A Snowmen at Night Language Intensive Unit Study for Homeschooling Families

This Snowmen at Night Language Intensive Primary unit study is generally for students at the preschool to second-grade level. Feel free to mix and match with the Intermediate and Secondary companion guide to find activities that best suit your children and their learning styles. This Snowmen at Night Language Intensive unit study uses Living Books, along with English Language Arts, Phonemic Awareness, Fine & Gross Motor, Sensory, and Folktales.

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English Language Arts

Read Aloud Living Picture Books

snowmen at night book

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner is a sweet story of a boy’s imagining when his snowman looks different the next day. He imagines that his snowman has fun at night while he is sleeping. The use of light and shadow in the illustrations really bring this book to life!

Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner is a stand-alone sequel to the previous title. It explores the idea that snowmen have jobs like shoveling the sidewalks or drilling bits of coal for snowmen teeth. Just for laughs, the last page supposes that a snowman sits in the Oval Office!

Independent Readers

Snow by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer perfectly describes the magical feelings of a snow day shared with friends and family. Easy text is at a first to second-grade reading level

Another Cynthia Rylant selection for first and second graders is Henry and Mudge and the Snowman Plan, illustrated by Sucie Stevenson. All of my kids have loved the Henry and Mudge series! In this book, Henry and his dad (and Mudge, too) decide to enter a snowman into the local snowman contest.

Read Aloud Living Books

Select one of these books for a family read-aloud this week.

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner is based upon an old legend. In this story, Willy tries to save the family farm after his grandfather becomes sick. Willy believes he can save the farm if he wins the National Dogsled Race. This is pretty quick read-aloud (you can probably finish it in one day) and is available on KindleUnlimited as well as Audible and Hoopla.

This next choice for a read-aloud will be familiar to Little House fans: The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The winter of 1880-1881 in South Dakota was brutal and the Ingalls family survived because of their ingenuity, determination, and Almonzo Wilder’s dangerous and courageous trip across the prairie to get wheat for the townfolks. Available on Hoopla and Audible. My family enjoyed the version performed by Cherry Jones.

Folktale

This week’s folktale is one of Hans Christian Anderson’s lesser-known stories, The Snowman. The snowman is only a day old, and not understanding how things work, falls in love with heating stove. Watch the video of this tale, created by The FairyTaler.

Wordless Book

Wordless books are one of the best ways to encourage children to tell original stories. Pick up a copy of the book, The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs, at your library or watch the video from U4iA. (Amazon Prime also has a video of the book). Then encourage your child to retell what he or she thinks happened. There are no wrong answers or ideas in storytelling, so let them use their imaginations.

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Literary Analysis

After reading Snowmen at Night, have your students imagine what that snowman does at night and during the daytime. Have them compare what the snowman does with what they do at night and during the day. Use the Primary Literary Analysis worksheets in the Free Resource Library for students who are not writing at the sentence level and have them draw pictures. Use the Intermediate Literary Analysis worksheets for students who are able to write at the sentence level.

Writing

Grammar

Review what an adjective is (it describes nouns) with this video from Homeschool Pop. Work on adding adjectives into your student’s writing to make their writing more descriptive and interesting. Use the Primary Writing with Adjectives worksheets from the Free Resource Library for younger, pre-writing children and the Intermediate Writing with Adjectives worksheets for children writing at the sentence level.

More Grammar

Copywork and narration are a real-life way to work on grammar skills. Use the Snowmen at Night Primary copywork and Narration page from the Free Resource Library. After your child has written the sentence from dictation, let her see the original to check it with her work. Have her correct her work, so that she knows how it should look.

Writing Stories

Give your child three paper plates. Have them cut one of the plates into a smaller circle. Now their paper plates look like a snowman. Have them write a story (or tell you the story while you write it out for them). Use the smaller (head) paper plate for the beginning of the story. Next, write the middle of the story on the body paper plate. Finally, end the story on the last paper plate. Decorate to look like a snowman for fun, if they want. Tape the snowman together and hang up. Encourage them to retell the story to family and friends using the snowman as a prompt to help them remember. (If you don’t have paper plates, just cut out two large circles and one small circle from paper).

Phonemic Awareness

This week, help your preschoolers and kindergarteners with their reading readiness by focusing on beginning sounds (phonology), rhyming words and syllable segmenting. To learn more about the importance of phonemic awareness and how it relates to reading, read this post.

