Around the World with FIAR: Katy and the Snow Plough

Ribbet collagefiar

Katy is a tractor who pushes a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter.  One winter the snow is particularly bad and only Katy is strong and resilient enough to clear the snow and make it possible for the townspeople to do their jobs.

Geographical Theme for the Term

Katy is working in Geopolis, which basically means a town anywhere.  We decided to make this geopolis in Greenland, a country within the Arctic Circle, and one which has a high snow fall each year:


Themes for Katy and the Snow Plough

Properties of snow and Ice



In the Book Box

katy and the big snow3


(I am using the same photos as before to save me the time in taking and processing more photos.  We did the same activities each week to reinforce the children’s knowledge of the whereabouts of the Arctic Circle.)


Besides reading the above books we made up an animals of the world map and looked out for any of the animals we pictured in the book:

katie and the snow plough

We also built up our large foam map of the world.  I had the little ones spray shaving foam onto the map to show where Antarctica and the Arctic circle were.  They used the appropriate plastic animals and played for a while in the ‘snow’:


To reinforce the names and position of the continents and oceans they played spin the continent:


and a great little board game called Atlas Adventures:


In the Prop Box

For this week’s fun we created our own geopolis on our chalk board table, using coloured chalk and Wooden Thomas the Tank engine bits and pieces:

katy and the big snow4Then we created a snow storm using good ol’ shaving foam:

katy and the big snow5The girls then used the tractors and snow ploughs from their Thomas the Tank play set to plough away all the ‘snow’ and allow our geopolis to start functioning again:

katy and the big snow6


We read the following book and then carried out some experiments into the properties of snow and ice.  We only had one day of snow this year so made the most of it during that one day with science experiments and art lessons galore:


  • Is the temperature higher or lower inside when compared with outside?

What did they think would happen?

Both A6 and B3 postulated that it would be colder outside than in, because it was snowing outside where as we had the central heating on inside.

What did we do?

We measured the temperature inside using a thermometer, and then measured it outside using the same thermometer.

What happened?

Inside Temperature: 17 degrees Celsius

Outside Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius

Ribbet collageexp1

Why did this happen?

We surmised that our predictions were correct and were likely down to the fact that indoors was centrally heated which upped its temperature.

  • Why do Ice-bergs float on the water?

Which one weighs more – a bowl full of snow or a bowl full of water?

What did they think might happen?

A6 thought the water would be heavier whilst B3 thought the snow would weigh more.  Neither were able to explain their predictions.

What did we do?

We gathered some snow into a bowl and some water into a bowl of exactly the same dimensions.  The bowls were filled to the top:


What happened?

The scales showed that the bowl full of water weighed more than the bowl full of snow:

Ribbet collageexp2

Why did this happen?

The water weighed more than the snow because the water molecules are packed tighter in water than in snow.  Snow also contains much air which water does not.  This makes water denser than snow, hence making it heavier.  This is the reason ice-bergs float in the water.

Arctic Lap Journal

Although there are many lap pieces available for each individual FIAR book I have decided that my primary learning goals for the girls are geographical.  Therefore with each continent we study we will be slowly completing one large continent lap book, adding various lap pieces each week.  This week we added some information about some of the animals found in the arctic circle:

Ribbet collagearctic lapbook

Art and Craft Activities

  • Snow Painting

I collected lots of snow and packed it tightly into two cat litter trays (we don’t use them for the cats obviously!!).  It is important to cram it in tightly because this gives a lovely firm and smooth ‘canvas’ to paint on:


I had bought some finger painting jars of multiple colours for £3 from the works and I had hoarded them away for just a time such as this:


As you can see, these paints went on smoothly and easily and showed up brightly.  It was almost like they were made for this purpose!


This activity absorbed them completely:


For at least an hour, very possibly longer:


And produced some truly stunning results:



Further Inspiration


Tot School


  1. I have enjoyed your geographical take on FIAR. I am smiling at you stretching the books to fit the country, but why not? You all look like you are having a great time 🙂

  2. I love to see all the different projects people do with FIAR books. This story takes me back to my kids younger years. They loved that story.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. In some ways I wish I used a curriculum right now because trying to fit in five children of different ages is a bit of a struggle and poor little ones, it is always their school which gets dropped. I will do better next term…..

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