We Make a Snowman
About the Book
Text Type: Fiction/Personal Account
Page Count: 10
Word Count: 54
We Make a Snowman is a story about three children who go outside together on a snowy day. The friends play in the snow and make a snowman. At the end of the book they go inside the house and eat soup. The repetitive text pattern in this book is supported by delightful illustrations.
About the Lesson
Targeted Reading Strategy
- Use the strategy of self-questioning to understand text
- Sequence events in a story
- Identify words in oral sentences
- Associate the letter Mm with the sound /m/
- Locate periods in sentences
- Understand and use content vocabulary
- Book -- We Make a Snowman (copy for each student)
- Chalkboard or dry-erase board
- Chart paper
- Sequencing, phonics, vocabulary worksheets
Indicates an opportunity for student to mark in the book. (All activities may be completed with paper and pencil if you choose not to have students consume the books.)
- High-frequency words: we, make, the, in
- Content words: play, friend, snows, snowman, arms, eyes, nose, mouth, house, dad, soup
- Involve students in a discussion about snow. Ask: What does snow look like? What does snow feel like? What does snow taste like?
- Have students share their experiences playing in the snow. Have them dramatize different things they do when playing in the snow: making a snowman, making and throwing snowballs, making angels in the snow.
- Extend the discussion by talking about what children might do after playing in cold, wet snow.
Introduce the Book
- Show students the front cover of the book. Ask them to predict what the children are going to do in the story, based on the cover illustration. Encourage them to explain their predictions. Read the title of the book to confirm their predictions. Show students the illustration on the title page.
Introduce the Strategy: Self-questioning (I wonder)
- Tell students that good readers think and ask questions to themselves as they read books. Explain that this helps them understand what they are reading and also makes reading more fun. Ask students to look at the cover and listen as you model asking questions that begin with I wonder.
- Think-aloud: I know that good readers think and ask questions when they read books. When I look at the picture on the cover and read the title, I have many questions about the story. I wonder how many balls the children are going to use to make the snowman. I wonder what the children are going to use to make the snowman’s eyes, nose, and mouth. I wonder if they are going to put clothes on the snowman. Asking questions gets me thinking about the story and gives me a purpose for reading because I want to find the answer to my questions. Invite students to share what they wonder about. Record students’ wonderings on a “We Wonder” chart.
- Preview the book with students. Invite them to look at each picture and share their wondering.
- As students read, they should use other reading strategies in addition to the targeted strategy presented in this section. For tips on additional reading strategies, click here.
Introduce the Vocabulary
- Use the book walk as an opportunity to reinforce the language patterns and new vocabulary in the book. For example, on page 3, ask: Where is the child going? Yes, that’s right, she is going out to play. On page 4, ask: Who is going outside to play with the girl? Yes, that right, she is going out to play with her friends.
- Have students point to the word that says snow on page 5. Ask how they know that the word says snow. Remind students to use what they know about sounds and letters to help them figure out new words. Tell them to use the picture clues and to reread the sentence with the new word to make sure it makes sense.
- Point to the words at the bottom of the page. Explain that the words on the page tell the story and that they are read from left to right. Demonstrate how to read from left to right, pointing to each word as you read. Have students read a page while pointing to each word.
- Write the high-frequency word we on a dry erase board or chalkboard. Read the word to students. Turn to page 6 in the book. Read the sentence to students while pointing to the words. Point out the word we. Flip through each page of the book with students and invite them to count the number of times we appears. Do the same activity for the words make, in, and the.
- For additional tips on teaching high-frequency words or word-attack strategies, click here.
Set the Purpose
- Tell students to read the book to find answers to their questions. Remind them to continue to think and ask questions during the reading.
- Guide the reading: Give students books and direct them to read to the end of page 8. Tell students to reread the pages if they finish before everyone else.
- Listen to individual students read the text orally. Monitor their use of reading strategies and intervene when necessary to prompt for strategy use. Encourage students to share what they wonder about as they read the text.
- Review and model asking questions.
- Think-aloud: The book answered some of my “I wonder” questions. When I first looked at the cover pictures, I wondered how many balls the children would use to make the snowman’s body. I also wondered what the children would use to make the snowman’s eye, nose, and mouth. The book told the answers to some of my questions. The snowman’s body is made from three balls. The children used rocks for the snowman’s eyes and a finger indented in the snow to make his mouth. I also wondered what the children would use for the snowman’s nose and if they would put clothes on the snowman. The book has not answered these questions yet. I wonder if those questions are going to be answered in the rest of the book. I also have a new question. I wonder what the children are going to do when they finish making the snowman.
