We eased back into a more relaxed homeschool routine – for the time being, anyway – with Robert Frost’s famous poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Obviously, the story takes place in winter so we discussed the seasons, especially New England winters, and located the New England states on a map. I had the kiddos look through the book and tell me all the animals they could find, hiding in the forest.
Since this book is basically an illustrated poem, we took the chance to create some of our own poetry. I gave the kiddos a simple definition of poetry and let them work on a few easy poems – a list poem, a “winter” acrostic poem and an animal-shaped poem. Gwen was a bit more enthusiastic about the idea but she still got weary trying to make the words fit.
Talking about all those animals must have inspired them, because Josiah got out their Little People Zoo Playset, which they haven’t played with in a while. I helped him find all the animals and match them up with the correct letters.
We made simple snowmen pointillisms using black construction paper, white paint and q-tips. We read Snip, Snip, Snow and made paper snowflakes; Gwen was so excited to unfold her paper and see the design! I wanted to make edible snowflakes using wheat tortillas, but someone packed them for his lunch that morning – oh well! Instead I got creative with ingredients, making a snow-white snack with yogurt, coconut, white chocolate chips and snowflake sprinkles.
We read a couple books – including Crinkleroot’s Book of Animal Tracking – and discussed animal tracks and how to spot them. The kiddos played a couple matching games, trying to match up animals with their footprints. I didn’t know that all cats – both wild and domestic – retract their claws when they walk, so you can’t see the claw marks. I learn right along with them! I had planned on making homemade play dough for footprints in the snow to go along with animal tracking but didn’t get around to it.
We attempted borax crystals a while back and I was so disappointed that they didn’t work. I was determined to try it again, and after letting the mix sit overnight, I was delighted to see that it worked this time!
Into the woods : John James Audubon lives his dream
The Snowman (and DVD)
The Snowy Day
Snip, Snip… Snow!
Falling Down the Page: a book of list poems
Sing a Song of Popcorn: every child’s book of poems
Crinkleroot’s Book of Animal Tracking
Tracks in the Snow
*See my FIAR Pinterest board for more ideas & inspiration.