This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.
Every year in the spring, I teach a combined science and social studies unit on seasons. It coincides with our literature story for the week, and since seasons are covered in both our science and our social studies curriculum in first grade, it's a great way to do some integrated, cross-curricular lessons.
Santa All Year is a fun, short story to read to the children. The pictures made my children giggle madly, especially the summer picture with Santa and the elves and the reindeer at the pool. After reading the story, over the course of two days, we worked together to make an anchor chart with a section for each season. I used the premade is/wear/do chart for each season that we filled out, and then I taped all four together to make a large chart. Each child also got a copy of the is/wear/do chart to fill out and glue into their science notebook for future reference.
As a final activity, the children made a “Through the Seasons with Santa” flip booklet. Each page has a description of a season on it, and a picture of Santa in his underwear! The children have to read the description then draw the proper clothing on Santa for the season and add details that show what the weather might be like and an activity that is typically done in that season. A quick glance at their drawings allows me to assess the children's level of understanding of the changes that each season brings, and typical clothing and activities of the season.
I am so glad I found the book Santa All Year to use with my students. Using the story was a fun and fresh approach to introducing the seasons to my students, and it made a great addition to my seasons unit.
For more information about the series shown in this post, Kaleidoscope Collection, click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.