I bet your students can’t wait to write about the snow?

In our area of the country, we rarely get snow, let alone get off of school for three days because of 5-6 inches of  the fluffy white stuff.  I imagine the students returning on Thursday will be wanting to share what fun they created during the snow days.  Teachers, I imagine, will be wanting to tap into the excitement of the snow and have some sort of learning outcome using this energy created by the winter weather.

Let’s look carefully at what a teacher may do when the students first come back to school:

  • Have students write about a special time they had playing in the snow or a narrative about their snow days.
  • Take readings of the amount of snow accumulation students had at each of their home for a graph and to compare.
  • Talk with students in a class meeting, letting all students share a brief story or thing they did in the snow (or in their home) while off school
  • Investigate the science of snow and snowflakes; maybe even make artificial snowflakes via computer or craft.
  • Inquire into the history of snow in the area and data about snow accumulation
  • Research other cultures or areas around the world and their way of life and activities where snow and freezing temperatures are more of the norm.
At least one day each year it snows enough for our area students to have a chance to play and explore it and then come back to school to share, so many of these teacher-initiated ideas have been done each time it snows and the student might not really be too excited about sharing their adventures.  May I suggest a twist to offer teachers and those students.  You can still offer or conduct the same activities, but add something new that students may not have done and share them online.
  • Writing – The writing and illustrations students create, likely, are not published or shared with beyond the inner circle of the classroom that day.  Consider scanning them and creating an anthology e-book or e-magazine with a special illustrated cover.
  • You could go away from the narrative writing and teach students about photo essays (Snowflake Photo Essay) and creating a book about their snow adventure or fictional story (numerous slideshow apps) which involves less lengthly writing but focused captions (if you choose to display them).  Use a drop box file storage site for students to pool together pictures taken to share with the class.
  • In your meeting, pass around the digital recorder/mic so that their stories they share can then be made easily into a podcast (using Aviary.com – Myna) publishing either on your website others to hear.
  • Snow Song – who does not learn something better using song and hand motions?
  • Get an expert involved in your science day by Skyping or creating your own video about snow via science-based facts, weather report (or dramatization) or demonstration of how to make snow. – delve deeper into snow, snowflakes, and crystals (even if it is not in your standards – as all good science process skills are a part of you curriculum!)
  • Teach students how to search for snow information and how seek out others using social media to create a rich long lasting conversation about people and cultures concerning snow (Imagine a twist to a well-know Life ‘Round Here project about what people do when it snows?).
Enjoy your post snow day and I hope you find a new interesting outcome with your students.

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