Saturday, June 7, 2014

Katy and the Big Snow

Our latest FIAR read was Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton.  (She also wrote and illustrated Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel which we rowed last Summer.)  Maggie enjoyed the book a lot and insisted that she read it to me on one of the days we studied it.  (I was impressed with how fluidly she read it!)  Here is what we did ...
 This story takes place in "Geoppolis," a made-up town, presumably, in the United States.  After we colored it ...
... Maggie centrally placed it on our US map (but high enough where there could be snow).
 Then, we got to work learning about cities and the responsibilities of people in those cities.  First, we read Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?
 Then, to help us with city maps, we reviewed directions and the points on a compass.  We read Compasses by Adele Richardson ...
 ... then completed this "Points of Compass" worksheet that I found at
 In the book, there is a city map of Geoppolis.
All of the major points of interest are clearly labeled on the map, with roadways connecting each.
We decided to make a "Maggie-oppolis," with the little paper buildings from and the Katy stickers in the back of our book.
Here is Maggie, labeling her compass rose on her city map.
Getting to work!
Drawing in roads ...
It's a map of Maggie-oppolis!
Then we took our toy version of Katy and drove it along the roads of Maggie-oppolis!
(She was tickled that her map could roll up like maps she's seen in stores!)
 Later, we completed the traffic signs worksheets, also from, which required her to keep a tally of all the signs she saw while driving around town.
We, of course, saw plenty of stop signs!
Once home, we graphed our results!
Maggie's "Street Sign Bar Graph!"
For a snack, I picked up these vanilla meringue cookies, which look like little snow piles.  (The Five in a Row Cookbook has a recipe, but frankly, I just wasn't in the mood to make them.)
(She was fine with the store's version!)
 To be sure we had our map skills down, we completed quite a few pages in our Evan-Moor Beginning Geography workbook (Grades K-2), which reviewed directional skills, map keys, and symbols.
Then, it was time for an art project!  I found this great idea for a "Snowplow Craft" at, using construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons, a toilet paper tube, cotton balls, a small piece of bubble wrap, and white paint.  First, we crafted a truck shape using pieces of constructions paper.
 Once our pieces were glued down, we added details with crayon.
 After we were done adding details, we glued onto the bottom of our truck front a half of a toilet paper tube for the shovel.  Then, we added cotton balls, pulled apart, to simulate snow.
 For the final step to our snowplow, we painted a light layer of white paint to a sheet of bubble wrap ...
 ... and turned it over onto our picture, pressing lightly.
It's snowing!
 The finished product turned out so cute!
 For our final day studying this book, my husband was home and made Maggie some snowflake pancakes.  (He used a squeeze bottle filled with batter to make the details on the flakes.)
For math, we completed the "Katy and the Big Snow Story Problems" at
 Then, we did some measurements to track the snowfall in the book.  We measured four inches on paper (which you can see taped to her door), then ten inches (also taped to her door), and finally, we measured five feet with a piece of string.
 The snow was higher than she is!
 To give her arm a rest and so Daddy could see later, we taped the string to the door ... 4 inches, 10 inches, and 60 inches!  That's a lot of snow!
 Finally for Math, we completed the "Measuring" worksheet at  Here, Maggie is measuring the length of a spoon in inches.
After Math, we watched this short video of a snowplow at work ...
... before working our own snowplow, our little yellow Katy.  I got this last idea at, using equal parts shaving cream and white glue to make "snow."  Michelle had way more snow in the end than I ended up with, but it's because we ran out of shaving cream.  Nevertheless, Maggie had fun.  We spread out our "snow" on a sheet pan I had covered with foil.
 Then, we popped a few plastic trees in the mess and Katy got right to work!
 She did a great job clearing those roadways!
At last, she stopped for a rest between two trees. 
 Our next read?  Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey!  See you soon!

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