Interclass Snowman Project in First and Fourth Grades

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The wondrous wordless book, The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs became a  classic loved by children of all ages. In 1982 the book was turned in an amazing animation that has found its way into the hearts of young and old. In honour of its 30th anniversary new books have been released with text. Together English Class first and fourth graders read the familiar story in Finnish and then they listened to a condensed version of the story in English. This became the foundation for a Snowman Project between the two classes that was spread over several days.

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The fourth graders made pompom snowmen and then they taught the first graders to make pompom snowmen of their own.

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The storycrafting part of the project occurred as first graders dictated stories to their fourth grade partners. The fourth graders wrote on their iPads as the first graders told their own snowmen stories.

One of the stories, translated into English, is as follows:

Snowy’s Story

One day Snowy went out to build a snow fort. She rolled balls of snow, placed the balls one upon another and soon she had a big snow fort. Then she noticed that the neighbour’s cat was in a tree. Snowy wanted to rescue the cat. But she couldn’t reach the tree. Then she noticed a ladder and she climbed up to save the cat. The snowman neighbour thanked her and gave her cocoa.

Then she went home to her new snow fort. She soon had company, her friends snowman Pim, snowman Pam and snowman Pum. They started a snowball fight.

Then her guests left and she began to decorate the Christmas tree. She looked out the window and saw it was snowing and she rushed out to play in the snow. Then she ate her evening porridge in a pink bowl using a pink spoon.

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Ms. Josefiina, a student teacher from Rauma’s Teachers’ College (ROKL), instructed the children in how to create  animations using their iPads and the iMovie app. The fourth graders worked in groups to create four different animations based on what they had storycrafted with the first graders. English Class first grader Kiira’s story is shown in its animated version below.

The story, Lumin vieraat, tells about Snowy having visitors. She serves them strawberry cream cake and they very politely thank her and tell her it is delicious. Once her guests leave for home, Lumi enjoys a cup of cocoa before laying down to sleep.

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