Inside: A book review of Under the Snow, plus 12 different links, ideas and downloads.
We’ve been doing a winter unit AND it snowed here in sleepy Victoria, so I’m going to feature yet another snow book. Hope you don’t mind, but I forgot how many great ones I have in my collection.
Under the Snow
Written by: Melissa Stewart
Illustrations by: Constance R. Bergum
Publishing: Peachtree Publishers, 2009,
Suitable for Ages: 4 to 8
Themes/Topics: Non-Fiction, Snow, Winter, Animals, Nature
Opening: “In the heart of winter, a deep layer of snow blankets fields and forests, ponds and wetlands. You spend your days sledding and skating and having snowball fights. But under the snow lies a hidden world.”
Brief Synopsis: This beautiful book gives us a brief peek into that hidden, secret world. We visit sleeping ladybugs, a quiet snake, a busy vole, a dozing chipmunk, butterflies, bumblebees, beavers and more. The book really makes you think and wonder about the invisible winter creatures all around us. As I was reading it to my class, more than one child remarked, “But what happens if we accidentally step on them?”
Why I Like This Book: It’s factual, charming, engaging, and is written simply but effectively, with just enough facts to whet a curious appetite. The illustrations are beautifully detailed water colours.
1. An “Under the Snow” Readers Theatre from PeachTree.
2. A whole bunch of winter math activities by The Tutor Coach.
3. Here’s an Animals in Winter booklet from First Grade and Fabulous.
4. Create an “under the snow” mural scene.
5. Use shaving cream to create a thin layer on snow on construction paper. Use different tools to make tracks in the snow.
6. Brainstorm a list of good things about snow and bad things about snow and then choose one of the items on either list and write a story about it.
7. Research how big the animals in the books are and create a chart or graph to compare their sizes.
8. Choose an animal that’s not featured in the book and find out what it does during cold weather and snow.
9. If there is snow on the ground, go on a walk outside and look for tracks or traces of animals that might be out and about.
10. Put some black paper in the freezer, then when it snows, catch snowflakes on the paper and observe them with a magnifying glass.
11. Fairy Dust Teaching has instructions for some very cute bear dens.
12. Or you may like this “Cardinals in Winter” art project from Deep Space Sparkle:
13. Be sure to check out this “under the snow” Groundhog Day activity. It includes a free poem and rebus story, too!