Saturday, December 14, 2013


When I was still teaching in public schools, I used to live for snow days.

I prayed for them.
I did snow dances.
I planned for them, taking home on the afternoon before the predicted snow everything I thought I would need to work at home the next day.

I would awake early on that next morning-- watching the never ending list of  school closings scroll across the screen.  Was my district there? COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOLS IS CLOSED TODAY. There it was!

Oh the many possibilities of a snow day...

Or sometimes the snow would start when we were still at school.  A student would look out the window and exclaim It's snowing!

At that moment there was absolutely nothing to do except invite everyone to go to the window for few minutes to see this wonder.

And no matter how many times we have seen snow, the first snow of the season was always special--had to be noticed, acknowledged and celebrated.

One such  first-snowfall-day, I read one of my favorite books about winter and snow, Oh Snow by Monica Mayper.

In this delightful snow poem, a little boy goes out into fresh-fallen snow to enjoy the winter white blanket of pristine flakes.

When we finished reading, we listed all the activities in which the little boy engaged and wrote snow poems based on our list. Here are two written that day.

The little boy
played in the snow,
rolling down the hill,
making snow angels,
stomping his feet
where no other boys
had walked
and watched
more snow fall.

The snow fell
covering the field
... and spring
sparkling white
making not a sound
hushing the world.

The first snow fall, the  return from a snow day, the piles of snow that keep you inside beg for stories.
Below are several classic and newer favorites that are perfect for sharing... or remembering...on such days.

by Ezra Jack Keats
by Lester Laminack

by Komako Sakai
by Cynthia Rylant

Staring at enough snow may make you or your students want to  know more.  There are lots of excellent  information books, both classic and new that can expand our  knowledge about snow.

by Jaqueline  Briggs Martin
by W. A. Bentley

by Kate Messner


by Mark Cassino 
As we adults groan about the inconvenience, the traffic, the slow commutes, the shoveling.

We may want to close our eyes just for a minute... and then open to enjoy the beautiful surprise of falling snow and newly flocked trees.

Today's Deeper Writing Possibilities

Stand at your window and watch the snow fall. Or take a walk in freshly fallen snow.

Use your senses.  What do you notice?  What do you hear?  What are people and animals doing?

Write one long sentence and one short sentence about the snow.

Can you use these two sentences to begin a snow poem?

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