It’s important to expose our children to non-fiction, at home or in the classroom. I found a fabulous one for this time of year at our public library: Let’s Look at Winter by Sarah L. Schuette. The book explains the weather patterns of winter and how animals and plants go through changes in this cold season.
My preschooler liked reading this book multiple times and we were able to discuss our own observations of winter – both from memory and in light of the current and increasingly cold weather here in the midwest!
This book would be a great read-aloud for young children and an excellent read-to-self book for emergent readers. And it could be easily integrated with a science lesson or unit on climate, weather or seasons.
Check out my previous post, Animal Hibernation, for more winter learning fun.
Best Ages: pre-k – 2nd grade
- With your child, take out family pictures from last winter. While you look at them together, talk about the activities you did together.
- For young children, print out and play with this free warm weather/cold weather clothing sort from Teachers Pay Teachers.
- If possible where you live, find some time to play outside in the snow together 🙂
- During calendar or circle time, discuss the 4 seasons. Ask students to describe the weather in each season.
- Prior to reading the book, take out a box of clothing and ask students to sort the clothes for warm weather and cold weather as a whole class. Then show students the cover of the book and ask which collection of clothes the characters in the book should wear to stay healthy and safe.
- Set up learning station with activities for winter. Include this warm weather/cold weather clothing sort or these Snow Much Fun Task Cards, both free at Teachers Pay Teachers.
- During recess or free time, have students complete a relay race. Set piles of winter clothing at one end of the gym and then instruct students to run across the room and put on one item at a time, then give to the next person in line, until all the winter clothes are worn by one team member.
As I type that title, in my mind I hear the song “Snow” from Berlin Irving’s movie White Christmas (1954). So wonderful!
Like many other midwest natives, I admit that I love snow when it comes but am ready for it to magically melt away after the new year. 😉 But for now, winter is just beginning, which means I am ready to welcome the snow with sparkly-eyed delight! Thus far we’ve had some flurries but nothing that has stuck. Still, with our Christmas decorations up and the tree lights glowing, I pulled out an old favorite to read aloud as a family: White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt.
This is a classic children’s book for winter and boasts the Caldecott Medal for its nostalgic illustrations. I like the book because it focuses on 3 characters from a town as they prepare for a big winter snow to come. There are is also ample opportunity for using this with older students for language arts mini-lessons on descriptive language and personification.
Whether you have snow or not where you live, I’m sure you and your children/students will like this book!
Best Ages: kindergarten and up
- Do you like the snow? If it snows where you live, talk to your child about what you do to prepare for big snow storms and winter weather.
- Cut out paper snowflakes from construction paper or coffee filters. (Remind your child to fold in quarters and only cut along the lines.) Tape them to the inside of windows in your house and listen to the song “Snow” from White Christmas.
- Show your class the clip of the song “Snow” from White Christmas. If appropriate for your region, ask students what they enjoy doing in the snow. Or ask what they would like to do if it snowed where you live. Make a list on the whiteboard.
- After reading aloud the book, choose a winter art project for your students to complete. (This is a link to one of my favorite websites, created by an elementary art teacher.)
- For older grade levels, choose several lines from the book that demonstrate personification and descriptive language. Have students work in pairs to identify which ones are examples of each. Review as a class.