Winter literacy activities title image

Are you looking for winter literacy activities for your elementary students? These easy and fun activities are sure to get your students reading and writing this winter!

Winter Read Alouds

There are so many fun winter read-alouds that you can share with your students! Here are some thematic roundup posts to help you start picking out books to read:

Winter Reading Challenges

Monthly reading challenges are fun winter literacy activities that build excitement about reading! These challenges are reading goals you aim to achieve over a certain amount of time. The goals can be related to time spent reading, the number of books, or the types of books read.

Challenge students to read different types winter winter-themed texts. They can read a book:

  • that takes place in the North Pole
  • with an act of kindness
  • with a snowman character
  • about holidays around the world
  • about an Arctic animal
Winter Reading Challenge Bookmarks
Winter Reading Challenge

Other types of reading challenges can encourage students to read while doing winter activities such as reading a book:

  • while wearing mittens
  • under a cozy blanket
  • inside a snow fort
  • as you drink hot cocoa

Winter Reading Logs

Students can use winter reading logs to track their reading goals using winter icons (such as snowflakes, mittens, etc). They can color a mitten for each book they read or add a snowflake every day they read during the month.

Winter Literacy Activities for Reading Buddies

Students can complete various winter literacy activities with their reading buddies. Students can also complete several of these activities by themselves during independent reading.

Reading buddies can complete winter reading book hunts together. They can look for winter things during their buddy reading literacy center. Some things to look for could be:

Buddy Reading Book Hunt Winter Literacy Activity
  • mittens
  • snowman
  • penguin
  • polar bear
  • sled
  • gingerbread man
  • ice skates
  • gumdrop

Discussion Prompts

Engaging discussion prompts are a fun way to work on students’ oral language skills. They can practice stating their opinions and supporting them with evidence. Some prompts to get them talking:

  • Would you want a penguin as a pet? Why or why not?
  • What is your favorite thing to do on a snow day?
  • Which is better: indoor or outdoor recess? Why?
  • What are your favorite holiday traditions with your family?

Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are simple winter literacy activities you can easily implement in your primary classroom. Students can complete a shared writing activity with a buddy. These winter writing prompts would also be ideal to include in your writing center for students to select from. The options are limitless but here are some ideas to get you started. They can write:

Winter writing prompts
  • what happens if a snowman came to life
  • the steps for making hot cocoa
  • list of New Year’s resolutions
  • about a family living in a snow globe
  • an ad about a new sled they’ve created
  • about a trip to Antarctica

Character Emotions

Students can use a fun winter emotions chart to identify how the characters in the story may be feeling. These charts can also be used at your writing center to encourage students to add more details to their stories

Winter Character Emotions Chart

Snowball Fights!

Snowball fights are a fun activity that is LOW PREP and can be used to practice any skill!

Print practice items you want students to complete. You’ll want something with lots of options that you can separate or cut apart. Such as:

  • Task cards
  • Questions about a reading passage
  • Math problems

Crumple up the practice items so they look like snowballs! Scatter them onto the carpet. Students pick up a snowball and solve it – either individually, with a partner, or in a group.

Once they’ve solved it they get to throw it back into the pile and get another one! If you’re feeling brave, you could allow students to have an actual snowball fight with the papers. Then when you give the signal to FREEZE they must pick up a snowball that is closest to them and answer the question! They will LOVE it!

Winter Literacy Centers

Making Words Phonics Activity

Making Words is a hands-on phonics activity that promotes students’ phonological awareness and spelling skills. Students manipulate letter tiles to create words by blending the sounds together. They will need to change letters, add letters, and move letters around to spell new words. This multi-sensory approach deepens students’ understanding of how words work.

Phonics Making Words Winter Literacy Activity

Challenge students to see how many words they can find using the letters in winter-themed phrases like New Year’s Day or Gingerbread Man.

Low-Prep Literacy Centers

Low-prep literacy centers are simple winter literacy activities your students will love. You can make these centers with winter-themed cutouts from Carson Dellosa! As you’re shopping, be sure to use the code READINGROUNDUP10 for 10% off!

Low-prep winter literacy activities
Low-prep winter literacy activities
winter literacy center digraphs the reading roundup

All you need to do is write, cut, and/or glue words or pictures onto the cutouts to create endless possibilities for literacy centers. Students can use the cutouts to:

  • Match upper and lower case letters
  • Match letters to pictures with the same initial sounds
  • Create CVC words
  • Practice writing high-frequency words
  • Find rhyming words
  • Create real or nonsense words with blends and digraphs
  • Write words in alphabetical order

What other winter literacy activities do your students enjoy? Share with us in the comments!

Want to Learn More?

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Students will love analyzing how Santa's feelings change in the well-loved book "Are You Grumpy Santa?" with this FREE reading response activity.
Are you looking for an easy and engaging literacy center that you can use with your students all year? In the Making Words phonics activity students make words from letters in larger words, such as the names of holidays. It's the perfect activity to help improve students' phonics and spelling skills.
Christmas picture books


winter literacy activities small pin the reading roundup

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