Thursday, December 6, 2012

If I Lived in a Snow Globe...

Here it is!  My favorite writing activity of the year!  I love all things winter, add in some glitter and you have a project that is sure to be a hit!  I did this project with my students last year, and the haunted houses I did this year was a play on this snow globe writing activity.  They write about what they would see, feel and do if they lived in a snow globe.

I began by building some background knowledge.  Living in Central Florida, a vast majority of my students have never seen real snow.  We talked about what they knew about snow and winter.  They said that it was cold and wet.  I then had them describe what they had seen or heard that lead them to believe that snow was cold.  They made connections to movies or TV shows they had seen that had people wearing coats, gloves, etc.  They talked about it getting so cold that you can see your breath.  They also talked about Christmas lights shining on the sparkly snow.  (Some of them even captured that in their snow globes!)

To enrich this introduction lesson, I read them a couple of short books that were set in snowy settings.  (I admit, these were pretty easy books, but the point wasn't to challenge them, it was to get them fully immersed in all things frosty and frigid!)

This is a wonderful classic!  I was even able to find a claymation
version of this on YouTube to show my class!

This book is beautifully illustrated.  It was a wonderful read.

The best part about this book... The four super elated gators on the
cover are all school PRINCIPALS!!
 LoL  Funny twist for the kids!
I told them that EVERYBODY loves a snow day!
 After reading these books and brainstorming some great descriptive phrases and words, we spent day 2 writing rough drafts.  We then wrote our final copies on the layered booklets, cut out the globes and bases and let the fun begin!  After drawing and coloring, they outlined their pictures with extra fine point black Sharpie markers.  Then... GLITTER!!!  I managed to control the chaos and keep the glitter on the tiles.  Glitter just seems to make everything better.  Normal snow scenes are transformed into magical fantasy lands!
Glitter station.  3-4 kiddos at a time = minimal mess!

A snow globe base.  Nothing fancy, just need to
be sure that the flip book the kids write on will fit.

Final copy of the flip book placed on the base.  

To get just the right size "globe" I used an Easter bucket I bought
from Target a couple of years ago.  I actually used it for a game at the
Spring Carnival during my first year teaching.  I love reusing things!
Here are a couple of close-ups of my students' amazing work.  They were so into this project and couldn't wait to show me what they wrote and how they illustrated it.  They have added some much needed sparkle and shine to the 4th grade hallway!  Hope you love them as much as I do!


  1. I live in central Florida too and these are cute! I love the white glitter! I'm going to have to 'borrow' this idea for my winter display.

  2. Totally cute! I live/teach in central FL too, so really liked the way you got your kids immersed in snowy experiences, even if they'd never seen snow.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love this! I am going to do this with my class the two days before winter break. How did you do the tabs that they wrote on? Was it two different papers folded at different points, or was it 4 separate pieces of paper? Also, how did you secure the papers to the black background so that they all flipped up?

    1. The booklet they wrote on is just 2 long pieces of paper, staggered at the size of tab I wanted, folded in half, then stapled at the top. If I remember correctly, I just took regular printer paper, cut in in half lengthwise and then staggered those two long pieces. Then, when they finished, I had them glue the booklet onto the black snowglobe base. I did this project again this year with 2nd grade. Instead of flip books, I just made up a little template with lines and sentence leads and had them fill it in with a descriptive sentence. I printed 6 of them on a sheet of paper.

  4. I love this idea. We live in Las Vegas so need to build background. I'm using Snowman books. Also took a picture of them doing snow things.