It improves language as well as thinking skills, as well as creativity.
It could start teaching simply the words : Make a snowball Make head, eye, nose, mouth..etc.
The next level would maybe be: 'A snowball for its body/ head/ .. ' 'A carrot for its nose.' etc etc
Then the next year it would go on to: We need a snowball for his head. etc. or I make a snowball for his head etc.
So, lots of language improvement, but that is not all:
Funny to see how different the culture of snowmen is. Here in Japan people are always completely surprised when they see my pictures of snowmen having three balls.
And more even when I tell the kids that I used to give my snowman always coal eyes, and later, when we had no coal, potatoes for his eyes as well as for his buttons.
Even the carrot nose, most kids cannot believe. Using food for playing is not common here in Japan.
And of course all this can lead into great and engaging talks, either in L1 for very little kids, or in the target language for higher grades.
BTW: How do YOU usually make snowmen? Two snowballs or three? Or maybe four? Or none, and just a little hill instead?
And from here I get to the next topic:
The fun part aside the 'SNOWMAN' is, that we make all kinds of other creatures, using the same concept. By the way, I want to use the word 'Daruma' (The Japanese word for the 'man' in 'Snowman' because I don't want to get into trouble with teachers who think I am not thinking enough about the equality of genders.
I will write another post about the origin of this word, though many of you may have recognized it from 'Bodhidharma'
Let's get back to the lessons: So, after having made 'Snow Daruma' we make 'Fruits daruma '
First I do a little 'dictation' and the kids draw the pictures. They mostly say 'This can't be correct. I think I misunderstand you', when I tell them:
A pineapple for his nose. Three bananas around his neck.
But once they realize they did perfectly well, they are eager to create some more of these funny guys for homework; they send it in with a video presenting in English.
Next it can be anything. Sometimes I leave it up to them. Sometimes I give another topic, like 'Sports daruma' or 'Hobby Daruma' or have them come up with topics. Lots of great thinking involved here.
These are some recent ones a few kids presented to me.
Stories Stories Stories.
And finally then, there are so many stories about/with snowmen. Another post for this.
Have a wonderful, white day, and please post me some photos of your snowmen!
Margit Yokota Born and grown up in Germany I came to Japan with 22 to make my mom's wish come true: BE HAPPY! Now I'm a mother and I wish from my heart that my kids BE HAPPY! And I'm an educator and I do all I can to fulfill this big dream of most parents for their kids: BE HAPPY!