Winter Reading Activities Plus a FREEBIE

Winter reading activities

This is always my favorite blog post to write each holiday! I’ve been writing these blog posts for a few months about my favorite holiday read alouds. So, today, I’m writing about winter read alouds, plus reading resources to use in your small group or reading center time. They cover snow, cold weather, winter animals, and more! In this blog post, you will get to collect book ideas, and reading activity ideas! Each of the read alouds come with an affiliate link to Amazon. I hope you enjoy my winter reading activities plus a FREEBIE download.

Winter read alouds.

Nine Winter-themed Books for the Classroom

Here we go! I’m going to outline my favorite nine winter read alouds or library books for the children to read through during Read to Self or Read to Someone. So, write these titles down or click through to grab them on Amazon so you can add them to your classroom lessons. It’s my winter reading activities plus a FREEBIE list!

The shortest day book cover

Winter Read Aloud #1:

The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer

Synopsis: One reason I think this is a great read aloud for your students is that it describes the Winter Solstice. For instance, it explains the science behind the shortest day of the year. Additionally, there is some history included in the story about the Solstice of what people thought and did on this day. Then, it is followed up with different cultural traditions that surround this day.

The mitten book cover

Winter Read Aloud #2:

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Synopsis: I feel biased about this book since it was one of my favorite stories my mom read to me when I grew up. Indeed, Jan Brett’s stories are always a magical experience, and The Mitten is one of her best. This is a Ukranian folk tale retold about a boy named Nicki. Nicki’s white mitten fell off in the snow, and the animals that take refuge in this mitten create a cute story that your students will find hilarious.

There was a cold lady who swallowed some snow.

Winter Read Aloud #3:

There Was A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro

Synopsis: This fun, repetitive story follows a cold lady who swallows many things familiarly found on a snowman. As a result, just like with all Colandro’s stories, in the end, the old lady can’t hold all the things she swallowed inside her belly. When they all fly out of her mouth this time, they make a fun snowy surprise!

Sneezy the snowman book cover

Winter Real Aloud #4:

Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright

Synopsis: Sneezy’s journey is not an easy one. First, he is built by his friends and then continues to melt over and over. Then, Sneezy keeps sneezing and complains about being cold. As a result, the kids try to help him, but when the kids try to warm him up, he melts again. So, the story follows the kid’s day in trying to help Sneezy stay warm, but not melt!

The Night Before the Snow Day winter read aloud for kids.

Winter Real Aloud #5:

The Night Before the Snow Day by Natasha Wing

Synopsis: What is more exciting than a snow day for students (and teachers)? This story captures the excitement of waking up in the morning and finding out you get a day to play in the snow. Additionally, there is also rhyming throughout the story, which makes the story very enjoyable for young readers. Also, the end of the story leaves off with a possible extra snow day. Therefore, it’s a great talking piece to end with.

The First Day of Winter read aloud activity for kids.

Winter Read Aloud #6:

The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming

Synopsis: This story will be familiar to your students because of the rhythm that it follows. The whole story can be sung using the “12 Days of Christmas”. In this case, instead of the 12 Days of Christmas, it is all about what a snowman’s friend brings to him on the first day of winter. By the end of the story, the snowman is built. Also, students can sing along and help read the story because of predictive text and repetition.

A Loud Winter's Nap read aloud activity for children.

Winter Read Aloud #7:

A Loud Winter’s Nap by Katy Hudson

Synopsis: This sweet story follows Tortoise on his search to find somewhere to hibernate for the winter. Every time he finds a new place to settle in to take a nap, another winter animal disturbs his sleep. Towards the end of the story, he eventually ends up enjoying the experiences and finds a newfound love for wintertime.

The Snow Bears winter read aloud for elementary children.

Winter Read Aloud #8:

The Snow Bears by Jan Brett

Synopsis: All Jan Brett books are fantastic. This story is no different. Jan Brett writes about three polar bears, with a fractured fairy tale spin of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Aloo-Ki is a young girl looking for her dogs who floated away on a piece of ice that broke off. Indeed, it follows the Goldilocks storyline with the food, trying on boots, and napping on beds. What I really love about this book is that if you have a document camera, you can zoom in on the pictures on the side of the story. With this in mind, these extra images show what is going on with Aloo-Ki’s dogs while she is in their polar bears’ home.

The Snowy Day winter reading activity for kids.

Winter Read Aloud #9:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Synopsis: This is a classic and a staple in all classrooms. One thing I really love about this text is the artwork. The story follows Peter and his day of fun playing in the snow. He makes footprints, slides around in the snow, makes snow angels, and more. Finally, when he wakes the next morning, he finds more snow for another day of fun!

Winter resources

After filling up your classroom library with all these winter titles, now it’s time to look for resources to use while teaching! I love subbing in seasonal reading activities into my Daily 5. Given that, I’ll use them for Read to Self, Read to Someone, or even during small group. You can use passages, centers, fluency activities, and more- all winter themed!

Additional Resources for Classroom Success

Fluency winter activities

Winter Fluency Activities

Link: Winter Animal Fluency Activities and Early Readers Edition

There are two levels of these fluency activities that I have available. One level is for advanced kinder and first grade level readers. The other level is for 2nd/3rd grade students. And they are all about winter animals! Notably, the two units come with fluency passages and comprehension activities, plus follow up fluency center activities.

Differentiated winter reading

Differentiated Winter Mini-books

Link: Differentiated Winter Mini Books

Mini-books are my favorite resource to use when teaching small group. Because they’re so easy to print and fold into leveled resources to use for the week, they are perfect. There are three levels of these mini-books for your small group to use, just print, fold, and use.

Winter themed Nonfiction reading activities for kids.

Nonfiction Winter Reading

Link: Nonfiction Winter Reading Material

These nonfiction resources cover three winter topics: winter sports, winter weather, and winter animals. Also, there are passages, fact sheets, as well as vocabulary activities, and more!

Winter flip book reading activity for kids.

Link: Winter Flip Book

Winter-themed Flip Book

Flip books are a classroom staple! They include a nonfiction passage and follow up comprehension activities. Also, this specific flip book has a passage all about winter, then a page to answer questions, sort winter facts, and for students to write all about their new knowledge.

Winter freebies

Here’s a freebie for you! Just sign up with the form below!

Free winter reading

Free Download

That’s it for my winter reading activities plus a FREEBIE post. If you scroll down just a bit, you’ll see an email sign-up. This is where you can snag this reading freebie. It comes with two reading passages and comprehension activities. One of the texts is fiction and the other is nonfiction. Afterwards, it’ll show up in your email inbox! I’ll never send spam and typically send about 3 freebies via email a month. In conclusion, I hope you enjoy being part of my email list and I hope you enjoy the freebie. Happy teaching!

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