Are you already tired and wondering when the next vacation from work might be? If your feeling tired then stick around because today I’m going to share with you some resources that are available and free to you online that you can use for a winter theme. You can incorporate these activities as a reinforcer, side by side, with task cards, or just use them as they are.
If you have been following me for a long time then you know I love using videos in my speech room. One of my favorite video series to use is Simon’s Cat and there are so many winter-themed videos. If you haven’t used Simon’s Cat videos before, they are short wordless videos that you can find on YouTube. These videos can be used to work on so many different goals such as sequencing, summarizing, body language, problem-solving or context clues. The sky is the limit with these videos and they are so funny! You could use one per session and play it over and over again or you could do the whole stream of videos in one session. It depends on your students’, their needs, and how motivated they are by it. My students love Simon’s cat!
The best part about these videos is they are only like 2 minutes long so you can play them over and over again to work on different goals! Simon’s Cat videos are one of my favorites!
Another resource I like to use for a winter theme is Edpuzzle! I like to use the Lily and the Snowman video in Edpuzzle to go along with my winter theme. It is a great video to work on so many different goals such as comparing and contrasting, sequencing, summarizing, character traits and fiction vs nonfiction. This video is only about five minutes long which is great because with my students I normally play the video multiple times for them to pick up on different things like foreshadowing that they may not pick up on the first time through. I will warn you though….you might need some tissues for this video because it’s a little bit of a tear-jerker!
Another great resource I love using for the winter theme is Mystery Doug. Mystery Doug puts out a new video every Monday so you can watch the newest one or you can go through the archives and find tons of videos that go along with the winter theme. All you need to access these videos is a free login! Some of the videos I like to use for the winter theme are the ones with arctic animals and the one where they talk about why the snow is white. These videos are only 5-6 minutes long and you can work on a variety of different goals with them. My students are always engaged with these videos and it's nice that they aren’t too long so that we can replay the video if we want.
The great thing for those of you working with young kids (and honestly older kids would like this too) is that you can pair any task card activity with Make A Snowman on ABCYa. I will tell my students things like “after you practice your speech sound 10 times, you can put the body together of the snowman” or “after you answer the question about Lily and the Snowman you can make a snowman”. Another way I use this resource is as the activity itself. I’ll have all the students get their devices out and make a snowman to share with the group and I’ll use their creations to work on things like comparing and contrasting or descriptive words. Another way I use this activity is to work on following directions by saying “hey, I’m going to have you make a snowman following only the directions I give you.” There are so many possibilities with resources like this and you can use it as the reinforcer or the activity itself.
Another simple idea is to google “snowman nose cartoon” and you can find so many short cartoons and you can ask your students things like why is this funny? You may be surprised that your students don’t understand the humor behind why something is funny. For example, I showed my students this little cartoon with a snowman that had an apple for a nose and my students didn’t understand why that could be funny and then we talked about a snowman’s nose usually being a carrot so they must have run out of carrots and decided an apple would make a good replacement. Or there was another one where the snowman is “picking his nose” at the grocery store and most of the time my students don’t understand why this would be funny. This is a great opportunity to work on things like figurative language or multiple-meaning words.
The last thing I wanted to show you is how you can easily take any of the seasonal worksheets you may have and turn them digital by pulling them up with the free Google Chrome Extension: Kami. Kami is one of my favorite go-to tools where you can pull up any worksheet you may have and write on it digitally. This year, I have been doing everything digitally with my students. Even for my students who are with me in person, I have been doing everything digitally because it is less to wipe down and disinfect in between groups and it has just made my life so much easier. Below is one example of my inferencing worksheets and this one has a winter theme. Using Kami my students can write directly on the resource with the virtual tools. This is a way to be able to use those same winter-themed worksheets that you have always loved whether you are virtual, in-person or hybrid.
I hope these ideas were helpful and it helps you incorporate activities that are fun and meaningful while surviving this crazy 2020-2021 school year. If you want to learn more, check out the video and the resources I mentioned for engaging, no-prep and low-prep activities to use with your students this week!