Phonology

We’ll be sorting consonant sounds into “quiet” and “motor”sounds this week. Use the Snowmen at Night Phonology Beginning Sounds & Rhyming packet from the Free Resource Library. Have your child decide if the beginning sound is a quiet sound or a motor sound. Quiet sounds (like p, t, or k) don’t use your voice, whereas motor sounds do use your voice (like b, d, or g). Be sure that you are only saying the consonant sound and not adding a vowel sound at the end like /-ah/ or /ee/. (The vowels sounds use voice and will confuse your kiddos). I like to have kids place their hand on their throat to feel the vibrations of their vocal folds (their “motor”) to help them decide if it’s a quiet sound or a motor sound.

Rhyming

When you read the book, Snowmen at Night, you’ll notice that every other stanza rhymes. Read the book again with your kids, and emphasize the rhyming words to help your kids be able to pick out the rhyming words. Next, use the Rhyming word list from Snowmen at Night Phonology Beginning Sounds & Rhyming packet in the Free Resource Library. Say the two rhyming words and see if your kids can come up with another word that rhymes with those two words. For example, you’d say, “hill, thrill”. Then your child might say “dill” or “mill” or “still”. See how many rhyming words you can think of for each set of rhyming words.

Syllables

Use the Snowmen at Night Syllable Sorting Worksheets from the Free Resource Library. Have your kids cut apart the word cards and sort them into four piles by the number of syllables in each word. To make it easier, have your kids clap as they say the word, clapping for each syllable. For example, for the word “snowman”, they would clap as they say “snow”, and again as they say “man”. These words were taken from the books Snowmen at Night and it’s companion book, Snowmen at Work by Caralyn & Mark Buehner.

Spelling

Research shows that kids retain information better when they are using their bodies, so try a kinetic spelling practice this week. Have your kids write out their spelling words in a salt tray instead of on paper. You could use either regular table salt, or for kids that won’t try to taste it, use epson salt, which have larger crystals.

Vocabulary

Use the Snowmen at Night Vocabulary Cards from the Free Resource Library to learn new words from the book Snowmen at Night. You can use the vocabulary words as spelling words, as a word wall to practice copywork, or as flashcards to work on memorizing definitions. You can also use the cards along with the definition cards to play a matching type of memory game, or just making sure that they understand the concepts.

Music

Here’s a sweet snowman music video from Visual Musical Minds that shows the notes on a musical staff along with the words. This is great for learning the notes of a scale. If your kids have DeskBells or BoomWhackers, this song would be a great one to learn to play with those bells.

Gross and Fine Motor

Fine Motor

Create some fake snow to promote tons of fine motor hand strengthening. It’s super easy! Stir together 1 cup of hair conditioner (I bought some from the dollar store to use for this project) with 5 1/2 to 6 cups of baking soda. Yep, that’s it! My kids played with this fake snow for over an hour and have asked to play with it every day since! One of my daughters has a really difficult time with tasks that require some hand strength, so I gave her a cookie scooper that she could use to make snowballs and snowmen with the fake snow. You could also use an ice cream scooper. (FYI, you can get big bags of baking soda at large box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club).

toilet paper snowman

Gross Motor

Build a snowman, toilet paper style. Let your kids roll each other up in a roll of toilet paper, adding construction paper buttons, a scarf, and sticks for arms.

Sensory and Body Awareness

This time of year when it’s usually too cold to go outside, it can be important to find other ways to help your kids burn energy through “heavy work” activities. Play-dough is a fantastic way to get in some heavy work, plus it doubles as a fine motor activity. Win-win! Use my recipe to make Easy, No-Melt Snow Dough playdough, either regular or gluten-free.

snow dough playdough

More Ideas

Be sure to follow my Pinterest board North Pole South Pole for more great hands-on activities and ideas for your Snowmen at Night unit study!

Check out these additional {FREE} language-based activities that coordinate with this unit study!

Story Sequencing from HomeschoolPreschool.

Picture prompts for retelling the Snowmen at Night story from Pocket of Preschool.

Color Sorting and Matching Cards and Mat from Fun with Mama.

And most importantly, pin this post so you can refer back to it during your Snowman at Night unit study.

snowmen at night

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