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Winter Words: Teaching Children about Winter

You may not come from a land of ice and snow, but you can go there through books. The stories below illustrate those worlds with words such as: flakes, powdery, heaping, crystalline, radiant, glistening, and even the dreaded infirm. Beautiful language helps define a world. The world of picture books is defined by rare words (words heard outside of regular conversation). And, the amount of words children hear before the age of five defines 90% of their vocabulary for the rest of their lives. Leave word poverty and low literacy rates out in the cold by reading aloud to children everyday.

Warm your hearts by sharing some seasonal fun:

Rare Words Search: Before reading the books below to the children, choose some interesting winter words from the books, write them down and post them on a bulletin board or wall. As the kids are listening to the books, see who can spot the rare words, and then talk about what they mean.

White Winter Drawings: Try giving the children black paper and some white crayons or chalk. See how many White Winter objects they can draw! You can also try this with words that begin with the letter "W".

Winter Songs: Children that have a song in their heart and a spring in their step have a great start.  Songs, rhymes and music help children with their phonological awareness.  This skill is crucial to learning how to read. So just sing, sing a song or read one and your children are sure to succeed at reading. 

Dance Like Snowflakes (tune: "Frere Jacques")
Dance like snowflakes
Dance like snowflakes
In the air
In the air
Whirling, twirling, snowflakes
Whirling, twirling, snowflakes
Here and there
Here and there.

I'm a Friendly Snowman (tune: "I'm a little teapot")
I'm a friendly snowman big and fat.
(stretch arms out to sides)
Here is my tummy and here is my hat.
(point to tummy, then top of head)
I'm a happy fellow, here's my nose.
(smile, then point to nose)
I'm all snow from my head to my toes.
(point to head, then to toes)
I have two bright eyes so I can see.
(point to eyes)
All the snow falling down on me.
(flutter fingers downward)
When the weather's cold I'm strong and tall.
(stand up all)
But when it's warm I get very small.
(crouch down

Ten Warm Mittens
Ten warm mittens, hanging on the line,
One blows away and then there are nine.
Nine warm mittens, one without a mate,
A squirrel carries one away and that leaves eight.
Eight warm mittens, just eight not eleven,
One gets buried in the snow and that leaves seven.
Seven warm mittens, which one do you pick?
I'll pick the red one and that leaves six.
Six warm mittens, put one on to try.
Then you take it from the line and that leaves five.
Five warm mittens, we had ten before!
A fluffy bunny needs one and that leaves four!
Four warm mittens, two for you and two for me, I lost one on the ski slope and that leaves three.
Three warm mittens, looking very new,
One falls into the mud and that leaves two.
Two warm mittens, drying in the sun,
A bird comes down and snatches it and that leaves one.
One warm mitten, what good is one?
A little mouse can have a bed, and that leaves none!

The Snowkey Pokey  (tune: "Hokey Pokey")
You put your right mitten in,
you take your right mitten out,
you put your right mitten in
and you shake it all about.

You do the snowkey pokey
and you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about.

Additional verses:
You put your left mitten in . . .
You put your right boot in . . .
You put your left boot in . . .
You put your hat in . . .
You put your snowself in . . .

 

 


The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
Laura K. Says: The First Day of Winter
Amazon Says: A cozy, cumulative book to warm a cold winter day Alive with swirling snow and lots of outdoor fun, the first ten days of winter bring special gifts for a special frie more...
Amazon Says: A cozy, cumulative book to warm a cold winter day Alive with swirling snow and lots of outdoor fun, the first ten days of winter bring special gifts for a special friend. This cumulative tale will have children chanting along as they discover all the trimmings needed for the most perfect snowman ever! less...
Amazon

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time by James/ Gay, Marie-Louise (ILT) Howe
Laura K. Says: Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time
Amazon Says: When the first snow of winter falls, Catina worries about all her plans for the day being ruined, so her friend Houndsley tries to help Catina let go of her worries and enjoy more...
Amazon Says: When the first snow of winter falls, Catina worries about all her plans for the day being ruined, so her friend Houndsley tries to help Catina let go of her worries and enjoy the quiet time of a snowy day. Title: Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time Author: Howe, James/ Gay, Marie-Louise (ILT) Publisher: Candlewick Pr Publication Date: 2008/09/09 Number of Pages: 42 Binding Type: SCHOOL AND LIBRARY Library of Congress: 2007940973 less...
Amazon

