Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Fun--Throwing Snowballs!

Ok, so we don't get snow in places other than in the mountains here in Southern California, and I'm not sure any of my students have even seen real snow. But, we've had a lot of pretend snow!
In the first week of our Winter theme, we dressed up in hats, scarves and mittens and threw snowball balloons. That was great for teaching the concept of turn taking as they threw the snowballs back and forth to each other. Turn taking is a basic conversational skill.

Last week, we threw cotton ball snowballs!


Language concepts- wet/dry, up high/down low
Turn taking
Articulation- /s/ blends
Fine motor- using finger tips to rip cotton balls
Hand-eye coordination- aiming for the paper

Before we got started, we gathered what we needed--just some regular cotton balls and we filled a pan full of water. (it was also funny because it was raining one of the days and when the rain had emptied out, we re-filled the pan with rain water :)). We also taped up some paper onto the wall for them to aim at.

The students took turns requesting cotton balls ("I want snow"), using their good /s/ sound in the word SSSnow to practice their sound.
They then worked on their fine motor skills by ripping the cotton into smaller pieces. (We originally left that step out, but my trusty occupational therapist who monitors my classroom suggested it).
We talked about how the "snow" felt dry.
Next, they dipped the cotton into the water pan

and talked about how wet it was

and finally,  they threw the snow onto the wall!

They continued to take turns, use their words to request and aim up high or down low onto the paper!
 Of course, after the activity was over, I realized we should've drawn a snowman onto the paper to help reinforce another vocabulary word and the use of the /s/ in snowman! But, the kids had a blast. Not only did they get a chance to be active and throw snowballs, but they had plenty of opportunities to use their words, take turns and work on their speech sounds!

Happy playing!