in Winter

Students will create a movie using National Geographic's Wildlife Film Maker. The movie will be about what some animals do during the winter to survive. The movie has to be made in one session so plan what animals to use and captions to write on a planning sheet.
Wildlife Film Maker Site

Planning Sheet

As an alternative you could make a class movie using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Children could draw an animal or find a photograph from Creative Commons on the internet and insert it into the movie and write a sentence or two about the animal in winter. Each child could do one slide and they'd be combined into a movie.
Describe a Snowman
Teacher steps & suggested timeline for this activity:
  1. Teacher will register for activity by January 13th. If you know a class that you wish to be partnered with, please contact Vicky Sedgwick to let her know after you register.
  2. Matches can be seen on the Describe a Snowman Spreadsheet. Students can and should be creating snowmen and descriptions once you have registered for the project even if matches have not been completed yet!
  3. Teachers will assist students in designing & saving their snowman as images and in writing their descriptions of their snowmen. For younger grades, teachers may need to actually do the screen captures, cropping & saving.
  4. Teachers will post student descriptions of their snowmen on their class wiki page using a table and as a Word document or PDF by January 22nd. You can see a sample of what your table might look like here.
  5. Teachers should use the Word document from their partner class and assign descriptions to their students. If no Word document or PDF is available, students will need to read descriptions online. Students will then recreate their partner classes' snowmen.
  6. Teachers will then upload each redrawn snowman to their partner's class wiki page next to the description of the snowman they recreated. This should be done by January 29th.
  7. Teachers will upload their student's original drawings to their wiki page and review with students to see how close the students came to matching the original snowmen. This should be done as soon as possible after the redrawn snowman have been uploaded by the partner class.

Student steps for this activity:

  1. Students will design a Snowman using this site. There is no save option on this site so once completed, students (or teachers) will need to do a screen capture to save the image. On a PC, do a Print Screen and paste the image into a program such as Microsoft Paint. In Paint the image can be cropped and saved as a JPEG. Instructions for screen capture on a Mac can be found here.
  2. Students will write a descriptive paragraph about the snowman. Teachers will post students descriptions on their wiki page using a table. It is also helpful to put the descriptions into a Word document or PDF file which your partner class can print out and give to students. For students who are not able to write descriptions yet, descriptions could be recorded using Garage Band or Audacity or students could dictate their descriptions to their teacher.
  3. Students will then read (or have read to them) the descriptions of their partner's snowman and they will try to recreate it using the same site from step #1.
  4. Students will view the finished snowmen and see how the results compare.
Here are some similar projects so you can see how this works: Scary Spuds and Monster Project
Note: This activity could extend in to February depending on the time that a teacher and class has to devote to it in January. The dates in the description are guidelines only (except for the sign up and matching dates) and partnered classes should contact one another to see if the deadlines work for both classes.

Students will create a penguin glyph in PowerPoint using a template and legend. Students could also research facts about penguins and type it below their glyph.
Glyph Template

Glyph Legend


Students will use PowerPoint to create a Mini Math Book with a Penguin Theme. This activity will take take more than one 25-30 minute class period to complete and print.
To create the mini books, print the presentation as handouts with 6 slides per page. The students or teacher can then trim the pages and staple them together to make a book.
To model this activity for students, download the template and modify it slightly to show students how to use PowerPoint to create their Penguin Math Book. This will show them what they need to do but not give them the answers to the math problems in the Penguin Math Book.

Snowflake Bentley
Read the story Snowflake Bentley to the children. Have children look at his photographs and photographs of other snowflakes. Then have children go into to paint program such as TuxPaint or Microsoft Paint and make their own 6 sided flake. Take the completed images and upload them to Animoto for a slideshow. Images could also be uploaded to Voicethread and then children could add a fact about Snowflake Bentley, winter or something they like to do in the winter.
Wilson Bentley Flakes

Snowflake Pictures

Snowflake Bentley Book Info

Winter Poem
Students will write a winter themed poem (winter, snowflakes, snow, etc.) and illustrate it to create a VoiceThread.

Winter in 6 Wordsfeatact.png
Student use PowerPoint to make a short 6 page presentation. called Winter in 6 Words. On each slide the student inserts a winter picture and then writes a 6 word descriptive sentence describing the picture. Save the presentation as a JPEG File Interchange Format. Then the pages are uploaded to Photostory3, a free program. In Photostory3 the students add transitions, music and narrations to each slide.
Final projects will be uploaded to the wiki page.

Example of
3rd Grade Project along with more details.
Winter Fun Voki
Teacher will set up a free Voki account and then make a Winter themed Voki asking students a question. The question could be about a winter book you've read, favorite winter activities or perhaps ways to warm up in the winter. Once the voki is complete embed it on you wiki page. Students listen to the teacher's Voki and then click on comment-leave a comment. Then students create their own Voki and answer the question by typing it or recording it. Students do not need accounts.
Voki Site