A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann
Laura K. Says: A Kitten Tale
Amazon Says: Once there were four kittens who had never seen snow. The first three kittens are wary—snow is cold, it’s wet, it covers everything. As the seasons pass and winter begins more...
Amazon Says: Once there were four kittens who had never seen snow. The first three kittens are wary—snow is cold, it’s wet, it covers everything. As the seasons pass and winter begins to loom, the three skittish kittens worry. But the fourth kitten is getting excited. Snow will cover everything! “I can’t wait!” less...
Amazon

Sally's Snow Adventure by Stephen Huneck
Laura K. Says: Sally's Snow Adventure
Amazon Says: Sally’s earlier books have proven themselves as perennial favorites, and now she has taken herself to the perfect holiday locale: a ski lodge. While at the resort, Sally ma more...
Amazon Says: Sally’s earlier books have proven themselves as perennial favorites, and now she has taken herself to the perfect holiday locale: a ski lodge. While at the resort, Sally makes lots of new friends, including two rescue dogs. She enjoys the comforts of the lodge, and tries her paws at various winter sports. But when night falls, Sally gets lost in the woods. How will she find her way back to the lodge? Featuring a sweet story and Stephen Huneck’s unique illustrations, Sally’s Snow Adventure will appeal to children and dog-lovers of all ages. less...
Amazon

Snow by Cynthia Rylant
Laura K. Says: Snow
Amazon Says: Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical descriptions of the sights and feelings evoked by falling snow blend gorgeously with the rich and beautiful world created by Lauren Stringer’s more...
Amazon Says: Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical descriptions of the sights and feelings evoked by falling snow blend gorgeously with the rich and beautiful world created by Lauren Stringer’s illustrations, in which a young girl, her friend, and her grandmother enjoy the many things a snowy day has to offer. less...
Amazon

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
Laura K. Says: Snowballs
Amazon Says: Pull on your mittens and head outside with Lois Ehlert for a snowball day! Grab some snow and start rolling. With a few found objects, like buttons and fabric and seeds, and a more...
Amazon Says: Pull on your mittens and head outside with Lois Ehlert for a snowball day! Grab some snow and start rolling. With a few found objects, like buttons and fabric and seeds, and a little imagination, you can create a whole family out of snow. “Ehlert uses collages of cut paper and vibrant, textured objects to dazzling effect in her tribute to building a snowman--and snowgirl and snowcat. Her inventive designs extend the reader’s perspective and tweak the limits of the picture-book format.”--Publishers Weekly less...
Amazon

The Snowy Day Board Book by Ezra Jack Keats
Laura K. Says: The Snowy Day
Amazon Says: Vivid full-color illustrations capture a young boy's delight in the first snowfall of the year, in a board book edition of the Caldecott Medal-winning classic. more...
Amazon Says: Vivid full-color illustrations capture a young boy's delight in the first snowfall of the year, in a board book edition of the Caldecott Medal-winning classic. less...
Amazon

Laura K. Says: Stranger in the Woods
Amazon Says: Years after it was published, Stranger in the Woods remains a bestseller, with more than one-million copies in print and repeated appearances on the bestseller lists. Winner o more...
Amazon Says: Years after it was published, Stranger in the Woods remains a bestseller, with more than one-million copies in print and repeated appearances on the bestseller lists. Winner of numerous awards, including the 2001 International Reading Association's highest honour, this charming tale uses wildlife photography to tell the story of animals' reactions to a snowman who appears in the woods after a winter storm. less...
Amazon

Laura K. Says: Under My Hood I Have a Hat
Amazon Says: Winter is hereand it's time to put on your gloves and mittens and scarf and hat and...Only award-winning poet Karla Kuskin and illustrator more...
Amazon Says: Winter is hereand it's time to put on your gloves and mittens and scarf and hat and...Only award-winning poet Karla Kuskin and illustrator Fumi Kosaka could make bundling up for the snow so much fun! less...
Amazon

White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt
Laura K. Says: White Snow, Bright Snow
Amazon Says: When the first flakes fell from the grey sky, the postman and the farmer and the policeman and his wife scurried about doing all the practical things grownups do when a snowst more...
Amazon Says: When the first flakes fell from the grey sky, the postman and the farmer and the policeman and his wife scurried about doing all the practical things grownups do when a snowstorm comes. But the children laughed and danced, and caught the lacy snowflakes on thier tongues. All the wonder and delight a child feels in a snowfall is caught in the pages of this book -- the frost ferns on the window sill, the snow man in the yard and the mystery and magic of a new white world. Roger Duvoisin's pictures in soft blue half-tones with briliant splashes of yellow and red emphasize the gaiety and humor as well as the poetic quality of the text. less...
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