Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stopping by Woods

Recently we had the chance to read Robert Frost's famous poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.  It gave us the opportunity to study poetry and also many other fun learning themes: snow, animals in winter, and animal tracks.  Here is how our week went while we rowed Stopping by Woods.  

I read aloud Stopping by Woods and explained to Old Crow that this type of writing is called a poem.  Then of course he says, "What is a poem?"  So Monday we focused on one characteristic of many poems...rhyming.  We looked for rhyming words throughout this story and we also read other poems (Dr. Seuss), looking specifically for rhyming words.  He also practiced matching rhyming words during his independent time. 

We also discussed what snow is and read about it in our Abeka science book.  Since it is 70 degrees in February, it is unlikely we will see snow anytime soon.  So we created our own "snowflake" by using Borax.     You can click here to get detailed directions. Basically you mix Borax with boiling water and after 1-2 hours "ice crystals" will begin to form on your submerged snowflake made of pipe cleaners.

We read Stopping by Woods again and today we focused on another characteristic of poetry--alliteration.  We looked for alliteration in our poem and we also made silly tongue twisters of our own. :)

We reviewed our 5 senses and applied each to winter and snow.  We watched a wonderful video of a snowy landscape while listening to the narration of Stopping by Woods.  We were able to use our senses as we listened to snow falling, shoes crunching on the snow, and harness bells ringing.  
Click here for the Youtube video.

Then Old Crow created his own senses snow poem.  

Winter looks like ice.
Winter smells like smoke.
Winter tastes like snowflake.
Winter feels like Jesus.
Winter sounds like wind.

Today we read Stopping by Woods and focused on a third characteristic of poetry--repetition.  Old Crow read the line "and miles to go before I sleep" as it was repeated.  We also read other poems and looked for lines that were repeated.

Stopping by Woods has beautiful illustrations that show animals in the woods.  We read Animals in Winter and discussed what different animals do during winter.  Some migrate, some hibernate, some store food, and others stay and hunt food.
For those animals that stay and hunt food, we decided to make birdseed cakes so the birds wouldn't starve in our snow-covered countryside. ;)

We mixed together flour, water, caro syrup, and birdseed.  Then we filled the muffin tin with the mixture, placed a straw in the center of each "muffin" in order to have a hole for stringing later, and waited 6 hours.  We strung yarn through the hole and hung them outside.  Click here for detailed steps.  

The birds and squirrels definitely love us now. ;)


On our last day of this week, we read Stopping by Woods and looked for the three characteristics of poetry we had previously discussed.  We also saw in the book that the horse and man often left footprints in the snow.  This gave us the opportunity to learn about animal tracks.

We read Big Tracks, Little Tracks and learned how to be a detective searching for clues the animals leave.  This was perfect for Old Crow!

I printed animal track cards and he became a "detective" while matching the footprint to the animal.  It rained  on this day, and Old Crow couldn't wait to be able to go outside and search for those animal prints.  All we needed to do was let Bonnie (our golden retriever) out in the rain and then we could have had all the muddy footprints we needed. ;)

Well that concludes our week long study of Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. 
And I still have "miles to go before I sleep."

Thanks for joining us!


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