Winter can be a hard time to homeschool – when the cold and snowy weather hits, it’s tempting to just hibernate instead of doing anything else. Thankfully, there’s an option to embrace that wintery goodness and use it as a learning experience.
On the Mark Press has a great collection of downloadable eBooks on a wide variety of topics, but I was actually really impressed with the options for learning about winter. Here are a few:
Celebrate Winter: This lesson book is designed for students in grade 4 to 6, and covers all sorts of topics to help appreciate, understand, and enjoy the season of winter. Including activities to cover word study, language, math, writing, and research skills, students get a lot of different options. It starts off with 9 different reading topics which are each followed by questions to make sure they understood what they just read. Some of these are quite long and detailed. Topics include: hibernation, why we have winter, weather, winter safety, and winter around the world.
Language activities include reviewing suffixes, syllables, root words, compound words, punctuation, adjectives and adverbs, encouraging creative writing by offering writing prompts, and more through a variety of worksheets. Research prompts ask students to pick one of the suggested winter themed topics and learn more about them, with some guided questions to help them get started. The math section is somewhat short but asks kids to read temperature, explore the calendar, and read graphs.
This book is a terrific way to combine learning with the season.
Winter Solstice: Taken from a much bigger book about Canadian celebrations, this short single lesson plan covers the topic of winter for kids in grades 1-3. I admit, I thought it was going to more focused on the idea of the shortest day of the year, but it’s really more about the season of winter instead. It has several great suggestions for the teacher on how to expand a winter theme. For kids, there’s a crossword puzzle and word search all about winter words, a snowman writing prompt worksheet, and some fun little poems about winter. It’s a small lesson, but can be a great time filler when you need to focus a child, or you are just wanting to do something quick about winter with them.
Canadian Winter Carnivals and Festivals: Another short lesson, it’s a single activity that’s a reading and question prompt about the various winter fun that goes on around our country. Designed for kids in grades 4-6, it’s a short and informative reading introduction about festivals like Quebec’s Carnival, Winterlude in Ontario, the Festival du Voyageur and Trapper’s Festivals in Manitoba, and more.
Winter Birds: A black and white master of a unit study for the early years (K-2 range) that helps teach kids about the birds they might see in their backyard during the winter months. It includes a teacher’s section that gives detailed information about the birds covered within the book, such as bluejays, cardinals, chickadees, and more. Following that, is a multi-page booklet for kids to work on. This includes some fill in the blank information sheets about each bird, sections to write critical thinking answers to problems like how to help birds in winter, etc. It also includes a lot of expanded language activities surrounding phonetic sounds such as “ch” for chickadee, compound words, syllables, alphabetical order, and vowel sounds. Other activities include thinking about animal sound words, coverings and habitats, writing stories, poetry, crafts, and more. This is a well-rounded,detailed lesson plan to do with your kids.
Each of these books are downloaded as PDF files that you can save right to your computer and print out as desired.
These four books are just some of the resources available from this company. They are a fun way to dive into winter instead of just trying to avoid it!