Just like every other teacher (in most states) I pray for snow days. However, as a former New Yorker now living in what I consider a “Southern” state (VA), I adore in the fact that I do not have to deal with 15 degree mornings, scraping the ice off my car before work (when I’m already running late), and tracking in dirty, brown slush everywhere I go. It’s a very real inner struggle. This week in therapy, I am mixing the best of both worlds!
The other SLP at my school found this awesome “instant snow” kit at Hallmark. During the after Christmas sale, it was only $0.99!
|This is what the packaging looked like. It was originally $5. I wouldn’t have paid that much, but it is definitely worth the dollar!|
|The powder (or “snow”) came in this tube, which was taped to the cardboard pictured above. Please excuse the fruit bowl. Use what you have…|
This group is full of students from self-contained classrooms; their primary disorders include autism and intellectual disability. My colleague and I share the group and we see them for a full hour. We usually talk about our weekends and then do something fun and language rich for the rest of the session. We started out seeing them for the usual half hour, but always had to end at a crucial and fun point in our weekend conversation so we upped it to a full hour session. And I’m SO glad we did! At the beginning of the session, we told them we were going to make something. We gave them one clue that it was not something you eat and then had them guess. One student guessed hot chocolate. Another one, with poor initiation, guess we’d be making a Kleenex (there was a box of them next to her.). This is why I love my job.
After we talked about our weekend, asking questions and formulating grammatically correct sentences, we gave the students a few more clues about what we were making. We wrote each one on a post-it and laid them out on the table.
|The clues were: “white”, “do not eat it”, “see it in winter” and “cold”.|
They were able to synthesize all of this information and guess snow (one said “ice” – not bad). Woo hoo!
Here are the students touching the powder while it was in my hand. We described how it felt. Most of them said, “warm”. I think they were surprised that it wasn’t ice cold but honestly, they just felt the warmth of my hands. I guess the pretend aspect of this was a little too abstract. It was a pretty coarse powder, so I shared that I thought it felt like sand.
To make the snow, all you have to do is mix it with water. We had the students tell us step-by-step what to do:
Take off the cap; pour the powder in the bowl; go get water; pour the water in the bowl.
|How cute is her blue nail polish?!|
We gave each student a chance to dump a little of the powder in the bowl. Then, while my colleague brought one of the students to go get water, I helped the rest of the group make predictions about where they were going to get the water; the water fountain or the bathroom.
We also talked about the “empty” tube we had. We had a second package of “instant snow” so we contrasted the two tubes. We also talked about what the word “instant” meant.
As we poured the water in, the powder grew to this awesome, fluffy consistency! If you happen to do this with your own students, I’d suggest using REALLY cold water, only to give it more of an illusion of cold snow.
We talked about all of the things you can do in the snow – make snowballs, build snowmen, make a snow angel, etc. Then we passed the bowl around and let each student have a fun sensory experience touching the snow.
|This student said, “Look! I’m making a finger angel!” So adorable!|
|attempting a snowball|
As we recapped, we used regular and irregular past tense verbs to discuss how we made the snow. They each used an adjective to describe the snow and how it felt. We touched on SO many basic concepts, too. They really LOVED this activity! And for only 99 cents! <3
The Wh-questions one is pretty self-explanatory. It includes all 5 Wh- questions and How. There are 8 of each question type, for a total of 48 questions in all. Students collect their cards on their envelope.
Here’s a peak at a few of the cards:
The next is Valentine‘s Listening and Describing, which is very much like my Gingerbread Listening and Describing. If you liked that pack, you’ll love this one! And what kid doesn’t love a funny little monster now and then??? The pack targets conditional directions,exclusionary listening, listening for details, written descriptions, describing verbally, and negation.
To play, give a conditional direction (or read one from the list of sample prompts). Students must do what the direction says, according to their monster’s characteristics. I’ve given a huge list of sample prompts, or you can come up with your own! I also made all of the actions that the students need to take nonverbal (and mostly quiet) so that it is not disruptive and you can tell if they did it correctly or not. If they were all counting, saying their name, etc, it would make it a little hard!
After you’ve done the conditional directions part, students can write about their monsters. They must give as specific a description as they can, since the monsters are all so similar. I’ve included two different writing pages: a blank one and the one below.
|Comes with an “answer key” so you can guide your students to the right answer.|
I think it would be fun to read these aloud and have the rest of the students guess which monster is being described. Or, hang them in the hall for everyone to guess!
Next is listening for details! Students must use all the clues to decide which character you are describing. The picture below will ideally be used as a mat (do not cut apart). However, if your students need a smaller field or can handle a larger one, cutting it apart would work too!
Put this mat in the middle of the table for all to see or print one for each player. If everyone has one, they can use a dry erase marker to eliminate the characters that you are not describing and use process of elimination to determine which you are talking about. There are 4 mats, with 6 pictures each, for 24 total pictures. Each picture comes with a unique list of clues for you to read. All of them are organized according to numbers so there is no confusion. Here’s just a sample.
I hope you enjoy these activities! For a chance to win your choice of one of my Valentine’s packs, enter via the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for reading! Now go to your nearest Hallmark store and raid their “instant snow” department! 😉