Chill Out With This Cool Snowman Unit for Kindergarten
written by: Lisa King
• edited by: Tania Cowling
• updated: 12/19/2012
Bring a little magic into your students' lives this winter with a snowman unit and story. Children will learn the true meaning of friendship, have fun throwing snowballs and making snowmen--all while practicing math skills and more.
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Let It Snow
The blizzard brings in a flurry of fun, activities and crafts for the coolest snowman thematic unit on the block. Kindergartners will have a great time building addition skills, discovering that snow is an insulator and learning much more during this winter unit.
Explain to students that snow is formed when water vapor condenses at temperatures below freezing. The vapor in the air then freezes creating ice crystals. Air becomes trapped inside the crystals as they are falling through the atmosphere creating snow. The air is what makes snow fluffy and soft.
Each snowflake is unique; no two are exactly the same. However, each flake consists of six sides. Snow is a good insulator, which means it keeps warm air or heat from escaping because it contains air trapped inside it. Snow traps heat that comes up from the ground just like a blanket. Small animals that live underneath the ground will actually stay warmer if the ground above them is covered with a blanket of snow. The air in the snow is warmer than the air above the snow. Give examples of common items that are insulators, show a thermometer to the class and discuss the temperature needed for snow to fall.
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Snowman Insulator Experiment
After the experiment children will discover that snow is a great insulator to protect animals and plants from the cold.
Pan or container
Conduct the Experiment:
Take the children outside and have them build a miniature snowman. Bury a thermometer inside one of the snowmen. Take a clear plastic container and fill it with snow. Place another thermometer on top of the snow in the pan. After a few hours compare the temperatures on the two thermometers. The temperature on the thermometer buried in the snowman should read warmer than the one placed on top of the snow in the pan.
When finished pick a child to place his or her snowman in a plastic container and bring it inside the classroom. Students will estimate how long it will take for the snowman to melt.
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Frosty The Snowman Magical Match
Help Frosty the Snowman find his magical top hat as students build up their addition and subtraction skills with this cool snowman game.
15-20 copies of a snowman and top hat pattern
Crayons or markers
Manila Folder or envelope
Reproduce an equal number of a snowman and top hat patterns. Write a simple addition or subtraction problem on each snowman. Color the hats and label each with the answers. Laminate the pieces and attach to a file folder or store in an envelope with the directions for future use. Provide students with miniature marshmallows to use as counters.
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Five Little Snowmen
After chanting the poem below have children brush up on their reading skills with The Lonely Snowman printable book that can be downloaded righty here on Bright Hub Education. Next, provide each student with five snowmen and one top hat. The teacher will arrange the snowmen in order and place the hat on one of the snowmen. Ask students which snowman the hat is on. Students will answer first, second, third, fourth or fifth.
Five Little Snowmen
Five little snowmen sledding in the night.
The first one said, "Hold on tight!"
The second one said, " Let's sing a song!"
The third one said, " It's almost dawn!"
The fourth one said," Here comes the sun!"
The fifth one said, " Awww no more fun."
Then out came the sun so bright and hot that day,
and the five little snowmen melted away.
by Lisa King
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Snowman Friendship Book and Craft
A Snowman Just Named Bob by Mark Kimble Moulton is a heartwarming story about a snowman that appears one night only long enough to teach a child a very valuable lesson about friendship and love. After introducing this beautiful story to your students have them brainstorm what qualities make a good friend and things they can do to be a good friend to their peers.
Next, have the children create a snowman for one of their classmates. When finished, students will write a nice saying or positive comment on the front of the snowman such as " You are special," " I like you," " You are a good reader," or " Your friendship makes me happy." Teachers should assign friends or have them pick a name stick.
Crayons or Markers
Scraps of material
Create Your Friendship Snowman:
To create the snowman craft provide students with heavy white paper and a variety of art materials to create a snowman. Students will cut three circles out of the white paper and glue them on top of one another to make the base of their snowman. Using a variety of art materials make a face for the snowman and decorate it. Sprinkling Styrofoam over the snowman gives it a 3-D effect. When finished the teacher will help students write nice sayings on the front or back of their snowmen (depending if they used a textured material on the front). They can then give the snowmen to a friend or family member.
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Children will love tossing snowballs while practicing counting skills. Crumple up several pieces of white paper to represent snowballs. Set a basket at one end of the room. The teacher will write a number word on the board or say a number. Students will take turns tossing the correct number of snowballs into the basket. A fun variation to this activity would be to allow children to throw real snowballs outside. The teacher could take a laundry basket on the playground and children would take turns throwing the correct number of real snowballs into the basket.
Let any winter storm that comes your way blow in a kindergarten snowman unit that teaches children how to be a good friend, that snow is an insulator, and reinforces a flurry of skills that are ideal for winter learning fun. Grab the shovel and start digging in!