As predictions of snow are forecasted and students are dreaming of snowball fights, sledding and building snowmen, it's the perfect time to do winter-themed activities in the classroom!
Snowman Poems Activities
What skills are your students working on? These simple poems can be used to practice a variety of skills!
- Young readers can read these poems using a braille display paired with an iPad
- Students can practice "read all commands" (two finger swipe up or down to read from beginning or from current location, and two finger pause)
- Students can practice increasing listening speed (increase VoiceOver speaking rate and listen to the poem again, increase a second time and listen, then decrease speaking rate and listen)
- Students can practice listening/reading comprehension skills
- Students can practice navigating and editing skills
Want to challenge your students? Substitute a word in the poem (throw in a silly, out-of-context word or substitute a misspelled word). Did your student notice the substitution? Can your student navigate to that word and edit it? Ask your student to substitute a word and see if YOU (the teacher) can find it using VoiceOver to read the text aloud so you and your student can listen together. Speed up the VoiceOver speaking rate to make it even more challenging! (This is a great challenge - who can listen and comprehend faster - you or your student?)
Simple Snowman Poems
- Great Big Snowman (To the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot")
- Snowman Poem (Comprehension - what do you think happened?)
- Frosty the Snowman lyrics (Familiar song, but do you know all the lyrics? This is a great poem to use to increase VoiceOver speaking rate!)
Don't forget, there are many children's books about snowmen! Here are two of my favorites!
- All you Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle (YouTube read aloud video)
- The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll (YouTube read aloud video)
Build a Snowman Kit Activity
As always, students who are blind or visually impaired should have opportunities to create and explore a real snowman. Hmmm, that might be a bit challenging in the classroom to use a real snowman made out of snow, especially for those of us who live in the South! Here is a fun classroom activitity - building an edible snowman:
- 3 large marshmallows (body and head)
- 2 pretzel sticks (arms)
- 2 raisins (eyes)
- 3 mini chocolate chips (buttons)
- 1 candy corn or small orange candy (nose)
- 1 mini peanutbutter cup, upside down (hat - optional)
- 1 piece of Licorice (for scarf - optional)
- 1 graham cracker square (base for snowman - optional)
- 1 toothpick (Use the toothpick to poke holes in the marshmallows to insert eyes, nose and buttons; then push the toothpicks through the large marshmallows to hold the body together.)
If making Snowman kits for each student in the class, place supplies for each snowman in a small ziplock bag. Be sure to create the snowman in the desired order (body first, arms/, then, eyes, nose second and accessories last), as students will use this activity to write the steps of building a snowman!
Another option is to provide your student with "parts" cut out of different textures and have the student put together these parts. You can use the free Build Your Own Snowman printable from PJsandPaint.com as a template.
Building a Snowman Writing Activity
After your student is familiar with snowman and building a snowman - hopefully he/she has had the experience of building a real snowman as well as one of the snowman building-related activities in class - your student is ready to write about his/her experiences. Depending on your student, you can choose to write about the 3-steps involved in making the edible snowman or he/she can write about building a real snowman. Be sure to discuss how making a real snowman is similar and different from building the edible snowman. (The three steps to building a real snowman are: roll your snowballs, stack the snowballs (body) and add all of the features.) Have your student to write a sentence for each of the three steps (ideally the student should be using an iPad paired with a braille display or Bluetooth keyboard to write his/her sentences.)
Note: Each step (sentence) must fit on the snowman's circle! The sentence can be multiple lines, but must not physically go across the entire page. You - the TVI - will need to tell the student to press Enter (Return to a new line) or the student can type the sentence all the way across the page and then cut the page to fit the snowman circle. There must have at least two blank lines between each written step (so that the steps can be cut apart) or the student can write each step on a separate page.
Provide 3 circles of different sizes made from white construction paper. Adhere the circles to blue construction paper, making a snowman. The student's Step 1 sentence should be place in the top circle, Step 2 in the middle circle and Step 3 in the bottom circle. Note: Students who created braille sentences can place both the braille and the print sentences on the snowman, making their braille snowman accessible to sighted peers and family members!
Print (Tech Skill)
Students need to learn to be responsible for sending digital materials to the classroom printer or to their teacher. Ideally, the student's iPad/device is connected to the classroom printer and the student can knows how to send the document to the printer. If the student does not know how to print from his/her iPad, this is a great opportunity to teach that skill! The student should also know how to share a document with his/her TVI (either via email or by sharing the document through collaboration features, such as sharing a Google Document. The student will need to share his/her document with his/her TVI in order to send the document to the embosser to be brailled. Even very young students can be responsible for "turning in" their digital work! This is a great way to encourage the student to take responsibility for his/her work!
Note: The student can use his/her Perkins brailler to write his sentences. Keep in mind, that fun activities like this are a great way to embed technology skills into classroom activities.
If using Pages with VoiceOver to write the steps:
- Left swipe to move to the last item (Reader Mode) in the Tool bar
- Left swipe again to move to the More button
- Double tap to select the More button (a popup menu appears)
- Right swipe down to Print button
- Double tap to select the print button
- Right swipe (twice) to Print button (assuming that the printer is paired and there is only one printer option)
- Double tap to select Print button
Here is a great Google Docs with VoiceOver on the iPad video tutorial created by a student. (See 22.49 minutes for instruction on how to add a collaborator to the document.)
Fun Snowman Writing Prompts
If writing the three steps to build a snowman is not age appropriate for your student, here are two writing prompts that may be a better fit for more advanced writers:
- How to bring a snowman to school.
- You’re proud of the snowman that you built yesterday in front of your house. This morning, however, you notice that the snowman’s carrot nose is missing. The next day, his scarf is gone. Each day after that, another item disappears. What’s going on?! Write a mystery story that describes what’s happening with the disappearing items and give details about how the mystery was solved.