Sunday, January 8, 2017

Winter Snowman Activities

Snowman and winter activities are the first topics/theme we will start with as we head back to school after winter break. It was not yet winter when the students left for break in December. It's the perfect choice for the first graders (engaging and fun) for the first week back in January.


I'm excited to read The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt, who is also the illustrator. I purchased the book shortly before winter break. After reading it for the first time, it immediately became my new favorite snowman book.


It's a sweet and simple story about a snowman named Drift who was abandoned by some children before he was finished. He's sad that he's a plain-looking snowman and not fancy like the other snowmen. Drift dreams of being the perfect snowman. He watches as the other snowmen play, dance, and have fashion parades. Not only do they not include Drift in their fun, but they make fun of how he looks and tease him.

He meets up with some children who kindly give him some of their clothing. He then happily plays in the snow with the children. That night he loses most of his clothing in a blizzard. The story ends with an opportunity for Drift to pay forward the children's kindness when he meets up with a bunny and truly becomes the most perfect snowman.

It has a wonderful message of kindness, friendship, and giving.

 I will read the book for my first read aloud of the day on Monday. It will be the springboard for a week of snowman activities.


The students will discuss, draw, and write to connect with the story. I like to scaffold the independent activities with a whole group or small group discussion and activity first. This is a story sequencing chart that we will use to talk about the beginning and ending parts of the story. I noted events that happened in the story on sticky notes. I'll read them, student partners will discuss where it happened in the story (beginning or end), and then students will share and volunteer to stick the notes under the correct headings.

We'll continue with writing about favorite parts of the story, responding to comprehension activities, and retelling the story.



The story is filled with adjectives for describing a snowman's clothing. For example, the snowmen in the story say that Drift has a "Snazzy outfit!" We'll use the chart to discuss the adjectives used in the story. Students can add to our chart throughout the week. It will be displayed in the classroom for students to use in their own writing.

The students will have an opportunity to describe their own snowmen.


What I love the most about this adorable book is the way it addresses kindness. We have our school-wide Kindness Week coming up the week of Valentine's Day in February. Kindness is a focus in our class leading up to that week. I'll have the students brainstorm ideas for helping others to add to the chart throughout the week.


We'll discuss ways we can be kind by giving to others, being helpful to others, and being a good friend to others. The colored version will be used as a model for brainstorming our ideas. The students will complete the black and white version of the booklet as an independent activity.


We've been working on including (and not excluding) others. The author did a wonderful job of showing how someone feels when they are not included thru the illustrations in the book. Drift is shown all alone with his head hanging down. The students will have an opportunity to share a time when they were not included in something and how it made them feel.

I always like to include artistic/creative activities as part of our topic or theme. I created some play dough mats with writing activities to go along with our snowman theme.

Students will use playdough (great for fine motor skills, too) to decorate a fancy snowman and write about it. You can download the file (FREE download) here.

If you're interested in some of the activities that can be used with the book, you can check them out by clicking of the picture below.


Happy winter, everyone!

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