Are you looking for the best winter read aloud books for children during these cold days of winter? These are some of my favorite winter seasonal books, both as the mom of four and as an elementary teacher. These all have winter themes, so they can be used after the holidays, the time of year when there is a lull between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Hope you find this winter book list helpful for making additions to your library, whether at home or at school!
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My best advice with teaching with read alouds is to always follow the same formula: preview the text, read the text, and examine vocabulary from the text. Then, engage the text with follow up activities, allowing children time to talk and write about the text extending the learning. Integrating quality children’s literature with meaningful activities is essential in creating lesson plans. If you want more information about how important read alouds are during the school day, you can read more here.
Previewing a Text During a Winter Read Aloud with Children
Previewing winter read alouds with children builds anticipation and allows the teacher to recognize what background knowledge the children may already have about the text. Some simple questions to ask might be:
- Study the book cover. What do you notice about the characters?
- Flip through the book (if it has photos/illustrations). Do you predict the text will be fiction or nonfiction? Why?
- What do you already know about winter time?
- What are your favorite winter activities?
- Describe the perfect winter wonderland.
- Read aloud the names of the author and illustrator. Have you read other books by this author?
- Read a short summary of the story. Make some predictions together.
Follow Up Winter Activities with Winter Read Alouds for Children
More information is retained if children engage with the story. Some activities students could complete after each read aloud or chapter selection include:
- Older kids can complete a short chapter summary in a reading journal.
- Illustrate a picture of what might happen next.
- Young readers might want to color a wintry picture of snow angels, a polar bear, or a cup of hot chocolate.
- Complete a character graphic organizer where children describe what they learned about the main character.
- Turn and talk to a neighbor about their favorite part of the book.
- Work in partners to create a short five sentence summary.
- Write a simple story in the same style as the read aloud.
Winter Chapter Read Alouds for Children
Ready, Freddy, Ready, Set Snow! is the story of Freddy and a snowshoe competition during the first snow. Can he beat the bully of the class during their class’ mini Olympics? Perfect fun book for a K-3 read aloud on a cold day!
The Long Winter is a classic chapter book by Laura Ingalls Wilder, book 6 of 9 in the Little House series. Wilder writes of a harsh winter in 1880 and how her family survived and thrived in the days of winter. As always, Wilder presents a fantastic novel in early America. This is a good book for students in grades 4-7.
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Case of the Sneaky Snowman is a favorite in our household! Who doesn’t love Nancy Drew? In this book 5 of the series, Nancy and her friends solve the mystery of the disappearance of their snowman Sherlock. Where could he be? The Clue Crew finds out in this fun mystery. Add this one to your winter book list for kids in Great for grades 1-4.
Henry and Mudge and the Snowman Plan is a great early reader chapter book following the antics of Henry and Mudge on a snowy day. In this one, Henry and Mudge attempt to build the perfect snowman in a winter wonderland! Will they make an itty bitty snowman or the biggest snowman ever? Ideal for young children in grades K-2. Make sure to add this one to your book basket at home too!
Magic Tree House: Merlin Missions Winter of the Ice Wizard is a fantastic book in the series. Jack and Annie are on a mission to find Morgan and Merlin in a frozen kingdom. This book is a bit longer and more challenging that the typical Magic Tree House texts, but still perfect for Grades K-3 during this winter time of year.
Winter Picture Books for Children
There are so many fantastic winter picture books to share during these chilly months. These are a few of my favorites!
The Mitten by Jan Brett is one of my favorites for winter. It follows a mitten lost by his little boy on all of his adventures throughout the winter. Any book by Jan Brett is really my favorite. Hop here if you want to find more of my favorites! They are great for early elementary.
Sneezy the Snowman is such an entertaining story. The kids love the rhymes and the silliness of his antics as he melts every time he tries to warm up. This is a great book to practice sequencing as the children try to remember all the ways that Sneezy attempts to feel better.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant is a beautiful, poetic story about the magic of snow. It is perfect for a study on using flowery language, and the beautiful watercolor illustrations are lovely. Such a peaceful, sweet book. Best for early elementary.
The Night Before a Snow Day is one of my favorites in this Night Before series. Every kid can relate to the excitement of a looming snow day! This would be a perfect fun book to read aloud before journaling about favorite things to do during a winter day.
Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story is a beautiful story about what happens in the winter to wild animals all around the world. It follows a boy and his grandma around the countryside to observe the animals and includes informational pages at the end to extend the learning. This one is a great one to add to your seasonal books about winter!
Snowmen at Night is one of my favorites to read aloud during the winter. It follows the antics of snowmen during the night when the rest of the world is asleep. It is the perfect book to kick off a creative writing unit on what your students’ snowmen do when they come to life!
Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold is a wonderful collection of poems about how animals survive the winter months. This is another perfect book for launching a writing workshop on a poetry unit.
Winter Nonfiction Read Alouds for Children
Who Lives Here? Polar Animals is a great read aloud for younger elementary children. The book follows various cold weather animals and their habitats, explaining how each animal is specially designed to withstand the elements.
Curious about Snow is a great nonfiction book by the Smithsonian. There are so many amazing facts about snowflakes, along with beautiful photographs! This is best for early primary grades. Perfect for an art project making snowflakes or science experiments on water and changing matter.
Here is the Arctic Winter is a lovely book about animals and how they respond to the cold season. This is a poetic book with gorgeous illustrations. Inspiring and perfect for early elementary children.
I hope this list of best winter read alouds for children has been helpful to you! Remember, reading aloud is fun and important at every age! Even adults love to have stories read aloud, so you can really teach with read alouds for any age. Enjoy snuggling up and reading with your own children or reading aloud to your students this season.