February 05, 2014

Just a Snowman {product swap}

 a review of Just a Snowman book companion from Let's Talk

Well, that groundhog predicted winter will never, ever, ever end, and he was right! We're in the midst of a blizzard as I type. School let out early Tuesday due to the snow, and a Wednesday snow day is pending today school is cancelled thanks to 6 inches of snow. I did get a couple days this week, thankfully, to use this book companion from Whitney over at Let's Talk with my students, and it is great!

Just a Snowman, by Mercer Mayer, is such a wonderful book for preschoolers during the winter time. It's full of winter vocabulary and activities, adorable Little Critter pictures, and it's not too long in length. Whitney creates super great book companions, and I especially love her Just a Snowman packet for my preschoolers. Here's what we did with her activities:

There are two versions of story comprehension questions included in the packet: one version with picture choices, and one without. For my preschoolers, we used the questions with picture choices. These were easy to use as during-story questions (see above), or as recall questions after the story was over. Tip: Write the page number the question cards coordinate with for easy sorting.

There are also picture cards included for detailed story sequencing, which makes it easy to adjust tasks for each student's ability level. For instance, I used just three pictures for one of my kiddos so she could unscramble and identify beginning, middle, and ending events:

A sorting activity targets winter clothes and summer clothes:

I did end up drawing a sun and a snowflake onto the sorting mats to help my littles out remembering the difference between summer and winter. Tip: attach to a file folder and laminate for easy storage/use. The clothing items were also great for targeting vocabulary. There was a regional vocabulary difference in the label for the hat (the picture is labeled 'toboggan', but here in Iowa we know it as a 'stocking hat'), but my students never knew since they can't read. We used them while reading the story to identify the clothing Little Critter and his sister were putting on to go play outside:

Additional sequencing activities include Building a Snowman and Making Hot Chocolate:

 we also used these during story reading

I love barrier games, and this one has amazingly fun pictures to go with it!

For my articulation students we used the Snowy Speech sheets after reading and identified words from the story with target phonemes:

The packet also includes awesome story maps, vocabulary sheets, and writing prompts! Since my caseload is of the preschool variety, I used the writing prompts as conversation starters, then wrote their answers for them, then had them draw pictures of what their answers would be. It was fun!

Additional activities include winter coloring pages, a snowball fight board game, compare/contrast pages, and What's Different cards:

I chose not to print these differences cards out, and instead we used these pages on the iPad. I am going to attach the snowball fight board game to the back of the clothing sort file folder to keep everything in one spot.

Overall, I highly recommend this book companion! It has adorable graphics, a wide variety of activities, and it's very detailed and well made. Get your own copy here. Let's Talk has a ton of other great book packets to check out. She's super thorough with her activities, and creates them specifically to coordinate with Story Grammar Marker. Be sure to browse through all her activities on Teachers Pay Teachers.

You can also find and follow Let's Talk around the web:

(P.S. I found this video online of Mercer Mayer reading his Just a Snowman book!)


Disclosure: Whitney was so kind to provide me with a copy of this book companion for review. All opinions are my own!

Abby prefers a hazelnut latte over hot chocolate after playing in the snow.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you used the different activities....especially the sequencing cards and drawing the visuals on the clothing sorting mats..I'll have to add the pictures to mine as well! I'm so glad your students enjoyed it. Thanks so much for reviewing it!