Favorite Winter-Themed Lessons

I don’t know about you, but for me, the winter season always seems so busy!  Perhaps it's the holidays and celebrations or maybe it’s all the activities, but winter is a super busy time of year...especially in the classroom. With so many tasks, activities and traditions in our "real" lives, it can be hard to find the time to plan lessons for students. That's why I thought I'd take one thing off your "to do" list:  lesson planning! 

I've put together a round-up of winter-themed lessons and units that are just a download away from teaching.  Some ideas are specific to holidays and others are perfect for any winter day!

Here's a quick listing of the ideas I'm sharing today...
➽  FREE December Plan Book  and January Plan Book
➽  Winter Poem Analysis (5 poems)
➽  FREE Winter Myth Writing


Make the busyness of the winter months a whole lot easier with the December and January virtual plan books

Free ideas for December lesson planning.
The FREE virtual plan books are designed to provide inspiration and ideas for making teaching and learning a whole lot more fun!  You'll find lesson ideas and teaching tips & tricks for each month.  And the best part?  They’re free!  If you’re looking for a discounted set of units for both months (which means you won’t have to plan a thing), check out the December Unit Bundle and the January Unit Bundle.


Here are a few ideas that tap into students’ natural excitement about the winter holidays while keeping students learning!

Lesson plans for "A Christmas Carol"
This is one of my favorite units to teach...especially in December! This 8-day drama study includes absolutely everything you'll need to teach the play. There's a traditional version and a version for interactive notebooks!

Help students learn about holidays around the world and Christmas around the world with this fun research project.  Students research Christmas in different countries and then turn their research into festive gift boxes.
Research has never been more fun or interactive with this Christmas Around the World project! Students each research a different country. Then, they turn their learning into fun and festive gift boxes. It's the perfect way to keep students learning this month!

Teach friendly letter writing with this set of 6 engaging activities based on 8 letters from Santa's reindeer.
Tap into students’ natural excitement about the Christmas season with this fun, engaging, and super educational Reindeer Mail Mini-Unit! Filled with six activities that address critical ELA skills there is nothing “filler” about this unit! 


Check out these resources designed for the end-of-the-year.  The reflection can be completed before students head off to break or when they return to school.  And speaking of break, there’s a print-and-go resource for helping students learn over break too!

Help students reflect on their year with this personal reflection and infographic activity.
As the calendar year draws to a close, engage your students with this fun, creative and FREE Personal Reflection and Infographic Activity. Students will complete a reflection on their year. Then, they'll turn the significant moments from 2017 into an infographic. This is perfect to do before break!

Keep students learning while they are on winter break with these activities that they can complete over winter break.
Want to keep students learning while they are on winter break? It's easy with this Winter Break Project! The Tic-Tac-Snow Winter Break Project is filled with 9 learning activities that will have students reading, writing, and practicing critical thinking skills in unique and creative ways!


Here are two sets of lessons that are built around the winter season!

This resource contains five winter-themed learning centers for students to rotate through in small groups.
This brand-new resource is perfect to teach before the break or when students return to school in the new year. There's five winter-themed learning stations that target different reading comprehension skills.  Students even create a fun flip book and "build" a snowman at each learning center!

This winter, help your students cozy up to five winter poems in this engaging 5-day Poetry Analysis Unit.

This winter, help students cozy up to five winter poems with this engaging 5-day poetry analysis unit.  Take all the intimidation out of teaching and analyzing poetry with the interactive flip books designed for each poem.  Each poem has a winter-theme and aligns with four analysis tasks.

Speaking of poems, click here to find a set of Winter Poems that are perfect to read aloud!


Here's a free writing lesson that you can teach on any winter day! In this fun lesson, students will write a myth based on a winter animal. They'll use spinners to generate ideas. Then, they'll complete a detailed pre-write to plan out their myths. Finally, they'll get writing and sharing! 

