Winter is an exciting time for little kids! Even though the days are shorter and it’s cold outside, there is so much to look forward to: time with family and friends, the possibility of snow, and a little time off from school.
These winter read-alouds are perfect for reading in your classroom or to kiddos at home. Activity suggestions are also included for each book!
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Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright and Stephin Gilpin
Have you ever heard of a snowman that gets cold? Well Sneezy the Snowman is sooooo cold and he just can’t seem to stay warm. The children in this delightful and funny picture book try to help Sneezy figure out ways to stay warm without causing him to melt. Sneezy comes up with his own ideas to stay warm (like drinking hot cocoa, getting in a hot tub, or standing by a fire), but they always cause him to melt. Each time he melts, the children come to his rescue and help to rebuild him and then share an article of clothing to help keep him warm!
As you read, have students predict what will happen each time Sneezy tries one of his ideas to stay warm. After reading, have students create a melted snowman shape collage using squares and triangles (like this one).
Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda
Bunny Slopes is an interactive story that requires students (or whoever the reader is) to shake, tap, tilt, and turn the book to help Bunny navigate the ski slopes. Bunny really wants to ski at the beginning of the book, but there is no snow so he asks the reader to help him out by shaking the book until the snow falls. The first shake isn’t quite enough, so he asks the reader to shake again (a little harder this time) until lots of snow is dumped onto the ground and on top of Bunny. Now that he’s covered in snow, he needs the reader to tap, tap, tap the book to pack the snow down. Once the snow has fallen and it’s all packed down, Bunny needs a little tilt so he has momentum to head downhill. Once Bunny is all done skiing, he meets his mom at the bottom of the slopes for a cup of hot chocolate.
Add a little movement into the day by having students move with the actions words listed in the book. When Bunny asks for the book to be shaken, have the students shake. When he asked for the book to be tapped, have students tap the air. For further work with action words, have students make new sentences using the action words from the story.
If Winter Comes, Tell it I’m Not Here by Simona Ciraolo
This beautifully illustrated picture book follows a little boy as he moves from the summer months into colder, wintry weather. The little boy is a huge fan of swimming so he’s not super excited about winter coming. His big sister has also warned him that he better enjoy the warm weather because summer is going to end soon. She tells him that when fall comes the days will get shorter and the leaves will fall and then when winter comes it will be dark and cold all of the time. The little boy watches the seasons change just like his sister said they would, but he realizes that each season holds its own beauty and that winter isn’t so bad after all.
Have students illustrate their favorite winter scene using a medium of choice.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz
This Caldecott award winning book captures the anticipation felt by children as they wait for snow to come. The book follows a little boy and his dog as they walk through their city and get excited about the possibility of snow. They count the snowflakes as they begin to fall all while the adults they encounter keep saying things like “it’s only a snowflake,” “it’s nothing,” and “it’ll melt.” The snowflakes keep coming and coming despite the pessimism of the adults and by the end of the book the city has transformed from grey to white.
After reading, have students talk to a partner about their favorite thing to do when it snows (e.g. go sledding, have hot chocolate, make snow angels, etc.). Once they have shared, have them also illustrate their favorite thing to do in the snow.
This time of year can be hectic! Get tips to survive teaching elementary school in December here.
Teacher tip: This post had many activity suggestions. Once you have the books, get a sticky note and write down the activity and stick it on the inside cover of the book. Any time you do the read aloud, you can remember the easy no-prep activity!
This post was written by my friend Erienne Jones. She is a former school librarian turned entrepreneur who continues to immerse herself in the world of books!