Little Log Cottage School

6 Ways to Learn About Winter Animals

I’ve considered myself a thematic teacher for the past 12 years.  I’ve found a lot of different lessons for a great many themes.  Some of these lessons have been gotten beautiful results, while others have fallen flat.  But, I’m ok with that.  It’s the end result that matters.

If you’re curious on how to teach thematically, then you may want to see my ways to learn about winter animals.  I hope some of these lessons and activities will inspire you to teach thematically, too.

One quick note before diving in.  There is no right or wrong way to teach thematically.  There are so many activities you could do for a topic, you’ve got to do what works for you and your kids.  Because everyone’s unique, right?

I’m sharing the activities we are doing, hoping it will inspire you.  If you have been doing winter animals, I hope you’ll share your ideas with me in the comments!  That’s how we can all work together!

Here we go!

Winter Animal Poem

This poem was shared by First Grade Garden.  What I like to do on the first day of study, is to present a poem about the topic.  Then the kids glue the poem into their poetry notebooks.

I read through the poem, then encouraged the kids to circle or color all of the words in the poem that they know.  When time allows, the kids illustrate the poem.

RELATED POST: Winter Birds Thematic Study

Shared Reading

I begin every thematic unit with a few good read a-louds.

Because books can help set the stage, I usually begin a unit by reading one to the kids.  They engage the reader and begin to build prior knowledge.

The Shine a Light Books are beautiful examples to begin a unit.  They are extremely unique in the fact that the kids get to shine a flashlight behind each page to find what the author is talking about.  My kids love them!

RELATED POST: 6 Ways to Promote Life-Long Readers

Anchor Chart

If you’ve been reading along for awhile, you know one of my favorite teacher supplies is the big chart paper.  I honestly don’t know how I’d teach without it!

After beginning the unit with the Shine a Light Book, we went through the book listing the animals on the chart paper that hibernated.  It was fun to read about frogs freezing for the winter and then thawing in the spring.  🙂

Sight Word Readers About Hibernation

I was very fortunate to run across these sight word readers from The Measured Mom.  These were perfect for Little Red to read to me after we completed the anchor chart.

After going over the sight words, I knew which ones we needed to work on for the week.  Plus, reading about bats and ladybugs hibernating gave us more animals to add to our anchor chart.

RELATED POST: Sight Words Center Packet #1 

Where Do Animals Go in Winter Poster

Again I found another gem!  I love doing anything with coloring, cutting, and pasting!  This activity tied in hibernation comprehension and reading!  A true win-win!

This was a fun activity to do after reading about hibernation.  After reading about animals in winter, Little Red was able to complete this engaging activity!

Information Recording

Anytime I can tie reading into a unit, I do a hula dance!   This little printable was just what I needed to get the kids writing about what they learned.  And the fun part?  Reading their facts to each other and then signing off on each other’s paper!  Conversing with others about their writing is so important for successful writers!  You can find this activity here.

RELATED POST: Castle Writing

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