Read a Winter Book...Write a Winter Poem
Marci McGowan is hosting another year of inspirational collaborative literacy work with her Read A Winter Book...Write a Winter Poem project.

Participants are asked to choose a piece of literature with a winter theme to share with their class, then create a collaborative poem to be posted for all to enjoy.

Mrs. McGowan has provided a wide range of resources, including an extensive booklist.

For our project work this year, I chose the wonderful book Snowflake Bentley.

Our Work

Mrs. McGowan had offered so many wonderful resources, one of which was the 5 W's poem. I had never used this poetry form before and wanted to give it a try with the class.

I first explained the type of poetry we would be writing. Then I did a first read of Snowflake Bentley with the class, asking them to listen for who, what, when, where, and why in the story.

Next, using a 5-W star graphic organizer (one W on each point of a five-pointed star) from our Write Source resources, we did a second read, this time taking notes.

Note: Enchanted Learning has many 5 W's graphic organizers.
I believe you need to be a member to print them, but at least you could see what they look like and, perhaps, make your own. Click here for 5 W's graphic organizers.

Using our notes, we wrote a collaborative 5-W poem.
We revised it and wrote a few versions.
Below is the version the children selected for the project.
Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley
discovered that no two snowflake patterns are alike
during the days of horse and sleigh
on a farm in Jericho, Vermont
because he admired the exquisite beauty of nature

The story of Wilson Bentley is a fascinating one. As a matter of fact, the book so captured my imagination that my husband and I took a trip a couple of years ago to Jericho, Vermont to see the sign in the town center (shown in the book) and visit his museum!

As a follow-up to our literacy work, we made a "Snowflake Quilt"...

After reading the book, the children became enthralled with snowflake designs. Using the Make-a-Flake website, the children created amazing designs online in our Computer Lab.

Here is a close-up of one of our quilt blocks.

I then printed each snowflake and put them together in a hallway "quilt" for all to enjoy.

The Make-a-Flake site is SO incredible, I highly recommend you check it out! (Flash required) You will certainly see how unique each and every snowflake design can be!

Read Another Winter Book...Write Another Winter Poem

We were so inspired that we decided to join another poem project, Let It Snow and try another form of poetry, this time an acrostic, with another terrific book, Snowden by Nancy Carlson.
Skating on the slippery ice
Night time practice
Out on the pond in the moonlight
Wobbling at first try
Doing spins and spirals
Exciting, endless fun
Now Snowden's job is done.

After our collaborative work with this acrostic, all the children wrote acrostics about their "study buddies". Great fun! Note: Study Buddies are partners that work together on various learning activities and change approximately monthly.
Resources
Read a Winter Book...Write a Winter Poem 2003
See our work from the project last year ~ Chinese calligraphy in the snow!

Make Your Own Snowflake Online
This is a MUST SEE (and DO!) site - create beautiful snowflakes online
Print or email them, then take some time to visit the Gallery!

Billy and Maria Learn About Winter Weather (Snowflakes)
This is a printable coloring book in pdf format,
that teaches children about the formation of snowflakes.

Billy and Maria Learn About Winter Weather (Winter Storms)
Billy and Maria are back in another printable coloring book.
This time they're learning all about winter storms.

Snow Crystals.com
Very interesting info about snow crystals ~ See two of the pages below
Snowflake and Snow Crystal Photos
Guide to Snowflakes
Learn the names of the different types of snowflakes

Snowflakes - A Thematic Approach
Snowflake Bentley
Wilson Snowflake Bentley - Photographer of Snow
Official site of Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Slideshow
Close-ups of some of Bentley's photographed snow crystals

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Ideas from the author of the book

Jacqueline Briggs Martin's Home Page
The author's website ~ lots to learn about here

Snowflake Bentley from Literature Learning Ladders
Lots of links to explore here

Snowflake Bentley at Carol Hurst's Children's Literature
More ideas for using the book

Snowflake Bentley
Some super ways to use this book with your class!

Snowflake Bentley
More ideas!

Snowflake Facts, Poems and Lots More
Another Frosty Reader project

Quia Game - Snowflake Bentley

Our class website ~ Window to Our World
Animated snowmen from Cute Colors
Special thanks to Marci McGowan for sharing the snowflake background!