Winter Wonderland

Students explore the beauties of winter through a variety of texts about winter, learning about winter weather and weather forecasts and how different animals and plants survive winter. 

Unit Summary

As part of the upgrade to Fishtank Plus, this unit was revised in December 2020. See which texts and materials have changed as part of the revision in this guide to our Kindergarten text adjustments.

In this unit, students explore the beauties of winter. In the first part of the unit, students learn about how snow forms and the different types of snow that fall in the winter. In the second part of the unit, students explore how animals survive in the winter and the ways in which animals meet their basic needs, even when the ground is covered with ice and snow. In the last part of the unit, students read a variety of Jan Brett texts and use what they have learned about snow and animals to make inferences about what is happening with the different winter animals in the text. By the end of the unit, students should have a strong grasp of what makes winter unique and the different ways animals survive in the winter. Due to the timing of this unit, it is our hope that students will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the vocabulary and content in the natural world around them.

In reading, this unit is predominantly a collection of informational texts and builds on skills and strategies from earlier units. At this point, it is assumed that students are inquisitive consumers of text and are able to ask and answer questions about a text in order to deepen understanding of the content. In this unit, students will continue to be challenged to identify the main topic of a text, retell the key details that connect to the main topic, describe the connection between ideas in a text, and use the illustrations and words to describe and retell what is happening in a text with varying levels of teacher support.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • What makes winter beautiful?
  • What do animals need to survive the winter?

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Create simple sentences orally and in writing.
  • Create statements, questions, and exclamations orally and in writing.
  • Ask questions using “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.”
  • Use correct end punctuation.
  • Capitalize the first letter of a sentence.

In this unit, students continue to work on producing complete sentences orally and in writing. Students review how to ask questions and learn how to use exclamations.

Narrative Writing Focus Areas

  • Narrate a single event. 
  • Tell what happens in the beginning, middle, and end. 
  • Use precise words to help readers visualize what happens. 

In this unit, students write a short narrative with a focus on telling what happens in the beginning, middle and end. 

Informational Writing Focus Areas

  • Name the topic they are writing about. 
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to include some information about the topic. 

In this unit, students continue to work on writing informational texts as a way of solidifying understanding of key unit content. 

Vocabulary

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Text-based

beautiful blizzard cozy curious droplet embarrassed evaporate hibernate meteorologist migrate over ridiculous search sleet snowstorm snow flurry store tame track under wild

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our Kindergarten Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

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  • Describe local weather patterns during the winter.
  • Explain daily weather changes that are unique to winter:
    • Snow, snowflakes, blizzard, flurry
    • Ice, icy, freezing
    • Sleet, hail
  • Describe the basic characteristics of animals, including:
    • Animals need food, water, and space to live and grow.
    • Animals get food from eating plants or other living things.
    • Animals survive winter in a variety of ways.
      • Some migrate and fly to warmer climates.
      • Some hibernate and sleep through the winter.
      • Some gather and store food for the winter.
      • Some animals search for food all winter long.
    • Pets have special needs and must be cared for by their owners.

Lesson Map

1

    RI.K.1

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

    L.K.1.d

    L.K.2.b

Brainstorm two or three questions about winter.

2

  • It’s Snowing! pp. 1 – 12

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

    L.K.6

Explain how snowflakes are formed.

3

  • Story of Snow

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

    L.K.6

Describe what snow crystals look like.

4

  • It’s Snowing! pp. 16 – 32

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.4

    RI.K.7

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

    L.K.6

Describe one way that snow falls.

6

Discussion & Writing

    W.K.2

    W.K.5

    W.K.8

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

    L.K.1.f

Describe what makes winter beautiful.

14

Discussion & Writing

    W.K.2

    W.K.5

    W.K.8

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

    L.K.1.f

Explain what animals do during the winter.

15

  • The Mitten

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

Explain if the story could happen in real life.

17

  • Annie and...

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    SL.K.1

    SL.K.6

Retell what happens in Annie and the Wild Animals.

18

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Core Standards

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L.K.1.b

L.K.1.d

L.K.1.f

L.K.2.b

L.K.5

L.K.5.d

L.K.6

RI.K.1

RI.K.2

RI.K.3

RI.K.4

RI.K.7

RL.K.2

RL.K.3

SL.K.1

SL.K.6

W.K.2

W.K.3

W.K.5

W.K.6

W.K.8

Spiral Standards

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L.K.1.a

L.K.2

L.K.2.a

RI.K.10

RI.K.5

RI.K.6

RL.K.1

RL.K.10

RL.K.7

SL.K.2

SL.K.3

SL.K.5