Day Before Winter Break ELA Plans

December 7, 2021


Oh my! This time of year can be so stressful. It's such a challenge to keep students learning and engaged in instruction with winter break on the horizon. That's why I put together a set of free lesson plans that you can use the day before winter break (or any winter day, really).

In the plans you'll find:
--- 8 different ELA activities
--- Links to all the FREE lesson ideas
--- An exclusive This or That Writing Prompt FREEBIE
--- Ideas for making the day before break special

Here's the great news...the plans include over 3 hours worth of meaningful and engaging lessons that are perfect for the day before winter break (or after, or any winter day). You can find the detailed lessons with all the FREE activity links you'll need right here.


WRITING PROMPT - Start the day with a winter-themed writing prompt. Since students love choice (especially when writing), these writing prompts are always a hit! (Grab them for FREE here.)

--- Select a This or That Writing Warm-Up to share with students.

--- Give students a chance to complete the "THIS" or the "THAT" winter-themed writing prompt.

--- Students may want to share their responses with their peers.


READ A MYTH - Get students engaged in reading with the myth, "How the Arctic Hare Got Short Ears." Use the myth as a springboard for discussion about the characteristics of myths and literature. (Download the myth here.)

--- Explain to students that myths deal with basic questions about the universe. Myths attempt to explain how things come to be.

--- Have students read the myth “How the Arctic Hare Got Short Ears” or any other myth.

--- Discuss the plot, characters, setting, and theme in the myth.


WRITE A WINTER MYTH - Explain to students that they will be writing myths. Their myths will attempt to explain a characteristic/trait of a winter animal like how the reindeer got its antlers. The good news is that they will have a little help determining the story elements. They will have spinners to help provide a framework for their writing. (Download the winter myth writing materials here.)

--- Hand out the materials for students to write their own myth about a winter animal. 

--- Guide students through the pre-writing charts as they develop topics, characters, setting, and plot.

--- Allow students to turn their planning into an original winter myth.

--- Give students a chance to share their writing with peers.


PLAY WINTER PICTIONARY - Let students play a game to celebrate the winter season. Pictionary is quick and interactive. It's always a hit in the classroom.

--- Divide students into teams.

--- Give one member of each team a word to draw while their teammates guess.

--- Grab winter-themed ideas for students to draw here.


LISTEN TO WINTER POEMS - Give students a chance to practice their listening skills as you read winter poems out loud to students. Find some of my favorite winter poems here.

--- Read winter-themed poems out loud to students. (You might read them each more than once.)

--- Encourage students to share memorable lines or images from each poem.

--- You might let students doodle winter scenes while they listen.


YEAR-END INFOGRAPHIC - Give students a chance to reflect on the calendar year as the end of the year approaches. Students will complete a brainstorm before making an infographic about their year. Find the FREE resources for this activity here.

--- Pass out the End-of-year reflection worksheet.

--- Lead students through the reflection elements.

--- Guide students as they complete their infographic.

--- Give students a chance to share.


HOLIDAY GIFT - Celebrate the winter season with gifts for students. 

Here are some gift ideas for students:

--- Write an individualized note to students. (Grab a set of free positive notes here.)

--- Give students a motivational quote to add to their planners, desks, or lockers.

--- Hand out free homework passes.

--- Share a sweet treat with students.

--- Find more ideas here.


Need more ideas for the day before winter break? No problem!

Here are some additional winter-themed lessons for your classroom:

--- Winter Fact Hunt and Kindness Note

--- Analyze a winter poem

--- Complete winter learning stations


I hope you've found a few lesson ideas to make the day before winter break manageable, meaningful, and fun! Don't forget to download this FREE lesson plan. It has everything you'll need in one place.

Wishing you warm winter days,
Mary Beth

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