- Reread the “We Wonder” chart you created with students earlier in the lesson. Invite students to discuss whether the book answered their initial questions. Encourage students to share new wonderings. Add the new questions to the chart.
- Tell students to read the remainder of the story.
Tell students to make a small question mark in their books beside any word or words they do not understand or cannot pronounce. These can be addressed in the discussion that follows.
Reflect on the Reading Strategies
- Ask students what words they marked in their books. Model how they can read these words using decoding strategies and context clues.
- Review how asking questions before and during the reading gives the reader a reason to read to find the answers to their questions.
Teach the Comprehension Skill: Sequence events
- Discussion: Invite students to share what they might do after playing in the snow.
- Introduce and model the skill: Tell students that a story is a series of events that happen in a particular order. First one thing happens, and then something else happens. Explain that the way events happen in a story is called the sequence. Tell students that unless a story is told in the order in which it happened, it usually does not make sense. Explain that this is why it is good to think about the things that happen at the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Say: To make sense of the story We Make a Snowman I need to think about what happened at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the story. At the beginning of the story, the children went outside to play in the snow. In the middle of the story the children made a snowman and played with it. Thinking about the order of events in the story and using the words beginning, middle, and end helps me remember the story better.
- Check for understanding: Have students use the words beginning, middle, and end to tell the sequence of events involved in making a snowman. (In the beginning, I collect snow. In the middle, I build the snowman’s body. At the end, I play with the snowman.)
- Independent practice: Have students use the sequencing worksheet to retell the story to a partner.
Instruct students to use the last page of their book to draw a snowman they would like to make. Have them write a description of their snowman under the picture. Have students share their pictures with the group.
Phonemic Awareness: Word awareness
- Turn to page 3 in the book. Read the sentence to students. (I go out to play.) Hold up a finger as you say each word. Tell students that there are five words in the sentence and that each finger stands for one word.
- Tell students that you are going to read some sentences and that they should hold up a finger for each word in the sentence. Read the following sentences:
We play in the snow. We go in the house. Dad makes hot soup.
Phonics: Sound/symbol relationship for Mm
- Write the letter Mm on the board and ask students to tell you the name of the letter. Have students read the title on the cover of the book. Ask students to locate the word that begins with m in the title (Make). Ask students to read the word and tell you what sound the letter m stands for in the word.
- Tell students that they are going to read some words that start with the /m/ sound and the letter Mm. Write the words map, mat, and man on the board. Point to the word map. Run your finger under each of the letters as you sound out the word. Repeat and have students sound it out with you.
- Continue having students sound out the remaining words. Ask volunteers to come up and circle the letter in each word that stands for the /m/ sound.
- Ask students to locate, read, and underline the words in the book that begin with the letter Mm and the /m/ sound.
- For additional practice, have students complete the phonics worksheet.
Grammar and Mechanics: Periods
- Read the sentence on page 3 aloud. Point to the period in the sentence. Explain that this mark is called a period and is used at the end of sentences that tell something.
- Have students turn to page 10 and locate the periods on the page. Explain that readers pause when they see a period at the end of a sentence before they start reading the next sentence. Model this concept by reading page 10 aloud.
Ask students to use a yellow crayon to highlight all the periods in the book.
Vocabulary: Content vocabulary
- Draw a picture of a snowman on chart paper. Make word cards for the following content words: eyes, nose, mouth, arms.
- Read the word cards to students. Give each student a word card. Ask them to read the word and then label the snowman by pasting their word card on the picutere.
Have students locate, read, and circle the content words in their books.
- For additional practice, have students complete the content vocabulary worksheet.
- Allow students to read their books independently or with a partner. Partners can take turns reading parts of the book.
- Give students their books to take home to read with parents, caregivers, siblings, or friends.
Extend the Reading
Writing and Art Connection
- Ask students to think of things they would like to do with their friends in the snow.
- Write the following sentence patterns on the board: We play in the snow. We make__________. (We make snowballs. We make snowmen. We make snow angels). Ask each student to provide words to fill in the blank. Have students copy the pattern and write in their words. Have them draw pictures to go with their sentences. Collect the pages and make into a class book titled "We Play in the Snow."
- Have students share what happens to snow when the sun comes out and the weather gets warmer.
- Put an ice cube on a plate in the classroom. Ask students to predict what will happen to the ice cube. Have students observe the ice cube as it melts and the water evaporates.
Monitor students to determine if they can:
- ask and answer questions before, during, and after reading
- correctly sequence events in a story using the words beginning, middle, and end; use the words to retell the story to a partner
- correctly count the number of words in a sentence when a sentence is read orally
- identify and read words that start with Mm /m/ in the book
- locate periods in sentences in the book
- use content vocabulary to label a snowman
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