Whatís Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
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It's Winter in the Northern Hemisphere!
|Grades||K – 6|
|Calendar Activity Type||Holiday & School Celebration|
The onset of winter weather varies from year to year and from place to place, but December 21, the winter solstice, is considered the first official day of winter. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year. The days get longer as winter progresses. In the Northern Hemisphere, it also marks the day when the sun is furthest to the south.
Winter has long been immortalized in art, poetry, and song. For many of us, winter makes us think of frolicking on snowy days and reading by the fire on cold nights-even if we live in a warm place where it never snows! Brainstorm with your students about the words and images that come to mind when they think of winter. How do these words and images compare to their own experiences with winter weather? Have students select and read a picture book about winter. How do the words and images in the book compare to the list they brainstormed and to their own experiences? Students can use the interactive Venn diagram to make the comparison.
As students read, ask them to look for examples of winter activities that the characters do with their families or friends. Were there any winter traditions on the list students brainstormed? Challenge your students to celebrate what winter means to them by starting their own tradition on the first day of winter. Students can use the interactive Postcard Creator to write to family and friends, inviting them to participate in the new tradition.
- Winter Solstice
This page from American Memory at the Library of Congress celebrates the winter solstice through images and anecdotes of winters past, drawn from American literature and folk history.
- Solstice a Cause for Celebration Since Ancient Times
This National Geographic News article discusses the winter solstice and ancient celebrations associated with it.
- Let it Snow
Reading Rockets provides this annotated list of books about winter for children.
- Winter Storms
While snowy weather can be fun, severe winter storms can be dangerous. Scholastic offers this resource featuring information about winter storms, eyewitness accounts of winter storms, and associated vocabulary.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Minilesson
In this lesson, students use both fiction and nonfiction texts, the Internet, and a K-W-L chart to learn about how animals survive the winter.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Visual clues in winter-themed books used in this lesson encourage students to make real-world math connections.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
After listening to haiku poetry, students use seasonal descriptive words to write their own haiku, following the traditional format. They then publish their poems by mounting them on illustrated backgrounds.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Unit
After analyzing Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza, students create a class book with artwork and information about their ancestry, traditions, and recipes, followed by a potluck lunch.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Recurring Lesson
Students build positive memories of literacy activities when they take turns taking home a book bag stuffed with items to encourage literacy interactions with their families.