Snow is a terrific classroom theme, but you can step it up and study with snowmen, too.
Enjoy some snowman books:
- The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
- The Snowman by Raymond Briggs; the wordless DVD has wonderful music and animation.
- A Snowman Named Just Bob isn’t great poetry, but it has great illustrations and a great message about friendship.
- All You Need for a Snowmanis a lovely book about community.
- Snowmen at Night is a wonderful fantasy. Use it with the “Frosty the Snowman” idea below.
- Sam the Snowman is silly, but it has Susan Winget’s great snowmen illustrations.
- Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is a great read aloud for little kids, with lots of details to look for.
- Snowman centers and more snowman classroom ideas from Shapes, Etc. include lots of fun ideas for using snowman notepads to create centers, bulletin boards, books, and more.
- Snowman maze is a quick printable that helps kids flex their visual spatial skills.
- Family Fun’s Build Your Own Snowman can be a simple measuring activity, but you can also do some fancy cutting with extra features. Practice dexterity by using the parts to create cut and paste pictures, or put all the pieces in a center for fast finishers to play with.
- Mathwire’s Snowman Math includes glyphs, graphs, and estimation.
Snowman lesson plans:
- Miniaturist Laura Miller’s Snowman Ornament might have been intended as a Christmas tree ornament, but we like him better on the bulletin board. The pattern includes a snowman with a window in his tummy for you to cut out. There’s also a cut and fold box with a matching window. Line the two windows up with the box behind the snowman, and you have a snowman with a window into a shadowbox. The pattern also includes templates for the floor and walls of the box. Have students draw a tiny winter scene, or enlarge the pattern (a necessity for younger students) and create snowy dioramas. Depending on the objectives you’re working with this month, you might have students show what they did over the winter break, create a habitat for Arctic animals, or imagine the fun of building a snowman. Use the art projects to create a bulletin board (glue the windows to the bulletin board, letting the snowmen pop out) and give students time to peek into all the snowmen’s windows.
- If you have snow, bring some into the classroom to make a snowman and discuss states of matter. You’ll want to have a couple of big buckets or bowls: one to carry the snow in and one to make the snowman in. Ask students as you build what state of matter snow is: is it a solid, a liquid, or a gas? They should notice that, since snow can have its own shape independent of the container it’s in, snow is a solid. After a while, you’ll notice that your snowman is melting, and becoming a liquid, dependent on the container it’s in for its shape, but only partly filling the container. If you have a heat source, you can change the erstwhile snowman into a gas. Put a balloon on the spout of an electric teakettle and heat the water from the snowman to boiling for the best demonstration. As the steam fills the balloon, it will expand, since a gas takes its shape from a container but also expands to fill the container.
- Concept Cartoons has a snowman cartoon about insulation. Will putting a scarf on a snowman melt him faster? If you are able to make a classroom snowman, you can test the hypothesis presented in the cartoon by making two small snowmen, dressing one in woolies and leaving one without, and timing their melting process. If you don’t have snow, freeze two water bottles. You can draw a snowman face for each, or top each with a styrofoam ball for a head to give a snowman look to your test subjects. Wrap one in a warm scarf and leave the other alone.
- Use the song “Frosty the Snowman” for a lesson in critical thinking. Listen to Ella Fitzgerald in the video below, or sing along with the karaoke version. Then read through the lyrics and have students divide the story into realistic parts (like snowmen having button noses and melting) and imaginary parts (like dancing, singing snowmen).