Our school is on the edge of a wood, so it is not unusual for us to have rabbits and deer cross our playground, squirrels in the trees and hawks flying overhead. Since our state gets so much snow, my students often wonder what happens to all the animals that we usually see. The book, Over and Under the Snow, is a great way to explain where the animals go in the winter. Also, an important skill and reading strategy to teach children when they are reading informational text is labeling. It is important for the students to understand that labels can provide more information about the text. I have taken this story and created a retelling lesson using labels as prompts.
Today, I would like to introduce you to a story that is new to me, but will help me to answer some of your questions about where the animals go when it is wintertime. This story is told from the point of view of young girl who is out skiing with her dad. Have any of you been skiing before? The type of skiing that the characters in the story are doing is called cross-country skiing. When people cross-country ski, they travel over the snow and don't need hills to get going.
As I read this story, try to remember the animals that we encounter, and where these animals were living during the winter.
Boys and girls, now that we have heard this story and looked at the illustrations, who can tell me some of the animals we saw in the book? I am going to make a list on the board , but I am going to draw a horizontal line. This means that I am drawing a line across the board. If the animal was living above the snow, I will write it above the line, but if the animal lived beneath the snow, I will write the name of the animal below the line. So let's see--fox. The fox lived above the snow. Vole--the vole lived beneath the snow.
Once the children have listed all of the animals, I introduce the booklet that the children will be making. I explain to the class that we are going to do an activity similar to what we just wrote onto the board. Each child will get a booklet and a sheet of animals and animal words. The children cut out animals from the page, and glue them to either the top or the bottom of the page as it fits.
After you have figured out whether the picture goes on the top of a page or the bottom, I would like you to cut out the name of the animal to label it. Here is an example page. On the top of the paper, I glued the picture of the fox. Now I will go to the word bank on the bottom of the picture page, and cut out the word: fox. Can you help me to figure out which word is fox? What sound do we hear at the beginning? The middle? The end? See how I cut out the word and glued it next to the picture? I labeled the picture with the animal's name.
Take a look at my next example, mouse. It is on the bottom of the page because it burrows under the snow. Take a look at the word bank again so the we can find the word mouse. You will follow this same procedure for each of your pages. For each page that you complete, you are prompting yourself to remember what happened in the story. This is a different way for you to do a retelling. When you get to the last page, please stop and see me so that I can give you more directions. (I do this because the directions for the last page are completely different.)
The very last page coincides with the ending of the book. At the end of the story, the little girl is dreaming about the things she has seen in the woods. The children will also illustrate a dreaming page.
The last page in your book allows you to illustrate your dream. You may use the picture page to cut out any remaining animals and glue them to a cloud to symbolize your dreaming. Please draw your face in place of the person missing from the bed. This is the last cutting and gluing you will do in this book, but I will give you an opportunity to share with a classmate.
When your book is complete, show it to me before you share it with a friend. I am looking for students that were paying careful attention to the story and can retell what they have learned. I want you to be able to retell the story, point out the labels to your friend so they can see what you think is important in your illustrations.Then find a partner and share your ideas. When you are finished, you may put the pages in your book boxes.