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Winter Writing Activities to Warm Up Your Students' Literacy

Winter Writing Activities to Warm Up Your Students' Literacy

Let’s be honest…our students can be a little distracted after the winter holidays. It’s understandable. As the colder months creep in, they start daydreaming of snow days, and enjoying a marshmallow-filled cup of hot chocolate by the fire. So, it’s time to get creative! I say we take advantage of their winter weather fantasies and incorporate them into winter-themed writing activities that are sure to recapture their attention! 


1. Mentor Texts

Tess Builds A Snowman

Whether you are teaching procedural writing as a standalone unit or as one part of informational writing, great mentor texts are priceless. In addition to CTP's Learn to Write series, (including our winter-themed Tess Builds a Snowman) here are some popular favorites: 

  • How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth by Michelle Robinson
  • How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson
  • How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan
  • How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton
  • How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green
  • How to Make Slime by Lori Shores
  • How to Read a Story by Kate Messner
  • If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denise Vega 


2. It’s Winter! Anchor Chart

It's Winter! Anchor Chart

Create a giant icicle with the word "Winter" written across the top. Start a discussion by having the class brainstorm a list of words that are associated with winter. For example, frosty, blizzard, earmuffs, January, snow. Encourage students to add to the list as they think of more words. Adding to the list of words can also be a purposeful sponge activity!

This is the perfect way to use up some of those decor scraps you may have laying around. EZ Borders , labels, cut-outs -the sky is truly the limit here! 


    3. How to… Winter Writing Prompts

    Writing can seem like a daunting task. At times, it can be challenging to conceive and organize ideas. Students might struggle to pen their imaginations into words. That’s where writing prompts are uniquely helpful. They remove the intimidation factor of a blank page while allowing creativity to flow. These winter writing prompts can provide students the opportunity to imagine grand adventures, organize their thoughts on paper, and eventually encourage out-of-the-box writing.


    • How to have an epic snowball fight
    • How to create a snow angel
    • How to go sledding
    In the Kitchen
    • How to make hot chocolate
    • How to make a gingerbread house
    • How to decorate sugar cookies
    Family Fun
    • How to make paper snowflakes
    • How to play Simon Says
    • How to make a blanket fort


    4. Author Celebration!

    Great Work Coming Soon Bulletin Board

    Ask students to pick one of their 'published' pieces of writing to display at the 'writing museum.' Explain that they will have an opportunity to read and look at their classmates' writing. Give each student a sticky note and discuss what types of feedback are positive and helpful. Have a gallery walk that actively engages students as they walk throughout the classroom and leave feedback for their fellow writers. Be sure to celebrate all their hard work when publishing their very own “how to” books.


    Keep the Winter Writing Fun Going With This Reproducible

    January Freebie Download

    Our January picture frame freebie is a great downloadable template to provide your students for their writing activities. To keep the task of writing fun, let them color in the border design when they're finished!


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