I love The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I used it every year in first grade to teach cause and effect. I’ve got a fun follow up activity that I want to share with y’all…
THE SNOWY DAY ACTIVITIES
If you do not have the book, you can find the read aloud online here or on Amazon Prime Video. I always liked having my students listen to the story twice. The first time, we just listened to the story all the way through. The second time, we paused it to discuss the cause and effects throughout the story. This is where we would usually start charting all the cause and effects down on anchor chart, BUT here’s an engaging activity to do rather than just writing them down. After discussing the cause and effects throughout the story as a whole class, have a class paper snowball fight with these cause and effect snowballs. I definitely suggest setting up safety rules prior to starting the paper snowball fight.
Prior to the snowball fight, copy the cause snowballs on one color paper and the effect cards on a different color paper. This helps so much when sorting and matching the snowballs. There are 10 paper snowballs included (free here) so depending on how many students you have, you may want to make additional copies of the snowballs so that there is at least one paper snowball per student. Crumble each paper snowball into a ball. After students throw the paper snowballs, they will find their match and record them in a pocket chart.
I learned several years ago from another educator that changing the wording from “cause” to “because” helps little learners know which is the cause and which is the effect. It made a huge difference with my first graders. For example: we would say, “because Peter was not old enough to join a snowball fight, he decided to make a snowman.”
Another follow up activity is this craftivity. It’s an oldie but goodie. Students sort the cause and effects under the correct flap and create Peter. Again, I suggest copying the cause cards on one color and the effects on another.
Or, you could use the writing template for your students to make a connection to the book and write about a snowy day they’ve experienced. They could also write about their favorite thing to do on a snowy day, sequence the story, write their favorite part of the story, or write character traits of Peter.
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