Free Materials For Teachers
Image©2009 ABS Cover of the Snow book
Cover of the Anchor Book Snow

The Snow anchor book and associated phonics activity was posted about this time in 2009. A year later there seems to be even more snow, so I’ve added a second book, Making A Snowman, and a sequencing activity. I’ve also posted HyperStudio 5® versions of all the Snow books and activities, and created online versions of both Snow and of Making A Snowman.

The Snow story uses photos and movies to illustrate a perpetual winter problem for those of us who live in cold areas: What can we do with all this snow?

Various suggestions include plow it, throw it, push it, and (groan) shovel it. Movies of the snow plow, snow thrower, garden tractor with a blade, and the panting shoveler emphasize that none of these solutions is any fun. The final suggestion, make a snowman, is definitely my choice!

Image©2010 ABS Cover from Making A Snowman book
Cover from Making A Snowman

Making A Snowman
The second book carries through this suggestion, guiding students in building a virtual snowman by choosing the appropriate part for each step. In versions that support video, this process is accomplished with movies and sound effects of some magically animated balls of snow.

Once the basic snowman is done, students can choose between five different costume styles to finish off either a cowboy snowman, a classic frosty-type, a wizard, a king, or a pirate. Most students will want to read the book over to make each one!

Image©2009 ABS Description
Confusing OW Words

Follow-on Activities
The phonics activity, OW Words, focuses on the fact that some ow words sound like snow but others sound like cow. Students must sort these and place the words into the correct group.

Following this exercise, the activity talks about ow twins, word pairs that look identical but are pronounced differently and mean different things. Two examples of ow twins (sow and bow) and illustrations of their meanings complete the activity. To update this activity for 2010, I’ve added more recorded soundsand a chance for students to work directly with ow twins.

After students finish Making A Snowman, they can attempt a sequencing activity which utilizes art from the book along with a short sentence describing each step. The printable version of this activity could also be used for various matching games, lotto, etc. There are also cloze activities for several versions.

Image©2010 ABS Snowman Sequence Activity
Snowman Sequence Activity

Snow In Many Formats

The online versions of Snow and of Making A Snowman can be accessed from a link at the top of the Downloads section on this page. If you are using the PowerPoint® or PDF versions, you’ll also want to look at these online versions to see the movies. In addition, the online books serve as previews for all the versions. Note that the My Own Bookshelf® version of Making A Snowman creates only one of the final snowman characters, since this application is restricted to linear stories.

For Classroom Suite®, there is a single zip file with five activities, the Snow book, OW Words, the Making A Snowman book, Snowman Sequence, and a cloze activity based on the text of Snow. There are custom IntelliKeys® overlays for all five, and Dynavox® package versions of the overlays, to run the Classroom Suite activities. See the Special Needs Access section on the System Reqs page for information on controlling the Classroom Suite version from PRC devices.

Image©2010 ABS Page from Making A Snowman book
Page from Making A Snowman

For Clicker 5®, the Snow, Making A Snowman, Snowman Sequence and OW Words grid sets are part of an integrated study unit, with an additional menu grid so that students can get to all four grid sets. For details on integrated study units, click here. There is also a Cloze Pro® activity using the Snow text to use with this version. Note that there are separate Clicker Mac and Clicker Win versions, in order to use the best quality and smallest file size movies for each platform.

For HyperStudio 5®, one zip file includes all four activities (two books, OW Words, and Snowman Sequence) as stacks linked to a menu stack. Refer to the HyperStudio is Back! page for information about downloading players to run the HyperStudio versions of these activities.

The My Own Bookshelf® versions of Snow and Making A Snowman have movies and sounds, but the Making A Snowman story is a straight line format. The PowerPoint® and PDF versions of the stories do not have movies, but in both formats, Making A Snowman has all five characters, and in PowerPoint there are sound effects on the final pages.

