Around the World with FIAR: Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

Ribbet collagefiar Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening is a poem by one of my very favourite poets, Robert Frost.  This a simple poem which Frost claims he wrote in just one night.  Simple it maybe, but it has a class that spans the ages.  As it is short I have included it here: 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 Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. 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. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. The illustrations which accompany this book are just gorgeous and supplement the beauty of the poem perfectly.

Geographical Themes for the Term

Arctic Regions, in this case Northern Norway.  Again, I realise I am using a lot of artistic licence here, but Norway is full of woods and forests so it is not inconceivable that the poem could have been set here 🙂 stopping by woods 2 Plus the fact Northern Norway falls handily within the Arctic Circle, which is our focus at the moment.

Theme for Stopping by the Woods

Winter Animals (and their tracks): stopping by woods 3

In my Book Box

stopping by woods



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

We made a sledge out of a huge box we had.  The little ones painted, taped and collected bunches of blankets in an attempt to recreate the sledging scene in the book: Ribbet collagestopping by woods1

We used old duvets on the floor for the snow and had plans to use Oscar, our lab, as a horse, but he was having none of it 🙂


Throwing in a few of their woodland animals, we very nearly had it perfected…..


They are looking terribly serious, aren’t they?


stopping by woods 3

  • Animal tracks – Big tracks, Little Tracks was our main book for the science side of this week.  I was so impressed by how it was laid out and we learnt heaps of information about the differences between each animals tracks.  The book is set out to help the reader become a nature detective.  It sets many investigations concerning animal prints and walks the child through the correct answers.
  • Matching animals to their prints:

Ribbet collagestopping by woods2

  • We went out into our own ‘woods’ and searched for prints in the snow, taking a photo of them and finding out which animal they belonged to:

Ribbet collagestoppingbywoods5

Ribbet collagestoppingbywoods3

Ribbet collagestoppingbywoods4

  • The Animals in Winter book taught the girls about the different survival techniques of various winter animals, from hibernation to storing food throughout the year in preparation for winter to migration to hotter climates.

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 was our second week and we added a lap book piece which contains pictures of animals which might be found in the Arctic Tundra as well as a flap book explaining what Hibernation and Migration are, which we learnt about whilst reading Animals in Winter: An owl moon 2

Art and Craft Activities

  • Snowy picture with paint, cotton wool and print outs of animals:

stopat the woods

stopby a wood2

Further Inspiration


  1. Wow, you did stacks! What age group would you say FIAR is suitable for? I’ve heard so many good things about it. Can it be adapted to suit different ages do you think?

  2. Claire, what fantastic activities! I love adding poetry to anything. I wish I had read more as a child. The sled was just the best idea. Those girls are too cute for words.:) Too bad Oscar didn’t want to participate. He missed out on a lot of fun. Please tell the girls I love their picture. These activities make me (almost) wish I had a little one;)

    The snow looks wonderful. We are right around 100 degrees in early June.

    I hope you are having a lovely day.:)

    1. Thanks Donna! We did these activities back at the beginning of the year. It’s not snowing here right now – although nothing would surprise me about the English weather!

  3. I am always amazed at how thorough your family is in its studies. It is so inspiring. I hope you don’t mind, but I am collecting many of your posts on my Pinterest boards for future homeschool ideas, such as our future exploration/geography year. Who ever thought studying the Arctic could be this much fun.

    P.S. I did not know you had a Pinterest board. I’ll have to check it out.

  4. How lovely! The main thing about that poem to me is the way it evokes the feeling of a snowy winter wood, and Norway certainly does have lots of those! It looks like so much fun 🙂

    1. Thanks Dana, the book you recommend looks delightful – I shall have to see if I can get it off the UK Amazon site. Thank you for sharing!

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