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Winter Theme

Compiled By: shazam

Here are some winter related activities and ideas for winter themed bulletin boards

Winter writing
Posted by: Beth

My student teacher just completed a bulletin board for January. It seems January is National Soup month, so we had each of my students design a soup can label (with any variety of soup) and then each student wrote an expository paragraph on how to make the soup. She attached the label over the writing (they are on the same size paper) and the bulletin board has instructions to "Lift each label to see how to make these soups!" It is too cute! We also thought that students could have written a descriptive paragraph (My Favorite Soup) or a narrative paragraph (Soup is best when...). My students came up with some wildly creative soup flavors, like "Eyeball Soup with extra eye drops" and "Spicy Chicken Wiggle Soup". They had a great time.

Winter BB
Posted by: Kimberly

I had my kids make a humongous torn paper snowman. You tear bits of white paper and glue them together. Whe put sticks for arms and I got a cheap black hat and cut it in half. We put our homemade snowflakes all around it.

Another year we made the snoman look melted at the bottom and added the phrase...Why snowmen shouldn't drink hot chocolate!

We also made snow globes one year. Use blue plastic dessert plates. The kids cut paper and decorate a winter scene. Cover it with saran wrap and put that snow stuff in it.

Winter bulletin board.
Posted by: Beth

I would begin to talk about the season of winter and I would bring up Jack Frost who is a fictional character. Then I would make up a story starter and have Jack Frost bring something other than winter when he arrives late in December. My kids had a ball with it and the pictures that they drew were incredible!

not Christmas, but it is winter
Posted by: wdh

I do a bulletin board titled "A Sense of Winter". Each student chooses a sense (sight, taste, ....) and they come up something that has to do with winter that fits. Examples from the past: taste: Winter tastes like a hot cup of cocoa on a snowy day. hearing: Winter sounds like children's laughter as they build a snowman. touch: Winter feels like a warm pair of mittens. You get the idea? They first draw a picture of what they wrote, and then I have them watercolor their picture. At the bottom of the picture they write in sharpie marker their saying. I put them up in the hallway with cut out snowflakes all around. It looks great, and I can keep it up for part of January too!

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winter lessons
Posted by: Kellie

Rebecca, I teach a K-1 gifted class and have just
a few idea that I might do. I liked the ice emperiment posted that sounds like one to try. There are tons of books about winter that you can
use as a spring board. "The Snowy Day", The Mitten", "Polar Bear Polar Bear" and The SnowMan are just a few. My dramatic play area will be a comboniatin of
a winter wonder land ( we will make an igloo for the room)and a veterinary office. I want to try to tie together the habbits of the animals and the role that Vets play not just for our personal pets
but helping those in the wild as well.

Winter Boards
Posted by: New Teacher

I did a board called "Bright Ideas for 2004" with a light bulb theme... you can do regular bulbs or like the christmas kind and the kids write on these about things they might want to do in the upcoming year. The kids had fun because we put glitter on their bulbs. Another thing we did was "Warming up with some Winter Poetry" They took winter words (based on ability levels) such as COLD, WINTER, JANUARY, SNOWMAN and then wrote differnt sentences or phrases that game students ways to behave and act in school (one child for example wrote about COLD and said "Children stay in their seats if it starts snowing, Only teachers go into the teacher bathroom, Learn at your own speed, Don't be mean to your friends") Hope this makes sense!

Winter Animals
Posted by: Rachel

We did the same thing last week. We learned about Winter Animals, White, W, bears hibernating, that penguins don't fly, what they eat, etc. We did a little on the polar bear, discussed seals, etc. Along with Tacky, there is also a Penguin Pete series that is cute. The one I read was PP and his new friends. For learning centers, i set up cotton balls (snowballs) and construction paper with different shapes drawn on them. They had to put the cb's in the shape. Also made a file folder with color words on penguins tummies and matching bows/bowties colored that color to match. Seriating penguins on styrofoam cups (1 per cup)-copy and enlarge/reduce to make them different sizes, lacing activities with those animals, water tub-packing peanuts(ice) and lima beans painted white and black(penguins). Anyway, there are millions of ideas. Just think of the skills you want to cover and make something up! Good Luck

Winter writing ideas
Posted by: Julianne

Hi, You didn't say what grade level you have. But there are a few ideas that will work for most levels.

1. What I like to do in the winter.
2. Gifts I got, what I really wanted, what I'll do now...
3. Looking forward to a new year.

