Thursday, November 20, 2014


This is my lesson for the week of December 8, 2014, but I finished it early so I thought I'd share for my colleagues who are already experiencing cold weather.  Stay warm!

Kindergarten studies the season of winter with this investigative lesson featuring science, research fundamentals, and books.

Bring students to carpet, get them settled.

Welcome Song (To London Bridge is Falling Down)

        Welcome to the library, library, library. Welcome to the library,
        Please come inside and read. 

        We’re glad to have you here today, here today, here today. 
        We’re glad to have you here today, today’s a special day.

Into their hives the busy bees crawl.                       (Flap fingers for wings)
Into the ant hills, go ants one and all.                      (Wiggle fingers running up hill)
Caterpillars too, have hidden their heads,               (Spin around )
Safely spun in their snug little beds.                        (Rest head on hands)
The squirrels have all climbed to their holes in the trees.   (Climbing motion)
The bird nests are empty, no birds can we see.  (Flap wings again)
The leaves have all blown away on the wind       (Flap around like falling leaves)
Announcing to all – Now winter begins!               (Hold hands like megaphone
Fires are built in the hearths of homes.                  (Rub hands together )
Hats are knitted and coats are sewn.                     (Pretend to knit or sew)
Harsh winds blow all through the night.                 (Blow)
Lights all flicker, what a sight!                                (Hold up arm and wave hand)
Everyone waits for the first sight of snow,            (Cup eyes, like looking out window)
Then down it comes, soft and slow.                       (Fall gently, twirling to the ground)
The world is quiet, the world is white,                   (Cup ear)
Winter is here, a beautiful sight!    (Fall back and pretend to make snow angles on floor)

Library Expectations- “4 finger rules” of the library: (source M. Lynn)
quiet (finger to mouth)
watch teachers (fingers to eyes)
listen to stories and directions (cup ears)
and always walk (walking fingers.)

Mystery Bag:  What’s inside the mystery box today?  The object inside the bag will give us a clue what our story time is going to be about.  (Mittens, a scarf or a hat would be appropriate.)

We are passing the mystery bag around today.  What does this object feel like?  What words can we use to describe it? (lightweight, soft, mushy.)  What is it?  What do we use it for?  What time of the year do we need this?

Word of the Week: say it, syllabicate it TEACHER draws it in the air, invites students to “air write” with her. 

English:  winter
Spanish:  invierno (in-vee-AIR-no)
ASL signSign language is a real language where people use their hands to communicate.  The sign for winter is also the sign for cold.  Hold your hands in fists by your shoulders and act like you are pulling a coat over your shoulders twice.  This is the sign!  I bet it means you want to stay warm.

Introductory Activity
Have a bowl of hot and a bowl of cold water at the ready, along with a couple old towels or rags.  Have the students take turns dipping their fingers into the bowls.  We compare cold by its opposite, heat. 

A discussion of cold can include beginning research habits.  Have students brainstorm, and you write down, things that are the hottest and coldest.  (If you’ve done this multiple years, you can also get some pictures laminated and ready to post instead of writing.  Hot items have included the Sun, pizza, hot drinks, a stove or oven, a fire, a blanket.  Cold items include the inside of a freezer, snow, air conditioner, popsicles or ice cream.  Students can help with the pictoral research in this way.)

When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan.  Atheneum, 2000.

a.    Pre-Reading: The title makes a good beginning question.  What does happen when winter comes?  How do we know winter is coming? 
b.   During Reading:  Have students predict the answer (on each following page) to each question the author posits.
c.   Reflection:  What did you learn about how animals and plants spend winter?

Action Rhyme
How we move in winter.  How would you look if you were…

Outside in the freezing cold.
Soaking in a hot bathtub.
Woutdoors in the winter without mittens.
Warming your hands by the fireplace.
Drinking ice water.
Drinking hot cocoa.
Rubbing your face with snow!
Rubbing your face with a warm washcloth.
Making angels in the snow.
Snuggling in a nice, warm bed.


Before Reading: Have students picture in their mind things they like and don’t like about winter.  See if the poet mentions these things.

While reading: Make connection between Florian’s paintings and words.  Listen for rhyme.  Have students softly tap rhythm as you read.

After Reading:  Did the poet mention something you like and dislike, too?


Knock Knock.           What does a snowman eat for breakfast?
Who’s There?           Snowflakes!
Snow Who?              How does a snowman get to school?
Snowbody!                Icicle!


Winter Days in the Big Woods, Winter on the Farm or Sugar Snow, all part of the My First Little House Books, adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series.  Harper-Collins, 1993, 1995, 1997. 

Any of these books would make a great counterpoint to the animal/plant winter book presented earlier.  Talk about life a long time ago in America and how we enjoy ourselves and stay warm now versus long ago, similarities and differences.
Check Out
Today we continue to check out, using shelf markers, in the kindergarten section.

Review: word of week and intent. 

Goodbye Song:
Open, shut them.
Open, shut them.
Raise your hands up high.
Open, shut them.
Open, shut them.
Wave and say goodbye.

This Week’s TEKS:  1 (A) words represented by print
                                    1 (C) 1:1 correspondence word/print
                                    1 (F) Conventions of Print
                                    1 (G) Parts of A Book
                                    2 (B) Identify Syllables in spoken words
                                    3 (A) Identify common sounds letters represent
                                    4 (A) Identify what happens next based on cover, illustration
                                    4 (B) Ask & respond to questions about text
5 (c) sort pictures into conceptual categories by attribute
                                    6 (A) Identify elements of a story: setting character, key events
                                    6 (C) Recognize sensory details
                                    7      Poetry has regular beat, similar word sounds (rhyme, alliteration)
                                    8 (a) retell a main event from a story told aloud
8 (B) describe characters in a story and reasons for their actions
                                    10 (D) use titles/illustrations to make predictions about text
                                    10 (B) retell important facts in an expository text
18 (A)  use phonological knowledge to match sounds to letters
19 (A) ask questions of class-wide interest (with adult assistance)
20 (A) gather evidence from provided text sources (with adult assistance)
                                    21 (A) listen attentively by facing speakers and asking questions
                                    21 (B) Follow oral directions that involve a short, related sequence of events
                                    RC(fig 19) (D)  make inferences based on cover, title, illustrations and plot
                                    RC(fig 19) (A) discuss purpose for reading & listening to various texts
RC(fig 19) (A) discuss purpose for reading or listening to various texts
                                    RC(fig 19) (B)  ask and respond to questions about texts

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