All about Winter-Books, Activities and Animals

Briggs' illustration of the snowman.

Briggs’ illustration of the snowman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The month of December is always festive, hectic and full of events! Knowing this, I planned to have an easy breezy December homeschool schedule this year. (Not to mention a full 40 hours of work each week, being in retail) Most days we just did some quick math sheets with either a winter or Christmas theme, copywork of multiplication facts, LOF and patterns and shape matching with Luke- the rest looking back just fell into place! In covering the topic of Winter, we read many books on Hibernation, Snowflakes, The Arctic and Antarctica, The History on Christmas and Christmas traditions around the world, baking in the kitchen, and several winter outings as well.

As we wrapped things up this week before the Holiday ahead, my oldest put together this Arctic/Hibernation poster on the highlights of his studies over the month.

winter 009

winter 010

Luke has been working on his patterns and using scissors as well as the what seems like…the never ending potty training! ;p His favorite book this month was  Pooch on the Loose by Steven Kroll. A story about a dog who wants to explore New York City at Christmas time. He loved it mostly because it had a map on the inside front and back cover of the book. He just loves, loves maps lately!winter 005

His other favorite is the story Jingle, both boys now have the story and the dog and have sat together a few times to read together. Love those kind of moments!

I wanted to share the books we read this month for anyone who is interested in a Unit type study on Winter, Hibernation, Snow etc.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season and hold those memories in your heart! This year in wake of the recent Sandy Hook event, I will be extra thankful I get to spend mine with my family and friends (near and far)  Enjoy and I’ll share again real soon as I already see a break in work hours for January, so I’ll be planning to get more accomplished with some activities!

Cover of "Welcome to the Ice House"

Cover of Welcome to the Ice House

 

Book List:

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Come Look with me Animals in Art by Gladys Blizzard ( great picture study book)

The Story of Snow The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino

Ice Bear and Little Fox by Johnathan London

Welcome to the Ice House by Jane Yolen

Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Wind Blows by Marianne Berkes

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration by Marianne Berkes

How do you know it’s winter? by Ruth Owen

Favorite Halloween/Fall Lessons

Cover of "Pumpkin Elf Mystery (Ready, Fre...

Cover of Pumpkin Elf Mystery (Ready, Freddy!)

Cover of "It's Pumpkin Time!"

Cover of It’s Pumpkin Time!

This is my favorite time of year! The temperature is pretty fair, the leaves are beautiful and there are so many things to do, places to go and not to mention plentiful ideas for teaching! Here are a few of our favorites that we’ve done so far…

Math:

Leaf Patterns found here

Preschool level- an easy match game numbered 0-10

Elementary: Roll the dice, which ever number it lands on; add, subtract, double, multiply or divide. Use for even or odd recognition etc.

 

 

 

 

  Candy Graphing: Estimation, counting, adding, total number, comparing, sorting, predictions and comparisons! Just printed out a blank graph sheet and chose a big box of colored candy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister did a great lesson on pumpkins here Weighing, measuring, estimating and some science too!

Halloween online math game addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

…and of course we did some baking projects as well!

Science and Nature:

Nature walks!! We go out often, this week we met up with family and enjoyed a fun walk! This site has great scavenger hunt ideas and 150 things to do in the fall! I get a lot of ideas from this site.

We did a seed match game,connecting the seeds to its proper leaf. The one we enjoyed the most for science this week was putting together a skeletal outline using items from nature!

 

 

 

We tried a Science experiment with Gummy Worms to make them “wiggle” but it failed! Soaking the worms in baking soda and water for about 20 minutes, then dropping them into Vinegar to watch them wiggle, except they didn’t wiggle as much as just fizz…..

The boys also made Gak and Silly puddy with their Aunt this week.  We later on used cookie cutters in the shapes of Halloween to press into the two different textures and compared the differences!

 

Language Arts:

This week’s book favorites are : It’s Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall and  Ready, Freddy! The Pumpkin Elf Mystery by Abby Klein

A great writing lesson was making up a story board! A Halloween story put into a cartoon form I found here.  A Ghoulish cartoon story!

Making Monster sentences! This is a printable activity, in which I cut out all the monster feet and put them on construction paper and stapled together as a book. Under or next to each set of feet, he had to come up with a sentence about the feet. Such as “The monster with the speckled feet and legs, got lots of candy!”

Art:

We did some puff paint ghosts and pumpkins. Mix together shaving cream and glue and add food coloring if you wish. It dries puffy!

While the shaving cream was out, we also did ghost art, simply drawing ghosts with our fingers in the shaving cream on top of trays.

Primitive art study: I found this picture through an image search for Halloween art. With a printed out picture, we talked about the images, the style and then after viewing it for a while, I flipped it over and asked him to tell me verbally all the things he could remember in the picture.

We have many more activities coming this week! Follow me on Pinterest as I have lots of ideas pinned! My sister Homeschool’s as well using the Unschooling method and has many posts on lessons for Halloween activities!  Here is her Blog.

🙂 Enjoy!!