As to "standards", those would be different for each grade level. One way to make it go more smoothly is to do a group interactive writing outline of the topic. This gives them a chance to practice an outline, it gives them a framework for their independent writing, and it will also help with their spelling. Remember that editing should include looking at HOW things are written, not just at correct spelling and punctuation.

winter ideas
Posted by: Patsy

I like to do my winter unit after Xmas since that is when we get more cold weather in Florida. I do a unit polar animals (reindeer, moose, polar bear, penguins, walrus) and cold weather/winter. There many experiments/lessons you can do about ice, snow, snowflakes, etc. There many books also that have the animals I mentioned,Moosetache, books about penguins, polar bears, penguins,etc. It is a great time to also teach about Antarctica (the coldest continent).

winter ideas
Posted by: Cathy-Dee

What about Jan Brett's "The Mitten". I use this with my grade 1 class and together we retell the story. With grade 3 they could write their own version and even have alternative settings

i.e. other types of clothing items including hats or shoes that could be in other locations, Africa, desert, beach with the students figuring out animals of varying sizes that would work in their story.

I also have quite a few winter links on my school's web site if you are interested just send me an email and I'll send you the link.

Winter Read-in
Posted by: JennieB

How about having a read in on the last day of school? My kids love having these. THey get to bring in a blanket, stuffed animal and a few books. You can also ask for guest readers like parents, principal, or other staff to make it more special. Read winter type stories...

Good luck!:s)

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Bulletin Board Titles
Posted by: trexteach

It really depends on what you'll be using the board for. Is it just for decorative purposes, or will it include children's work or writings?

For example, if you're going to have the students write winter poetry to display on the bulletin board, you could have a title such as the following: Our Winter Poems Will Warm Your Hearts -- The poetry could be mounted at angles on paper snowflakes that the students cut out or on construction paper scarves and mittens.

If you're having them work on retelling stories, They could make flat decorated construction paper snowmen "books" where the head is a flap that is lifted to reveal what happened in the beginning of a story, the middle is a flap lifted to reveal the middle of the story, and the bottom of the snowman is a flap that when lifted displays the ending of the story.
Our Snowment Retellings or Snowmen at Work (You could use cotton-like fabric, hard hats, shovels, tool belts, jackhammers, etc. around or on them to decorate.)

For teaching synonyms and antonyms, you could have them decorate large snow boots made from a given template on colored construction paper. The students could write a pair of synonyms and/or antonyms on each pair of boots. The background of the bulletin board could look like snowy hills or a playground covered with snow.
Something like--Walking in a Winter Wonderland (?)

If you just want something decorative for Christmas, you could always use a title such as-- We "Present" You with Our Wishes for Christmas (present would sound like the short "e" after the r, so you'd use the quotation marks. This form of the word would be used to go along with the following decoration idea: The students could use a template to cut out and decorate gift boxes/presents. On these presents they could glue letters to Santa with their Christmas wishes.

Don't know if these would work for you, but maybe they'll help spark some ideas.

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winter ideas
Posted by: Christine

I've used this for the last few years and it's always a big hit. Read one or many versions of the Gingerbread man, my favorite is Jan Brett's Gingerbread baby, and have students cut out and decorate their own "gingerbread baby". The next day have students write clues describing their gingerbread baby (ex/My gingerbread baby has 3 buttons.) for you or others to "guess" which one belongs to each student. I use it as a hallway display and it is adorable. Good luck and have fun. You could use the same idea for snowmen or penquins.

Pretend SNOW DAY!
Posted by: BookMuncher

This year our first and second grades will be having another Snow Day... back by popular demand. In the week before, the kids help by cutting lots of snowflakes and we hang them throughout the hallways with white crepe paper from the ceilings. We have a fake fire place going, and the kids wear their pj's. We do everything you would do on a real snow day. The first part of th eday, we rotate between teachers, listening to snow stories. We also make huge snowmen with materials from home like in Ehlert's Snowballs. The kids spread out, share their supplies, and make a huge mess!

We have a fake snowball fight in the gym with white puff balls. We curl up and read around the room. We decorate cookies and drink hot cocoa and watch Raymond Brigg's THe Snowman. We paint with pastel colors on black mural paper, showing what "snowmen do at night" Pretty much anything goes, but the key is that it's low key and RELAXING!!

Anyone have any ideas to add??

I've attached the letter I send home informing them of the Snow Day and also to bring materials for the snowman project.

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Ivory Snow painting...
Posted by: Lori

Here is the recipe...

2 parts Ivory Snow or similar soap powder (not liquid)
1 part Water
* You can also add food coloring for texture paintings....hopefully not YELLOW SNOW..LOL

Mix Ivory Snow and water and beat until it is the consistency of whipped cream. Divide the mixture into paper cups or small bowls.

Use this mixture as you would use any paint with brushes. This can also be used as "snow" for snow pictures or on a Christmas tree as pretend snow (take a handful and rub on branches. Let dry).

