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Reading in a Winter Wonderland


Put on a scarf and pour yourself some hot cocoa! It's time for our 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland link up!  Found at the end of this post is a "map" of The Reading Crew blogs participating, so you can hop through them all at once, visit some today and some later in the week, or see what best matches your literacy needs. 

On each blog, you will see a word in blue font. This is the blog's mystery word. Please be sure to record them because you will need each word for a five point entry in our raffle. To help you keep track, you can print and use this form. We are raffling off two wonderful prizes. We are giving away a copy of each book featured in our posts to two winners (K-2 group) and the (3-up group). Each prize package will include 12 books (K-2) and 13 books (3-up). I must say that I am SWOONING over these winter books. Some are old favorites, but many are new to me, including my selection Over and Under the Snow

Each blogger has shared their winter-themed book and lesson idea along with a resource. This may be a forever freebie or may be free for a limited time. Please take note of this as you visit the blogs. 

Again, we welcome you to our blogs and wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.


Over and Under the Snow was written by Kate Messner.  Kate is a former middle school teacher and award-winning author.  My favorite fact I've learned about this author is that she wrote the first draft of this book on a school bus on the way home from a 7th grade snowshoe field trip in the Adirondacks.  Not only was it written on a bus, but scribbled in bumpy bus writing on the back of an attendance sheet! I'm usually gripping my bottle of Dramamine, and praying I don't get sick on the bus ride during a field trip! This author actually mapped out an award-winning book!

Though this book paints a beautiful picture of the winter season, I have mixed feelings about the cold. I am the girl wearing sweaters and scarves when it drops below 70 here in Texas.  On the other hand, I love the changes that winter brings, especially with holiday traditions and having a great excuse to wrap up in a cozy blanket.  
  

Messner shares, 
"Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow exists a secret kingdom of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals that live through the winter safe and warm, awake and busy, under the snow. Discover the wonder and activity that lies beneath winter’s snowy landscape in this magical book."

There really isn't any better way to describe this book than magical! When I first read this book to a group of second graders, I thought we'd never make it to the end. The illustrations are so beautiful, and the kids made so many connections as we were reading about animals who Hibernate in the winter that I lost track of what we were writing on our anchor chart! The second grade boys were especially interested in wondering what the fat bullfrogs might be dreaming about!



Before reading our book, I would invite students to share their schema related to animals in winter. Using sticky notes to share our schema, we will revisit the anchor chart after reading the story and completing the QR Code activity.  


Keep in mind that I teach 1st-4th graders, and I often adapt aspects of a read aloud lesson to fit that particular grade level.  My 1st and 2nd graders would spend more time with the Animals in Winter anchor chart than my 4th graders. 

My 4th graders would then revisit our interactive notebook entry related to imagery. I would explain that as we read today we are noticing what we visualize in our minds as we read the story keeping our five senses in mind.  I would remind students that good readers listen to the words and create pictures in their minds to go with the words. We would also revisit our thinking stem anchor chart and talk about how to describe what we visualize using complete sentences with details.


Focusing on imagery is one of my favorite ways to help students make connections with their reading and writing. As an intervention teacher, the more I expose my students to quality mentor texts like this one, the better they will be at creating images as independent readers and writers. 


I love the author's use of "a whole secret kingdom" and would use this as a discussion point to talk about what other connections we can make to what might lie beneath the snow and ground. 


My freebie includes informational links and QR Code Task cards related to the animals found in Over and Under the Snow.  Each animal listed also has a link to an information page students can use to research and record findings.  Each QR code will take the student to vivid images or videos of that animal.  I plan to use the set of QR Task Cards as an independent or partner station after reading the book together as a class.  This will give my students an opportunity to make connections between what we've just read, and the new information from a non-fiction online source.


I've also included a list of vivid verbs to focus on when teaching imagery, a page that can be use to create an illustration or diagram, and a fact sheet for students to record any interesting information learned about one of the animals as they complete their research.

If you are unfamiliar with QR Codes, FlapJackEd has a great Youtube Tutorial to give you a step-by-step guide on how to use QR Codes in the classroom. 
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Don't forget! My mystery word is Hibernate. You can enter it onto your sheet or into the rafflecopter below. Good luck to you, and I hope you'll visit NotJANE again soon!



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11 comments:

  1. I have to get my hands on that book- it looks amazing! Thank you for sharing your freebie and ideas! My kiddos are going to love this! :)

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    1. I used Amazon Prime to get a fresh copy for a friend! DEFINITELY worth it. It is so pretty and the story is so dreamy. Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. This is my favorite book in the hop. I am in love with the use of language and the illustrations. The book is a beautiful piece of writing. It is on my Amazon wishlist right now. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. YAY! I'm glad you like it. The author has another book that is similar but not in winter (over and under the ground concept) that my first graders would have loved during our plant/soil unit. I am ordering it as well. :)

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  4. This looks like a beautiful book, thank you for sharing it! And I am in Texas wearing fleece and boots in 70 degrees too...and I've only been here 5 years! Grew up in Massachusetts so it's actually quite sad.

    Jessica
    Literacy Spark

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    1. Thank you Jessica for all your help with the hop! I am trying so hard to not turn on the heater but it is 67 in here!!! LOL sitting in a scarf and blanket as I type. lol I would love to visit Massachusetts some day (in the summer or fall! lol)

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  5. W O W! What a great post - this book looks amazing and so does your freebie!
    Jenn

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    1. Thank you Jenn :) Have a wonderful day!

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  6. I love this book! Thanks so much for the resource. I downloaded and left feedback. Can't wait to use!

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