Below are some of the wonderful Wonders that are associated with the winter months. I have also included a few ideas/suggestions of how you could use or extend the Wonders in your classroom.
This Wonder is great to compare with Wonders #144 Do All Birds Fly South In the Winter?, #410 Who Takes the Longest Nap? and #469 What Do Animals Squirrel Away for Winter? and do some kind of chart comparing how different animals adapt to their surroundings during the winter.
This is a great Wonder to use during a weather unit to help students define the difference between ‘weather’ and ‘climate’. Spend a couple of weeks as a class observing the weather (temperature, precipitation, etc.) in your state as compared to the weather in a different state. For example, comparing Ohio’s weather to the weather in Texas.
Use this Wonder when discussing inventors. Kids will be entertained to learn how ice skates evolved and how long they have been around. If you are doing a unit on inventors, be sure to create a Wonder Inventor Book. Throughout the unit or year, each time you do a Wonder on inventors, have students had their name, invention and how the invention made a change to their book.
What kid doesn’t like to catch snowflakes and look at them. This Wonder addresses why they are different. There are easy instructions for making ice crystals in the ‘Try it out!’ section. Another great activity with this Wonder would be to talk about symmetry and have students make their own paper snowflakes.
Be sure to share this Wonder before the 2013 Iditarod. You also may want to check out 2013 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail.
This is a great Wonder to compare and contrast snow, sleet and freezing rain. For a science connection, try out the experiment in the ‘Still Wondering’ section.
The experiment in the ‘Try it out!’ section is a great way to help students understand the Wonder better. I can think of all kinds of experiments to try with salt and ice. Have students create their own experiment, observe and write about their findings.
This would be a great Wonder to create a class ‘How-to’ chart after reading and propel students to write their own How-to pieces of sports they know how to play.
Discuss winter safety with this Wonder and talk about ways you can prevent getting frostbite. Kids can work in groups to make their lists and then share out.
This Wonder can be used to help students understand and define what condensation is. It will also help with the understanding of a gas, liquid and solid. This is a wonderful Wonder to use when teaching a unit on weather.
Before reading this Wonder have students predict where they think the coldest place on earth is and tell why. You could even have them locate their predictions on a map. As an extension, after reading this Wonder visit #614 Where Is the Hottest Place on Earth? and compare the coldest and hottest places.
This would be a great Wonder for older students to test why ice is slippery. According the Wonder it is known what makes ice slippery, but the why is unknown. It also lends itself to discussing theories and testing those theories.
This is a great Wonder to use with graphing. Have students write their favorite snow day activity on a post-it note and create a class graph.
Another great Wonder to use during a weather unit or the next time a cold front is approaching.
What’s better than a warm cup of hot chocolate in the winter? Make homemade hot cocoa on a cold winter day and then write a How-to as a class. You could also create a class graph on favorite winter drinks.
If you have used or are using winter Wonders in your classroom, I would love to hear about how you engage your students with the Wonders in your own classroom.