From writing, to symmetry, to science cycles, winter provides so many fun entry points to connect what is happening inside your classroom to the cold wintry weather outside.
Students can combine text, images, voice narration and video to demonstrate understanding and share ideas with Wixie. And with just this one tool, students can create so many different products, like videos, eBooks, comics, and more.
English Language Arts
Descriptive writing through winter-scene postcards
Ask students to share memories from winter, especially if you are just back from a vacation or break, through the creation of a postcard. Have them draw a scene on the front to share details and then write a note about the scene or activities. The images on the front are a great support for struggling writers, serving as scaffolds to help them come up with more descriptive words.
You can have students start a blank project and start drawing. When they are ready to write a note, they can simply add a new page. You and your students can also search "postcard" at your Wixie home page to assign or start from a template like the one above.
How-to writing for winter-themed activities
Some students love winter, others dislike the cold or being stuck inside. To help your students gain ideas for activities they can do outside and inside, ask them to create how-to guides for their favorite winter activities.
Have students present their how-to guides to the rest of the class for ideas of things they can do in the snow, over the break, or if stuck inside during a storm. If younger students stick to four pages, you can easily print as a booklet in Wixie to fold, read, and share. Students can also export their work as videos you can easily upload and share to your classroom website or to a YouTube playlist.
Write your own adaptations of your favorite winter stories
Turn your emerging readers into writers with a simple adaptation of your favorite pattern story. It's easy to have each student create a single page and then combine them together for a class book. For example, read Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle, and ask students to repeat the pattern with their own winter animals. Here are a few more ideas:
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Ask young students to decorate a new mitten for Nikki so he doesn’t lose it in the snow or ask older students to tell the winter adventure story of a different article of clothing.
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Have students write simple sentences about what their snowman might do at night. Give it a simple noun-verb format and even add an alliterative component.
Explore syllables, rhyme, and precise language with winter-themed poetry
Poetry is another great way to support both emerging and advanced writers. Use a short, structured poetry form, such as a "WINTER" acrostic or 5 senses poem, for emerging writers. Challenge stronger writers to choose just the right words for a haiku poem that includes a "kigo" word that indicates (but does not state) the season.
Write winter-themed word problems
Solving word problems is included throughout the standards to help students better understand and apply real world math problems. To help students visualize the math in sentences, have students illustrate a story problem about winter and record an explanation of the solution. Collect the student projects into a class book and solve all the problems together.
Explore snowflake symmetry
Wixie's paint brush comes with symmetry options, including a six-sided radial option perfect for snowflakes. Discuss both linear (reflection) and rotation symmetry and compare the snowflakes you all create to see how many different ways snowflakes can look.
Write stories that show the water cycle through a snowflake
Turn the snowflake you created with 6-sided symmetry into a character to personify it, and then write the story of its day or life (cycle). Explore a Diary of a Snowflake lesson plan.
Explore animal adaptations for cold weather
This is the perfect time to get students thinking about how animals adapt and survive different weather and climate using a range of physical and behavioral adaptations.
Write a narrative story
Like the cycle story above, have students tell a story that showcases how an animal's physical characteristics or behavior change during winter (migration/hibernation).
Give yourself an animal adaptation
Read a story like What If You Had Animal Hair? by Sandra Markle and give yourself an adaptation describing how it would enable you to adapt. Search "adapt" at your Wixie home page for this and other templates you can assign to students.
Design a hibernation hotel
Have students show their understanding about what an animal needs for a successful hibernation through the design of the perfect hibernation hotel. Find a Hibernation Hotel lesson plan.
Put it all together with a winter animal riddle
Create a riddle to challenge other student's knowledge about animals you see (or don't if they hibernate) in winter. Find an Animal Riddles lesson plan.
Take advantage of Wixie's Templates Library
Wixie's Templates library includes thousands of standards-based activities you can use for formative assessments and performance tasks. Search the library for "winter" to find writing, math, and season activities like the ones mentioned above and many more! Use the templates for quick bell ringers, to fill extra time you find during the day, or to kick off a winter-themed unit of study.