Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Pamela Hamilton

Welcome to day three of Pamela Hamilton’s 6-day NWFCC February Author Showcase tour.

From the time I’d first conceived Snow Day I’d always thought of it as a read-a-loud book to be read as a bedtime story or perhaps as a book that beginning readers could read on their own. I had purposefully kept the story simple and I had never thought about how teachers could use Snow Day in the classroom until I was asked to address that in this blog post.

After some thought, here are some ideas I came up with for incorporating Snow Day into the classroom.

Creative writing: Using Snow Day as a starting point, have students write

  • about what they did the last time school was cancelled for snow. (Or, if the school is not in the snow belt, what did they do on their last day off from school)
  • Pick 5 to 7 words from Snow Day and have the students write a story of their own using them.
  • Write a class story starting with the first line of Snow Day. The teacher writes “It’s a snow day” at the top of the page, then the first student writes the next sentence, the second student the next, and so on until everyone has contributed and the story is completed.
  • Write a class play based on Snow Day.

 

Art: Illustrations for any of the above with the learning objective to help students identify what makes a good illustration, or, in the case of the play, good set decoration.

Science: Snow Day can be part of a unit on weather.

  • What is snow?
  • Why does it snow?
  • What is a blizzard?
  • How is a blizzard different than a snowstorm?
  • What is the difference between winter storm warnings. watches, and advisories?
  • With older students, teachers can use Snow Day as a starting point for using the Internet for research. In the story, Tessa, Jake, and Molly have a day off from school because of snow. Students could research and chart:
    • What are the snowiest (rainiest, sunniest) parts of the United States?
    • Track and chart snowfall (rainfall) in the school yard for a week, month, year
    • Follow the weather map/forecast in the local newspaper or TV news for one week. Identify the indicators/patterns the forecasters use for predict the next day’s weather. Give your weather forecast for the next 3 days.

 

Math:

  • Brainstorm a list of winter activities and take a class poll – what is the most popular? Least popular? Make a graph of the results.
  • Expand the poll to the school, charting the results by classroom and by grade.
  • Measure snowfall, rainfall, temperature for a given period of time. Calculate the daily average, weekly average, or monthly average. 

 

Follow Day 4 of Ms. Hamilton’s tour tomorrow at www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com. Leave a comment and your name will automatically be entered to win a Three Angels Gourmet Co mug and a package of Divine Dill Dip Mix – at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.

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