draw animals that show any pets that the children might have at home.  On the bottom of the second graph, draw animals that the children wish they could have for a pet.  These two graphs will probably have some overlapping animals but be prepared to draw an alligator or shark at the bottom of graph number two.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use language to compare numbers of objects with terms such as more, less, greater than, fewer, equal.  AND Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

Put a blanket or sheet onto the ground and pretend that it is a house.  Everybody must fit on it (inside).  Talk about moving the house.  The children can hold onto the edges of the sheet and move as a unit to a new area. Talk about how everyone must cooperate and work together.

Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; increases abilities to sustain interactions with peers by helping, sharing, and discussing.

Transitions 

Make up simple animal riddles.  (I’m thinking of an animal pet with long floppy ears who hops and likes to eat carrots.  I’m thinking of an animal pet that lives in a bowl of water and swims around and around.)

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences.

Resources