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Winter-Themed Classroom Resources, Grades K-5

Lessons, Activities & Resources Target Seasonal Changes and Animal Adaptations

Found In: language arts, math, science, social studies, preK-2, 3-5

Though some of us will not get snow this winter, we share other annual changes. These lessons, activities, and other resources will help develop an understanding of the mechanisms that bring about seasonal change and how animals have adapted to them.

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Migration Science and Mystery
Lesson plans on shorebird migration for K-12 students. And don’t miss the complete learning adventure!

Today’s Temperature
Elementary students learn to read a thermometer and record daily temperatures. Page links to a daily record sheet.

Reason for the Seasons
Students in grades 2-5 use polystyrene foam balls and light bulbs to investigate the sun's intensity on the surface of the Earth.

Seasonal Haiku: Writing Poems to Celebrate Any Season
Students in grades 3-5 learn the technique of haiku and write a winter poem.

Can You Haiku?
A four part unit for grades 3-5 on the reading, technique, and writing of haiku. 

Learning Lesson: The Shadow Knows I
Elementary students measure the length of their shadows and compare them three to four months later to discover seasonal changes. Part II lets students calculate the circumference of the earth using shadows

Games & Activities

Snowflake Pictures
Students in grades K-2 make snowflake prints that look like snowflakes using old strawberry baskets.

Paper Snowflakes
Illustrated instructions and an instructional video for making paper snowflakes.

Hibernation Worksheet ( PDF, 16.7 KB, 2 pgs.)
A brief reading and comprehension questions for upper elementary students.

Winter Storms
Information and a brief quiz for upper elementary students.

Time & Temperature Resources


Daylight Savings Time
A comprehensive resource on DST, Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time 2014: When Does It Begin? And Why?
History of DST and a brief discussion of positive and negative health effects.

Local Time: FAQs
As well as FAQs, this page links to a free application that lets users find time zones based on zip codes.


Lake Effect Snowfalls
This resource explains how cold arctic air sweeping across the Great Lakes creates snow squalls along the lee shores of the Lakes.

Site Map for Weather Doctor
This comprehensive weather site includes a large section on winter weather.

Weather Resources

Winter Weather
The Center for Disease Control’s cold weather health advice. Includes a downloadable winter weather infographic.

Extreme Cold Prevention Guide ( PDF, 3.45 MB, 15 pgs.)
Combines all of the key content of the CDC Winter Weather website into one downloadable, printable file.

Severe Weather and Natural Disaster: Winter Storms
Information, experiments, and vocabulary for upper elementary students. Experiment with the Interactive Weather Maker to discover the effects of changing temperature and humidity.


Ping-Pong Avalanches
This audio clip describes how scientists used ping-pong balls to study avalanches.

All about Snow
The National Snow and Ice Data Center website provides photos, facts, questions and answers, and links to additional resources.


Snowflake Bentley
Wilson A. Bentley was the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885 and photographed more than 5000 snowflakes during his lifetime. The official website includes a biography, articles written by or about Bentley and his work, a match the snowflake game, and links to additional websites.

Kenneth Libbrecht’s online guide to snowflakes, snow crystals, and other ice phenomena includes photos and information about natural snowflakes, designer snowflakes, frost crystals, snowflake physics and snow activities. The snow activities section features activities for kids.

Koch Snowflake
Description and explanation of the Koch Snowflake, a fractal made by the infinite iteration of the Koch curve.

The Seasons

Seasons of the Year
Provides an explanation for the season and answers to related questions.

Sunlight Concentration in Summer and Winter
A graphic showing the angle of sunlight in relation to Earth’s surface (45 degrees North) on the first day of summer and the first day of winter.

Winter Sky

Meteor Showers Guide
Viewing information for December’s meteor shower, the Geminids, and links to other useful stargazing information.

Starry Night Education
Free astronomical resources for K-12 students and teachers.

Miscellaneous Resources

Animal Adaptations

Animal Migration Birds, butterflies, whales, and other species.

How Hibernation Works
Explains the physiology of hibernation.

Describes the black bear’s yearly cycle focusing on hibernation. Includes a section on heat loss.

Winter Sports

The Science of Hockey
The physics, chemistry, and sport of Hockey. Use a calculator to learn how much force is generated in a check.

Energy Transformation for Downhill Skiing
The relationship between work and mechanical energy in downhill skiing is described and illustrated in an animation.

Print, Audio & Video


Winter and Children's Literature
Lists picture books, novels, poetry, and nonfiction. Brief descriptions and suggested winter activities.


Science of the Olympic Winter Games
The winter games are over but the science is timeless in this 16-part video series exploring the science behind Downhill and Aerial Skiing, Speed Skating and Figure Skating, Curling and Hockey, and Ski Jumping, Bobsledding and Snowboarding. The videos are accompanied by lesson plans and fun classroom activities.



last updated: October 29, 2018



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