Texas Winter Storm Share-Write-Discuss Process Activity

Texas just went through a pretty major winter storm event which kept students across the state home from school. Many of our students made wonderful and scary memories because of this event. Some of our students saw snow for the first time in their lives, but also lost power and may have been freezing and hungry in their homes. No matter what they experienced, our students will walk in our school doors (or Zoom or Google Meet screens) wanting to talk about their experiences. I believe we should most definitely allow students time and freedom to discuss and share their experiences… but at the same time… YIKES! We just lost 5 instructional days!!! How can we value our students, allow them to process and share, but not lose more time?!?! Play a quick game of Stand Up If… followed by a quick write and small group share. 15 minutes or less will allow ALL students to share, feel heard, and hear from other students.

Check out the slides below to see if you can use this activity with your students and grab a FREE copy of the slides HERE:

Here is the link to grab a FREE copy of this slide deck to tweak and use with your students.

Here are the prompts included:

Stand up if…

  • you saw snow in real life
  • you built a snowman
  • you ate a snowflake (or lots of snow)
  • you ate soup
  • you lost power at your house at some point
  • you stayed with friends or neighbors
  • you got warm by a fire
  • you roasted marshmallows
  • you roasted hot dogs
  • you used candles for light
  • you used flashlights
  • you wore multiple shirts, pants, or coats
  • you played a board game or card game
  • you read a book
  • you saw an icicle
  • you threw a snowball

What else happened that I didn’t ask about? Write at least 5 complete sentences about how the winter storm effected you and your family. Be prepared to share all or part in your small group.

How to Play

“Stand Up If…” can be played while students are at their desks, all together on the floor in front of the board, or connecting to class virtually. You will read the statement on the slide. Students will stand up when the statement applies to them. They will stay standing until you say “sit down.” The students will remain seated if the statement doesn’t apply to them. For example: You will read the slide “Stand up if you threw a snowball.” All the students that threw a snowball will stand. The students that did not throw a snowball will remain seated. After a few seconds of standing (and honestly, probably students saying how funny it was or cold or who they hit…), you will say “sit down” and then read the next statement. Keep playing until you have done all the slides!

End by having students complete the quick write sharing something else about the Winter Storm and their time away from school. You can edit this slide to change the prompt, the time limit, or the expectation for the number of complete sentences.

Provide time for students to share their quick write reflection in a small group. This allows all students the ability to share and get that itch to tell someone about what happened to them scratched, but, doing so in small groups allows for students who are more shy or who do not like to share as much to feel less pressure than being in front of the whole class. They can even say “pass” if they really don’t want to share. The point is to allow students to express their feelings and share their experience, not FORCE anyone to share.

Benefits

  • Students discover what they have in common with classmates over the winter storm
  • Students will get to share many of the things they did quickly and quietly
  • Students will expend some energy from standing and sitting
  • Only takes a few of your precious instructional minutes
  • Zero prep – it’s already done for you!

Here is the link again to make your own copy of the Stand Up If… Winter Storm Edition Google Slides.

You can edit the prompts on the slides. If you need to edit the titles or background images, click on View, Master to edit the slide master! See more about editing the slide master here.

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