Image©2009 ABS Page from phonics activity in PDF format
Phonics Activity in PDF Format

There is a Test Me Score Me® test that is actually a cloze activity using the Snow text, and a second test that is in effect a sequence activity based on Making A Snowman. These are variations on the usual type of exercise in TMSM and illustrate how to use this application for more than just multiple choice tests.

The PDF version of OW Words can be used after the PowerPoint, My Own Bookshelf, or PDF versions of the two books. The larger graphics in this PDF file might be useful as props in discussing these words, and could be used as an off-computer extension with all formats. The PDF version of the sequencing activity could be used after students read an online, PDF, My Own Bookshelf or PowerPoint version of Making A Snowman. The graphics and text from this activity could also be adapted for off-computer matching and lotto games, and includes extra graphics of all five final snowmen.

Image©2009 ABS Page from Snow book
Page from Snow

Bonus: Snow Photos! SnowClip Art!

I hope reading the Snow story will get students to thinking about how people and animals cope with winter. I’ve put together a set of photos for you to use in making more activities. Seven of these are the photos used in the Snow story, and there are fourteen more! These include a set showing kids climbing a mountain and sledding down, birds feeding in the snow and bird tracks, and many snowy scenes including a view of the Great Salt Lake partly snow covered.

I’ve also included the clip art from Making A Snowman and the OW Words activity, in two separate zip files. The snowman clip art includes the individual snowman parts, steps in building, all the hats, and all the final snowmen.

Applications needed: IntelliTools Classroom Suite, Clicker 5, HyperStudio 5, Cloze Pro, My Own Bookshelf, Test Me Score Me, PowerPoint, Acrobat Reader
Subject area: Reading, Phonics.
Level: Grades 1-2 .

Online Activities Links

Snow books menu link: Click Here. Menu with links to Snow and Making A Snowman books to read online. Movies require QuickTime. For details and help on using Annie Books Online, click here.

Desktop version of Snow 2010 link: Snow and Making A Snowman books to read from the desktop using a web browser. Movies require QuickTime. For details on using Annie’s Books Online, click here.


Printable Activities

Snow.pdf (7.0 MB) Snow book to print or read onscreen. No movies. Acrobat Reader.

OWWords.pdf (1.1 MB) OW Words phonics activity to print. Includes graphics props to use in class discussion. Acrobat Reader.

MakingASnowman.pdf (3.4 MB) Making A Snowman story to print or read onscreen. No movies. Acrobat Reader.

sequencingSnowman.pdf (2.7 MB) Seqence activity to print. Includes bonus graphics of finished snowmen. Acrobat Reader.

Clicker 5 (39.2 MB) Snow integrated study unit in Clicker 5 MAC including both books and phonics and sequence activities. Has QuickTime and AVI high compression movies and sound effects. (34.9 MB) Snow integrated study unit in Clicker 5 WIN including both books and phonics and sequence activities. Has AVI (Indeo compression) movies and sound effects.

SnowClozePro.clz (2.4 MB) Tests comprehension by using the text from Snow in a Cloze Pro activity.

Classroom Suite (69.8 MB) Snow activity set/activity in Classroom Suite v.3 or later. Includes Snow story, Making A Snowman story, OW Words phonics activity, Snowman Sequence, and a cloze activity using the text from Snow, all in one zip file. Custom IntelliKeys overlays attached. (695 KB) Five overlays for the five Snow activities in Suite format saved as Dynavox package files.

HyperStudio 5 (42.5 MB) Two interactive books (Snow, Making A Snowman), a phonics activity, and a sequencing activity linked to a launcher stack in HyperStudio 5.

SoftTouch (27.5 MB) Folder with Snow book and movies to import into My Own Bookshelf. (2.2 MB) Test on Snow story using a cloze activity approach. Photos and text from Snow, a word left out, three choices of words to fill in. Requires Test Me Score Me. (5.9 MB) Folder with Making A Snowman book and movies to import into My Own Bookshelf. (8.2 MB) Test on Making A Snowman story using a sequencing activity approach. Art and text from Making A Snowman, three choices of anwers. Requires Test Me Score Me.

