As if it were in our lesson plans, the snow fell peacefully just in time for Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.
1.Decorate a Tree for the Birds
We were about to haul our Christmas Tree out to the burn pile, when Ryan thought of a brilliant idea: “Let’s sit it out on the porch, fill it with birdseed, and the girls can watch the birds from the kitchen table.”
Feeding the birds correlated well with Susan Jeffers’ illustrations.
One night, after dinner, when the snow was falling and falling, we bundled the girls up and went outside to decorate the tree with our feeders. I don’t know why we thought they wouldn’t need their snow pants…
Then, the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that, we enjoyed the company of chickadees and cardinals and sparrows…
2. Create an illustrated version of the poem.
This was fantastic practice in illustrating, and creating a book. We divided the poem into scenes, and planned poses that would communicate each stanza. Then we found an appropriate font and style for the book. Vivienne and I worked together every step of the way. Lia was in charge of props. She made the jingle-bell harness for the horse, and helped to dress the horse and the doll. Overall, this was a wonderful project!
BUT do not be deceived by these peaceful photos. When we brought Vivienne’s prized doll and horse out in the snow, we tried so hard to keep them dry, but the snow was GUSTING at us like a blizzard. Not to mention, Lia’s boot came off when she was knee-deep in snow, the doll and the horse landed face-down in the snow, and I lost my temper when Vivienne accidentally dumped snow on my head instead of sprinkling snow in front of the doll to create the “snowy day effect” we had talked about. When we came in, wet and grumpy, I apologized my heart out. Then, we took a deep breath, ordered the photos, and got to work putting the book together. The finished project was well worth the effort… and the forgiveness!
Whose woods these are I think I know; His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near…
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.