Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner is the perfect read-aloud for January.
My class loved reading ‘Snowmen at Christmas’ in December so much, I just had to bring out ‘Snowmen at Night’ for January. This book sparks the students imagination as to why snowmen look so different the day after they build them. Why does the snowman’s mouth look a little crooked and why does it seem to have lost a little height? Could it be because they come to life and do silly things at night?
We spent 4 days diving into this story by learning more about the author’s craft, asking text dependent questions, completing fun graphic organizers, making a snowman craft, and discussing what snowmen do at night.
On the first day I had students complete a simple and fun snowman shaped graphic organizer to recall key ideas and details from the story. Together we brainstormed things from the text that the snowmen did at night and then the students chose three of those to write and draw on the snowman.
After revisiting the story the second day, we used a vocabulary sheet to dive into the definitions of some difficult vocabulary words. I chose grin from the story and modeled how to complete the graphic organizer, then I gave the students a new word. We discussed the new word together and they completed their own graphic organizer.
After revisiting the story the third day, we discussed comparing and contrasting. Then the student compared what the snowmen did to what they do at night. This lesson helped us look more closely at some of the phrases in the story. During the first read, students usually don’t understand why snowmen drink iced cocoa and this gave us the opportunity to talk about it and why the snowmen might drink iced cocoa instead of hot cocoa. My students loved deciding what they like to drink before they go to bed. I love the conversations these text dependent questions strike up with my class. I had my students share what they like to drink at night with their partner using a conversation stick. Then the students completed the compare and contrast graphic organizer.
For the fourth day, I thought it would be fun to have students think of something else the snowmen might do at night. My class really enjoyed this writing activity. There were so many ideas flowing and they were all motivated to write their thoughts. We finished this read-aloud lesson with a simple snowman art project to accompany the writing.
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Are you thinking I am crazy for spending 4 days on one book? I can promise your students will not get bored with these lessons. Each day is structured with a different focus as we read the story. You can learn more about how I use text dependent questions to guide the daily read-aloud focus here. If you are still wondering if your students will enjoy something like this try our free interactive read-aloud here, or if you are ready to try ‘Snowmen at Night’ in your classroom click on the image below. We also have over 100 other read-alouds to choose from in our TPT store!
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