Also you could grow a borax snowflake

snowflake craft ideas
Posted by: sally

I just recently saw an idea in one of the million catalogs I receive. Rock candy snowflakes were made by using sucker sticks in a criss cross pattern and then suspended into a quantity of supersaturated sugar water. Food coloring can be added for interest. Within a few days or a week snowflake crystals will be "growing". They can be edible if you take care to keep the solution clean.

snowflake math-art
Posted by: Mark Adkins

I use white paper pattern blocks from our math series (triangles, hexagons, trapazoids, squares, and parallelagrams) to make snowflakes for our classroom decorations. We learn about circular patterns and I let the kids glue the pattern blocks onto light blue paper in a snowflake pattern. They're really neat. You can teach symmetry with this, too.

More info
Posted by: Julianne

Ok, I'll do what I should have done at first - post more detailed instructions for the salty snowflakes.

1. In a saucepan heat about 2 cups of water to just below boiling. (A teacher job) Add table salt a few tablespoons at a time, stirring until it is dissolved. Keep adding salt until it begins collecting at the bottom of the pan and won't dissolve anymore. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile - students get three 4 to 6 inch pieces of white chenille stem. (We used to call them "pipe cleaners", and actually, you can use pipe cleaners if you can find them.) Have the students twist the three wires together at their middles and spread them out to make a six pointed star shape. I have had older students add a string twined around these legs to make a sort of web. But it's not necessary.

3. Give each student a plastic plate or pie tin. Place the snowflake in the bottom and cover with the salty water. You can try this two ways - either leave the snowflake submerged in the liquid, or after it is wet, slip it up the side of the plate so that only one leg sits in the liquid. Either way let it sit undisturbed for several days. It should begin showing frosty crystals in a couple of hours - larger crystals in a day or so. You can leave it there until the water is all evaporated if you like.

4. You can do this same experiment substituting sugar for the salt. You should bring the water to a boil and add the sugar. Be sure to get as much sugar into the mix as possible. While you are waiting for for the sugar crystals to form you'll have to watch for mold growing on the surface of your syrup. If it does form you won't be able to allow the students to eat the crystals. But the point is to make a snowflake anyway and who wants to eat crystals off of a chenille stem??? (You can grow eatable sugar crystals on a craft stick, a chopstick or a bamboo skewer in a glassful of sugar water.)


January BB
Posted by: Mary

I searched for "general" January board ideas too, and this is what I found and decided to do . . . I read the book Snowflake Bentley to my third graders, then showed them a book that was a collection of all his photographs of the snowflakes, then I taught the kids how to make a true six-sided snowflake. From here, the snowflakes were posted on a bulletin board titled . . . Children are like snowflakes. Every one Different! Every one Special. Finally, to finish the board, I put a photocopied school picture of each of the students in the center of the snowflake! Hope this helps!

Oh, I also did one titled . . . If you can dream it, you can do it! A quote from Walt Disney. I gave each child a cloud and asked them to write down their wish for the new year in the center of the cloud. To finish it off, we put silver glitter around the edge of the cloud . . . because every cloud has a silver lining!

Mini-Winter Olympics
Posted by: Rosemary from Campbell River,

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Diana - a sports enthusiast. She would organize the Olympics for our school which had over 400 children (200 children participated in the gym in the morning and likewise in the afternoon). After weeks of practising in our gym classes (sometimes with our big buddies), assigned into mixed grade group teams with a teacher leader, each individual had chosen at least 4 sports to do during a pre-team meeting, we were ready. We proudly marched into the gym (some with chants and songs!)and sat under a huge flag representing our country. We were on teams representing six different countries, we were wearing colour-coded t-shirts(somehow parents found the appropriate one for his/her child!) - red for Canada, blue for the USA, black for Germany, etc..... Some of her ideas for the winter Olympics were:
a. the ever popular torch (a baton) relay around the periphery of the gym - passing it on to the next team member. I believe 8 children/team were assigned to this one.
b. cross-country skiing - 8 children/team. Children placed recycled 8x12 papers under their feet and shuffled to the other side of the gym where another student did the same back.
c. bobsledding: another relay. Children worked in pairs with one child sitting on two scooters. The other child pushed him/her around the periphery of the gym.
d. curling: children ran up to an assigned line and curled a bean bag onto the curling rings (making tape rings on the floor with assigned points/ring).
e. slalom skiing was an obstacle course set along the floor. As soon as a team member was sitting down on the other side, the next would go.
f. hockey: dribbled a puck down the floor and shoot for points into a net.

There were so many more activities she had. For management, she had parent volunteers tabulating points for the various teams, teams had to sit down with their legs and arms crossed when the whole team was finished.

I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was. There was a big announcement at day's end which team came in 6th, 5th....etc. My team was usually 6th (but we also had the most fun!).