Thursday, November 27, 2014

Snowmen at Work: A Christmas Book Inspired Craft

I’m joining in with a few of my friends to bring you an amazing collection of holiday themed books and some inspired crafts and activities.
December is always a wonderful time of year, full of joy and wonder for young children.  To capture this, I recently read Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner to my kindergarteners.

The book takes place at Christmas time as it begins to snow. A little boy went to bed after making a snowman and woke to find it had snowed a lot overnight. He wondered if his snowman could have shoveled the walkway and then began to imagine about what jobs snowmen might have. Jobs like a dentist, a mechanic, a grocer, a baker, and even a teacher. The illustrations are very colorful and the snowmen look as though they are lit up from inside. The expressions on the snowmen/women/animals are so priceless. Each page has a hidden mouse to find. He is so tiny and does something different on each page. Each page is so completely full of detail, you could spend minutes on each one. I especially love that the story is written in a rhyme format which helps the readers to predict what the author will say. Each page highlights a different community worker job the snow people can do. The author creatively found a way to fit the job description exactly to something only a snow person could do on the job. I especially love that this plays on the idea that little children can understand that snowmen might be able to come alive like Frosty the Snowman, but it takes it one step further by imagining the jobs a snow person might be able to do. My students thought it was a clever book and I'm sure your students will too.

After reading Snowmen at Work, we then completed this fun craft: A Sock Snowman
My son made one of these in his preschool class. It turned out so cute, we still have it fifteen years later and he always insists I put it out with the Christmas decorations. His is still packed away in our decorations for a few more weeks, so I have created another one to teach you how to make one with your students/children. 

Here’s what we did:
1) Get a white sock. I would recommend a tightly woven cotton sock over the cute, fluffy, fleece one I used here because the ends of the rice can pierce through the fleece (though only a little came out).

2) Fill it almost to within 1.5 inches of the top of the sock.

3) Put a rubber band SECURELY around the top of the sock. Place a second rubber band midway through the body of the snowman. You can make the head smaller than the bottom of the snowman. You could also make the snowman body have three spheres instead of just two, but I like the way it looks with two. (By the way, at Easter, if you slice this top extra part from top to the rubber band on two sides, they will turn into floppy bunny ears. You can round them a bit and the look JUST like bunny ears.) In this case, just kind of roll the top down and inside out to the bottom of the first rubber band to form a cap.

It begins to kind of resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy. You can find a large ribbon or use cloth of your choice to make a scarf. Tie it around the middle rubberband and fashion it the way you would like your scarf to look. Choose another color sock for the hat.

I rolled the sock inside out halfway. I then re-rolled the bottom of the sock inside out so that it formed a hat.

I placed the hat upon his head and added eyes and a mouth. You can use just about anything to create a cute little face. I did not, but you could also add buttons down his front. 

The hardest part of making this snowman was filling the sock with rice. You can use a funnel to make the process easier. You may need an adult to help hot glue on the face and tummy buttons, but as you can see, this is a project that your student can do most of by themselves.

Students also enjoyed completing my Winter Math Journal.   
Students are given a prompt and have a space in which to draw their math problem. After completing the drawing, they fill in the number sentence under their picture. Early finishers are encouraged to go back through the journal and add an extra phonetic sentence to each picture.

To celebrate all things Christmas, I am giving a copy of my Winter Math Journal.

You enter via this Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You might also enjoy.... 

Click on the links below to see what book inspired activities my friends have created for you.

Don’t forget to enter their giveaway too for your chance to win.


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