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Winter Theme Unit
The Legacy of the Snowman



The Legacy of the Snowman
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.34

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    accessorize, angus, manuscript, protocol, snowwoman, lasting, reportedly, dated, essence, existence, traditional, powdery, fresco, building, activity, indicate
     content words:    Middle Ages, North America, Olympia Snowe, Bob Eckstein, Ice Age, Flea Market, Even Michelangelo, In January


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The Legacy of the Snowman
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Building snowmen has been a wintertime activity since the Middle Ages. A snowman is simply a snow sculpture of a human. Its shape has changed little through the years. The modern day snowman is usually a plump, jolly fellow such as the one described in "Frosty the Snowman." A snowman is always a one-of-a-kind sculpture because there is no practical way to preserve it. Pictures of snowmen have survived over the years, but there is no lasting evidence that any of these sculptures actually ever existed.
 
2     A certain protocol is often used in the building of snowmen. First, an ample amount of snow is needed. Sometimes, the snow is too dry and powdery to pack. Packing snow is formed when the snow is close to its melting point. Snowman building begins with a snowball. The snowball is rolled in the packing snow. As it is rolled, snow sticks to the snowball and it increases in size until it becomes quite large. If the snow is too dry, it will not stick.
 
3     Most snowmen in Europe and North America are built with three spheres. The spheres are often three different sizes. The largest is for the body. A smaller one makes up the chest, and the smallest is used for the head. Lumps of coal were traditionally used for the eyes, but coal is difficult to find nowadays. Anything similar, such as rocks or large buttons, can be used. The nose is often made using a carrot or cherry, and the mouth can be made of a variety of materials. The only limit is your imagination when it comes to creating a snowman.

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Winter Theme Unit
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