F.I.A.R.-Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

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We are planning to spend two weeks rowing Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening. The poem is by Robert Frost and the illustrations are by Susan Jeffers.  We will take two weeks, because even though Five in a Row offers this as a book for a short week, I’d like to take more time to explore poetry in general with Firefly and The Queen Bee.

Robert Frost was my father’s favorite poet.  Many times, I saw him reading from his dog-eared collection of Frost’s poems and heard him quote from it’s pages.  When my father died, I kept his Frost book and I look forward to introducing my children to something that meant so much to my Dad.

My friend, Jeff Ketzle, is an expert on Frost’s poetry and life and he has created a website rich with information on this great poet, entitled Robert Frost:  America’s Poet.  The website also contains many of Frost’s poems,  for easy reference.

Here is what we are planning to do with Stopping By Woods over the next two weeks.  When we are done, I’ll update this post to include photos and add more information.  Keep in mind, I will be “rowing” this book with a preschooler and first grader so our activities are designed to keep both of their interests. Their two year old brother also hangs around a lot, so I threw in a few things he might enjoy, too.

  • As we “row” the book, we will work on memorizing the poem (or a part of it) for Firefly.  Memorization work is something I’ve been meaning to do this year with him and we will give it a go with this poem.
  • We plan to make these puffy snowflakes with shaving cream and glue.  A wonderful sensory activity.
  • Here is a cute snowflake song to sing.
  • If we are really productive, we hope to make birdseed cakes.  We like to feed the birds, especially when it snows.
  • We plan to re-enact the poem with one of the many toy horses from The Queen Bee’s collection. I have a little toy sled we can use for a sleigh and I’m sure the dollhouse figures will work nicely to represent the people in the story.
  • If we actually get any snow, we will experiment with the volume of snow vs. melted snow water, what happens when you pour salt on snow and looking at snow under the microscope, as Angela demonstrates on her blog, Satori Smiles.

Our shaving cream, glue and glitter snowflakes, now decorate our art room.

Go alongs for Stopping By Woods:

Collective Works of Robert Frost.  There are several versions of this book that you can find via your library, or on Amazon.

Christmas Trees by Robert Frost

Poetry for Young People by Robert Frost

The Runaway by Robert Frost

It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! by Jack Prelutsky.  Poems about snow, many of them silly, with illustrations by Jeanne Titherington.

Robert Frost:  The Life of America’s Poet by Sara McIntosh Wooten

Winter Friends, by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick (a board book for Love Bug)

More poetry go-alongs, which I often read while my kids are eating a meal, making a craft or otherwise occupied with a quiet activity.

A Child’s Garden of Verses:  A Classic Illustrated Edition by Robert Louis Stevenson

Now We are Six, A.A. Milne

When We Were Very Young, A.A. Milne

Animal Friends:  A Collection of Poems for Children, Illustrated by Michael Hague.  Includes poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, Aileen Fisher, Mother Goose and many more.

YouTube Links of Stopping By Woods

There are a lot of YouTube videos associated with this poem. Some are wonderfully done recitations and even songs by full choruses. Others are a shaky video camera version of a child’s on-stage performance and some were downright creepy like the claymation one.  Here are some that I liked and plan to use:

  • Robert Frost reading the poem with footage of an actual snowy woods.  Love his New England accent.
  • A beautiful solo version of the song is here.
  • A young child reciting the poem.  I’ll use this as a way to introduce my visual-learning Firefly to memorization and recitation.
  • A silly version by The Muppets, featuring Gonzo and some chickens who keep interrupting Fozzy Bear as he tries to recite the poem.  We’ll save this fun version for our last day of rowing, otherwise I am sure I’ll have “chickens” interrupting me when I try to read the poem each day.

We woke up to a dusting of snow and immediately launched into our snow experiments: Measuring snow every few minutes as it melts. It went from 5 inches to 1 inch. Pouring salt on snow in the second glass to watch it melt. Stirring it with a spoon turned it to slush!

Up next for F.I.A.R.:  Katy and the Big Snow.