PowerPoint (17.5 MB) Snow interactive book saved as a .ppt file and as .pptx, both in one zip file. No movies. Use the .ppt version for PowerPoint 2003, and the .pptx version for PowerPoint 2007. (9.9 MB) Making A Snowman interactive books aved as a .ppt file. No movies.

Downloads-Resources (2.4 MB) All 7 photos from the Snow story, plus 14 more photos of snowy scenes, all in JPEG format. To preview the collection, click here. (798 KB) Clip art from the Making a Snowman story, including button art, steps in building a snowman, and five finished snowmen. JPEG format. To preview the collection, click here. (474 KB) Clip art from the OW Words activity in JPEG format. To preview the collection, click here.

February 15th, 2010 at 2:32 pm
6 Responses to “Snow 2010”

  1. 1
    Donna Jordan Says:

    Thanks for making this activity. It is perfect for students and is a HUGE timesaver. You are awesome!

  2. 2
    Beth Poss Says:

    Ann–were there movies with the ICS activities? They did not seem to come through with the zip file. Great stuff–thanks!

  3. 3
    admin Says:

    I’ve downloaded the zip file, and there are definitely movies in there. They are in a folder named Media, there are four movies, and I’ve gotten them when I downloaded on two different computers. The movies play, too.

    It’s possible the links have broken so that you aren’t seeing them in your activity, though. Try downloading again and unzip the file just to make sure you see a Media folder. Maybe that particular download was bad.

    Also, I’ve discovered through trial and many errors that all .avi files are not the same. There are various .avi compressions, and depending on which little bits of add-on files called codecs are in your system, some may play and some won’t. For example, Indeo .avi compression, which was a very common file type used on XP, won’t play on Vista or Mac OSX 10 since there is no codec included in those systems for that one anymore.

    So the next question might be, which system are you using?

  4. 4

    Hi Anne,
    Nice SNOW book and activities! Great work. It’s nice to see you still at it creating and taking wonderful photos.

  5. 5
    admin Says:

    Tracey Gaver writes:
    I have a question regarding movies. Specifically in SNOW: Building a Snowman, you’ve got a movie for each snowball, etc. How in the world did you create them? I cannot figure this out — they appear to be Quick Time? what software are you using (including version, please) and is there anything I should know — I really want to be able to replicate this technique for some work we are doing with Space and Wetlands, as well as our reading series.

  6. 6
    admin Says:

    I used several applications to do the snowballs. The final results, as you have figured out, are QuickTime movies. I often create the initial artwork in Bryce 3D, a fairly inexpensive yet powerful 3D CAD program. I think I used v. 5.5 and 6, but 7 is out now. Basic shapes like a sphere are included, and Bryce lets you map any texture onto the shape, so I just put snow on a sphere. You also can easily rotate shapes. And, Bryce lets you create animation by changing the position, size, rotation etc of the shapes over time. Bryce animation is saved in QuickTime format.

    I open the animation in QuickTime Pro, and paste in a soundtrack. This option has been in QuickTime Pro probably as far back as v. 4. You can copy a sound track and paste it in scaled to fit a movie, so that the sound ends at just the right moment. That’s in the Edit menu in Pro. And, you can open common sound files (.wav, mp3) in QuickTime, and just copy and paste them into your movie. QuickTime Pro is only $30, and I find it really handy! You can export in a format to use on the web from QuickTime Pro, and they include a little bit of html you could put into a page to make your movie display.

    If you are interested in giving Bryce 3D a try, go to You can actually download Bryce 7 for personal non-commercial use FREE! You really need a class to learn to do scenes and animations, and you can find that for free also. Here’s the link:
    Though the course was written for v. 5, everything is still applicable.The teacher, Robin Wood, says she hasn’t used Bryce in a long time, and won’t answer questions. But I use it still, and if you try the course, I’d be happy to help you. I still have all my notes and lessons.


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