December 2014: Understand and Celebrate Winter Across the Curriculum

Winter-Related Resources in the Core Subject Areas

The word “winter” creates different images for each of us. Some think of sledding, hot chocolate, and navigating snowy roads. Others remember gray skies, reading by the fire, or just being cold. Whether you love winter or really dislike everything about it, there are many opportunities to use icurio’s resources to help your students understand and celebrate the season with winter-related resources in the core subject areas.

Elementary – Exploring Seasons

  • Get Ready for Winter – This non-fiction reading passage and question set from ReadWorks introduces the topic of hibernation and explains what animals do to survive the winter. The resource includes a question set and answer key.
  • Math is Fun: The Seasons – Help your students discover the reason it gets cold in a resource about the seasons. The explanation includes a wonderful animation of the Earth’s tilt and rotation around the sun and how that affects the weather.
  • The Ice and Snow Book – Students will enjoy reading this eBook about fun activities that they can do in the winter. Audio is available so students can listen as they read along.

Middle – Solstice, Symmetry and a Snowy Evening, Oh My!

  • CK-12: Seasons – What is an Equinox? What is a Solstice? Students will extend their knowledge about the reason for the change in seasons by using an in-depth resource from CK-12.
  • Khan Academy: Snowflakes, Starflakes, and Swirlflakes – How about using paper snowflakes when discussing symmetry? This video from Khan Academy will help students understand the concept even better.
  • HistoryLink.org: Wellington Avalanche – Sometimes winter can turn deadly. Students can read historical accounts of the worst avalanche in the history of the United States during the winter of 1910.
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – This became one of the most beloved poems of American poet Robert Frost. Find information about the poet, student questions. And visit this PBS resource for a reading of the poem by Frost himself.

High – Winter Across the Subjects

  • Smithsonian Institute: Lakota Winter Counts – Have you or your students ever read about the Lakota Sioux winter counts? Learn what the winter counts contain and how different winter counts document the same events in this resource guide.
  • PBS Freedom: A History of US – Extreme winter conditions? It would be harder to get more extreme than the conditions faced by the patriots at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778. Use these resources to help students understand the extreme challenges that were faced by the people who were fighting for our independence.
  • How is Artificial Snow Made – Sometimes warm weather prevents snow from occurring where it needs to be. Enter the creation of artificial snow. The following chemistry video shows students how it’s done.
  • Science of the Winter Olympics – Ever wonder what kind of calculations go into the making of an Olympic athlete? This video resource will explain how math is used to help athletes in the winter Olympics get their gold!

Find these winter resources and more in icurio with the keyword search: December Newsletter.

December 2014: Resources to Bring the Wonders of Winter into Your Lessons

Winter’s Wonders

What kinds of memories do you have of last year’s winter season? Do you live in an area that experienced so many Snow Days that you had to make days up to fulfill your state’s requirements? Or do you live in the West where you spent the winter wondering if it would ever rain again? Last year brought extreme conditions across the country, but this year might be just the kind of winter you are hoping for (whatever that may be). No matter what the next three months bring, though, it’s a sure bet that winter will slip into your classroom one way or another.

In netTrekker, you can find engaging resources to bring the wonders of winter into your lessons.

Early Elementary – Exploring Jan Brett’s The Mitten

The Mitten, by Jan Brett

Jan Brett’s delightful interpretation of the Ukrainian folk tale, The Mitten, offers a wide range of opportunities to explore the role of literature in transmitting both culture and universal themes, as well as the relationship between illustrations and text.

Elementary – Learn about Snow Crystals from the Snowflake Man

Snowflake Man Video

Have you and your students read Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin? Then you’ll enjoy sharing these sites about his work:

Middle – Understanding Extreme Weather

Blizzards & Winter Weather

Severe weather is always big news, whether it involves hurricanes, floods, blizzards, or drought. What will this winter bring your area? More importantly, what causes these severe weather events? Can your students learn to predict the weather by learning these causes?

  • Begin with an overall view of extreme weather conditions and what causes them with this National Geographic site about Extreme Weather On Our Planet.
  • Use the Drought Monitor to track where the lack of rain is hitting our country the hardest this winter.
  • Learn about an extreme opposite of drought with Blizzards and Winter Weather. Then use the link at the bottom of the page to Predict the Weather so students can practice using what they have learned.

High – The Science of Winter Sports

Slapshot Physics

Even though it is not a Winter Olympics year, students in cold climates still participate in cold weather activities and competitions. Combine the science of physics with their love of sports by using some of the National Science Foundation videos on the Science of the Winter Olympics:

  • Slapshot Physics, about ice hockey
  • Science of Snowboarding, about (what else?) snowboarding
  • Science Friction, about curling
  • To see additional videos in this series, use the Browse tab on the netTrekker Home Page, and drill down through Science to Physics > Newtonian > Science of Sports.

Find these winter resources and more in netTrekker with the keyword search: December Newsletter.