Friday, February 8, 2008

The Snowy Day

We picked the perfect week for The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats since there has been snow on the ground for quite sometime. We had a huge snow storm a week ago, dumping a foot of snow on us followed by a few other minor storms. I planned several indoor activities for the sub zero days, but we still managed to get outside to help the neighbors shovel their driveway, and to soak up a few sun rays that occasionally peaked through the overcast skies.

Since I knew we would be stuck inside, both kids did several worksheets each day. To my surprise, they did this willingly since there wasn't much else we could do after being snowed in for so long. We began our discussions in the area of science by talking about temperature. Tom had bought a dozen test tubes at the homeschool convention last year, for reasons he could not explain at the time. He said, "we might need these". Well, his time came since we used some of them to demonstrate differences and similarities of snow, water, freeze, and melt. Stephen was able to watch the tubes filled with snow turn to water and compared them to the tubes already filled with water. We then put some in the freezer and some in the refrigerator to re-freeze them. We then talked about the difference between the two temperatures and why the water didn't freeze again in the refrigerator. It was cute to watch him check on his project six times a day to see if anything had changed. I was impressed with how quickly he caught on to these concepts. This science experiment was followed by a mini book about temperature. Stephen had various picture cards depicting temperature and clothing. He was instructed to group the cards together according the the appropriate hot and cold category. Found at

Rhea's solo project for the week was working on her file folder games by I made these for Stephen two years ago and he wasn't that crazy about them. Luckily, Rhea really enjoys the various matching games and has remarkable accuracy given the minimal help she recieves; and people wonder why the second child is so independent..... We were just talking today that I do virtually NO planning or teaching with her, but she picks up most if not all of the things that I am doing with Stephen.

I always pick out 8-10 "go along" books to read with our main book of the week. It always amazes me when they gravitate towards the main idea book. Stephen was really facinated with Peter and all the adventures he encountered. We took advantage of some warm (er) days of the week to do some of the same things. Stephen took pictures of his footprints. He also rides around the sled in the yard (or inside) both are activities from the books. Daddy and Stephen also built a snow house as illustrated in Mouses's First Snow, by Lauren Thompson. The beautifully painted illustrations took us through similar adventures, but with baby mouse and Daddy mouse. Another very similar book that we read was Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee. The illustrations were also identical to The Snowy Day down to the red snow suit worn by the adventurous child. Rhea's favorites were Snow by Manya Stojic and Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin. Both had painted illustrations that were gorgeous and the stories that lead you down a path to meet various animals and experience their anticipation for the coming snow. The Snow is Falling by Franklyn M. Branley was also a great find, not for entertainment purposes, but wonderfully illustrated the science of snow on a toddler/preschool level. Daddy's favorite was Punxsutawyney Phyllis by Susanna L. Hill. This was a cute story about the aging Punxsutawyney Phil and an eager granddaughter that wished so much to follow in his footsteps. It was a little long for the kids, but a really touching story.
This is Stephens' picture of our footprints BEFORE the big snow storm. We tried to take pictures later in the week, but they were more like leg prints instead of footprints. I was also trying to help Rhea through the snow, so it wasn't the best environment for a camera.
Stephen's Snow Angel
One of Stephen's solo activities was to read a book called "Burr, it's Cold" by He had manipulatives to guide him giving him a huge sense of accomplishment at the end. I included a video of one of his read throughs. I appoligize in advance for Rhea's exhuberance over her Natioal Geographic Kids Magazine and the dog barking in the background. Ah, homeschool at its best!

Stephen has been increasingly involved in creating his Lap Books. Several of the art projects in this book are from A Becka Pre-K Crafts and others are from
Stephen's Mini Book based on the poem White Fields, by James Stephens found at
Stephen's My Snowman book by and a folding project by the Kumon Method.
Stephen's What Is White from

Stephen's Lap Book back cover by A Becka Pre-K Crafts.
What would our week be without making at least a little mess? We tried the best we could to make our mess by creating our own snowmen and snowflakes out of marshmallows and tube icing. Stephen was given an instruction sheet to follow while Rhea just poked sharp wooden objects into her marshmellows. The grandparents might want to move on to a section not involving potentail bleeding hazards :-) The kids had been eyeing the bag of marshmallows all week and were very excited when it was finally time to use them! Instructions at
Sorry, the smile was just too cute not to include it! What would a week at the Bough's be without family fun night? This week involved four activities. All of these activities except the Matching Game, and all worksheets used this week came from The first one was the "Freeze/Melt" Game. We turned the music on and acted like we were freezing. When the music stopped, we melted. The kids thought this was really fun but Mommy should have picked a shorter song. Whew!! Next was the "Matching Bag Game" by The cards can be viewed on the first page of the Lap Book above on the bottom left hand side. It is labled as a memory game but Rhea does much better with matching games right now. This is an original idea created by the kids. They have always enjoyed matching card sets, but are never able to hold on to their treasures. This is why they use a bag and really do a great job working together. We mostly decided that everyone won in the next game, but Stephen insisted that he was the winner. It was a "Prop Box" dress up relay which pretty much ended up being a competition between Tom and I; an unlikely circumstance, I know, for those of you that know us well. We first separated all of the articles of clothing in the appropriate pile labled by word cards, and then it was time to "race". For the next game, we don't have to pretend that it is snowing in our region of the US, but it was fun doing it anway. Mostly, I wanted them to come up with ways to act out the story without the "real thing". Besides, it is much warmer inside!
Winter Relay Word Cards

Sequencing cards for The Snowy Day.

Pretend Word Cards Making Snow out of Paper
Running the stick through the "snow" as Peter did in the book.

Thank you to all of you that have had wonderful things to say about our work. We have so much fun together, and it brings me even more joy to share our experiences with you in the homeschool world. We love you too, friends and family!!!


Molly said...

Looks like fun! Good job, mom. It makes me sad I don't have any more preschoolers.

Elinette said...

Erica, I tagged you on my blog (if you haven't been tagged yet).

Great job with snowy day. Love how you are incorporating the Kumon workbooks to the BFIAR lessons.

Alicia said...

You don't know me, but I stumbled upon this post looking for lessons for "The Snowy Day". You used such neat ideas I decided to incorporate them in my homeschooling journey. This is only the 2nd unit I have ever done, and we are experimenting with it now to see if it is right for our family. I hope you don't mind me stealing ideas from you. I had already planned to use Homeschool Share's lapbook, and the games and other activites you shared go just beautifully with it. Thanks for letting me peek into your world!