Let It Snow!

Let It Snow!

by Judie Haynes

Snow provides a real reason for beginning ESL students to use their English skills. Here is a sample lesson plan for grades K-3.

Lesson topic

Activities to enjoy in the snow

Proficiency/Grade level

Beginning ESL Grades K-2

Content Concepts and Skills

Vocabulary: Snow, snowy, snowman, snowballs, sledding, snowball fight, skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, shovel, gloves, boots, scarf, hat, earmuffs, jacket, hood, sweater, mittens, vest, snowpants

Concepts: How snow affects us our lives; what we wear in the snow, activities we can enjoy in the snow.

Background Information

Real experience with snow

Materials or Resources

Large snowman pattern


This lesson was designed to be covered during three days of instruction (30 minutes each day).

Ask students to relate what they do when it snows out. Make a list. If necessary, show pictures of the various activities listed: Sledding, ice skating, skiing, making snow angels, building a snow cave, having a snowball fight, throwing snowballs, snowboarding, shoveling snow, cleaning snow off the car.

For a real "hands-on" experience, take students outside in the snow to demonstrate some of the activities. The need for this may be dictated by your students' previous experience with snow.

Read I Love Snow to your students. The beautiful illustrations will give you wonderful opportunities for language development. Have students describe what the children are doing on each page. I also had them follow the children on the first page through the book to see what they were doing. Use the Teacher's guide to have your students make their own book.

Practice vocabulary with pictures or by using a concentration game.

Give each student the a copy of our downloadable Snowman Book 1, Snowman Book 2, and Snowman Book 3, to make a snowman-shaped book.

Brainstorm ideas for a title and have students write their choices on the first snowman which makes up the cover. A title can be provided and written for students who are unable to do this.

Have students brainstorm what they like to do best on a snowy day. Each child should write and illustrate their favorite activity on the second snowman. Use a frame for writing with beginning students. The frame is provided on the downloadable book. Advanced beginning students should write a response to the frame:

"I like to ____________in the snow."

On the last page of the book have students write something they do not like to do in the snow. Examples are: shovel snow, clean off the car, get hit by snow, wear heavy clothes, and wear earmuffs. Student can fill in a one-word answer or write their own reponse.

"I do not like to ____________in the snow."

Students cut out the three snowmen and put them together in a book.

Students practice reading their book to their classmates.

Descriptors and Progress Indicators

During this unit students worked on the following skills:
  • listening to, speaking, reading, and writing about subject matter information
  • retelling information
  • representing information visually and interpreting information presented visually
  • selecting, connecting, and explaining information
  • formulating and asking questions


There are some terrific sites about snow on the internet.
  • Snowman Jigsaw puzzle. This site provides a few games and puzzles for children to do on the computer.
  • Dave's Snowflake Page Donít miss Daveís Snowflake Page with itís snowflake patterns for kids. This is a wonderful winter activity and will give your students practice in following directions.
  • GeoImages Terrific snow pictures from Berkeley.

Activity Downloads

Note: To view the classroom activities, you must have Acrobat Reader intalled. Acrobat is a free application available from Adobe Systems.

PDF fileSnowman book pg3 (110k .PDF)

PDF fileSnowman book pg2 (110k .PDF)

PDF fileSnowman book pg. 1 (113k .PDF)

PDF file"Snowy" vocabulary (18k .PDF)

PDF fileMake a winter puzzle (27k .PDF)

PDF fileSnow puzzle (9k .PDF)

PDF fileWords with snow (92k .PDF)

Related Links

How Weather Affects Our Lives
Cold winter weather in the Northeast region of the United States provides an excellent opportunity to teach a unit on weather to my ESL students.

Snow Similes
Understanding how poets use words to paint pictures is a concept that can be taught to young students. The key is to start with an easy simile that is very visual. The combination of a big snowstorm and hands-on materials made this lesson successful.

Winter Puzzles
Got the winter blahs? Add a few games and puzzles to your winter ESL units. This is a good way to reinforce winter vocabulary and to teach younger children to do word puzzles.

Resource Picks

Dave's Snowflake Page
Use this creative resource2 for winter activites with students of all ages. There is a special section just for kids with snowflake patterns and easy-to- follow directions.

Life in the Polar Regions
Melvin Berger's Series on animal habitats for Newbridge Educational Publishing is an excellent resource2 for ELLs. Beautiful pictures with short text makes it a favorite.

Jan Brett's Homepage
Created by children's author Jan Brett, this website contains outstanding activities and materials to use with her books. The wonderful illustrations make it a very special place for teachers of students in grades K-2. I was so inspired by the materials, I created a new thematic unit to go with "The Mitten."