This free myth writing lesson works great all on its own, or you could easily leave this with a substitute teacher. Check it out HERE.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mary Beth

Looking for fun lessons and units to teach all winter long?  Then, you're in luck!  I've rounded up my favorite ELA lessons for the winter season!

5 Favorite Poems to Teach Growth Mindset

Teach growth mindset with these five poems.  Each poem is inspirational and addresses critical concepts of growth mindset!

Robert Frost once said “There are three things, after all, that a poem must reach: the eye, the ear, and what we may call the heart or the mind. It is most important of all to reach the heart of the reader.” Anyone who has read a poem and felt the words deep within themselves knows this assertion to be true. Poetry is uniquely capable of touching the hearts of readers.  That's why it lends itself perfectly to the underlying messages of growth mindset.

Poetry can be engaging when relatable, and it also makes for an easy way to reinforce skills that students have already learned while reading longer works such as interpreting figurative language, citing evidence within the text, finding the central idea, and close reading. But it also has the potential to begin a conversation with students about their own lives and experiences. Poetry can spark an investigation into growth mindset, too.  Everyone can relate in some way!  

The following poems are ones able to reach even the most reticent of poetry readers while shedding light on the themes of growth mindset. Each person, young and old, has had experience with trying to persevere through tough times when things seem to be working against them. These poems present an easy way to show students who may be struggling that they are not alone, while also building on reading and critical thinking skills.

POEM #1: "The Man Who Thinks He Can" by Walter D. Wintle
Favorite poem to teach growth mindset

Surely such a short poem couldn’t be so powerful? Think again! This poem focuses on the idea that positive thinking is one of the most important factors in succeeding when faced with something difficult. This poem is packed with fun rhyming, but also offers some more difficult phrases to inspire thinking amongst students in order to feel the full meaning of the poem. 

If you'd like to give students a chance to analyze this poem and connect it to growth mindset, check out this popular set of Growth Mindset Doodle and Do activities.

 POEM #2: "It Couldn't Be Done" by Edgar Albert Guest

Much like The Little Engine That Could, this poem aligns perfectly to growth mindset.  That's because it takes a look at positive thinking when completing tasks. This is such a fun poem because the rhyming makes it seem as though it is a fun nursery rhyme. Reading this aloud is sure to get students engaged and interested in this poem and its underlying meanings.

POEM #3 - "If-" by Rudyard Kipling 

Critical thinking is shall I say…critical! In this poem, the author takes the reader through a journey of understanding the qualities in themselves that may set them apart...such a great growth mindset lesson!  The best part about this poem is its use of metaphor to get some points across. This poem is sure to keep students thinking and coming to their own conclusions.

Poem #4 - "Hard Luck" by Edgar Albert Guest

The grass is always greener on the other side—right? In this poem, the writer confronts the concept that we sometimes think that someone else has it much easier than we do when maybe they don’t.  Although this longer poem may take more critical thinking on the part of students, its casual wording, such as using the word “ain’t,” can make for a very fun read-aloud!

Poem #5 - "Listen to the Mustn'ts" by Shel Silverstein

We complete this list with a well-known and loved author—Shel Silverstein! Although a short poem, it still adheres to the idea of perseverance and positive thinking (hello, growth mindset)!  This can be a fun treat to include in lessons to give students a mental break with a favorite!

Poetry can be so powerful, and when it's combined with important concepts like growth mindset, its impact is immeasurable!  I hope you've found a few poems to share with your students!

Great news!  Since poetry can be so much fun in the classroom, I've put together a set of 5 exclusive poet-"treats" for teachers and students.  You'll receive over 50 pages of poetry analysis, writing, and reading lessons!  Sign up to have free poetry lessons sent to your inbox!

    If you're looking for more ways to develop growth mindset all year long, check out this blog post or you can find 5 of my favorite poems for middle school here.

    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Mary Beth

    P.S. You might want to check out this blog post, too!

    Help students understand the concepts of growth mindset with these inspirational poems!  Perfect for helping students understand the essentials of growth mindset!

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