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10 Easy and Engaging Winter Classroom Activities for Upper Elementary

The winter months are a great time to get a lot accomplished in the classroom, but these months can seem so long!

Why not mix up the learning with a few fun and engaging winter classroom activities that will keep your students excited?

Here are 10 simple ways to engage your students in your ELA and reading classroom and make learning fun during the winter months.

Winter Classroom Activities: Poetry Quilts

Don’t save poetry until spring. The winter months are an excellent time for your students to be inspired to write poetry. Even in the south where we rarely get snow, students are always inspired to write if the topic is centered around snow. Inspiring poetry writing is no different.

These Winter Poetry Quilts are a great way to introduce your students to different types of poems from haikus to limericks. Your students are sure to love these Winter Poetry Quilts, and as a bonus, they make a great display that everyone will love.

Winter Classroom Activities: Mittens Reading Response Flipbooks

Who’s ready to warm up to a great book? Get your students writing about their reading with these engaging Winter Mittens Flipbooks. These fun flipbooks offer so many possibilities.

Use Mitten Reading Response Flipbooks with independent reading, book clubs, literature circles, small groups, read alouds, classroom texts, and more! Once complete, they create a gorgeous bulletin board for all to enjoy.

Winter Classroom Activities: Snowball Spelling Bee

Add some spelling fun to your winter classroom activities list. Have fun with spelling this winter. Write individual spelling words on sheets of paper. Then wad up each paper into a snow ball. (To conserve paper, this is a great way to use the backs of old worksheets.) Place the snowballs into a basket.

Divide your class into small groups or teams (2 to 6 teams). One person from each team will choose a snowball from the basket. Beginning with the first team, the player that picked the snowball will read the spelling word, and a player from that student’s team must spell the word correctly. Teams earn a point for each correctly spelled word.

Winter Parts of Speech Color By Code

Reinforce parts of speech with these fun color by code activities. Students will love creating these fun Winter Parts of Speech Quilt pieces as they identify the parts of speech.

What makes these activities slightly different is that students choose their own colors for the code. This makes each quilt piece unique.

Read here to find out more about my Parts of Speech Color by Code packets.

Winter Puzzles

Are you looking for some winter classroom activities to use as brain breaks? This Winter Puzzles Packet is filled with mazes, dot-to-dots, complete the picture, this or that, hidden messages, and more.

These Winter Puzzles are great to use for Fun Friday activities or soft start morning work activities as well.

Hot Cocoa Reading Comprehension

Have a Hot Cocoa reading day and celebrate winter reading with a simple activity. Provide winter-themed reading texts such as picture books, fiction passages, or nonfiction passages. Once students have completed the text, provide each student with a mug template and a large index card. Instruct students to write a summary of the passage on the index card. Then instruct students to write the title of the passage on the mug and decorate it. Students should then cut out the mug and glue the top of the index card to the bottom of the mug. Students may share their summaries with the class. You may also want to serve hot cocoa for students to enjoy along with this activity.

Winter Classroom Activities: Acrostics

Engage your students in creative writing and acrostic poetry with these winter classroom activities. Write a list of winter poems on the board or chart. Snowman, snowflake, hot cocoa, winter icicle, etc. Instruct students to choose a word and write each letter vertically on a piece of paper. Encourage students to brainstorm phrases and ideas related to their chosen words. Students then write acrostic poems using each letter of the word to create a phrase or sentence about their winter subject. Once their poems are complete, students may draw pictures to go with their poems.

If your students enjoy writing acrostic poems, you may love my Winter Acrostic Poems packet, pictured above. These print and go templates make creating acrostic poems fun and simple. For more winter poetry ideas, check out this blog post.

Winter Classroom Activities: Snowflake Sentence Building

Write 3 to 5 words on snowflake cutouts. Each snowflake should include a variety of parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, etc.). Divide the class into small groups and distribute a snowflake to each group. Instruct students to work together to write and create grammatically correct sentences that include all of the words on their snowflake. Groups may share their sentence with the class. To continue, groups may trade snowflakes and begin again.

Winter Word Searches

Winter Word Searches are great winter classroom activities to have on hand. Use them for morning work, early finishers, fun Fridays, following tests, and more.

Word Searches Include:

  • Snowman
  • Snow
  • Winter Clothing
  • Winter Activities
  • New Year’s Day
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Hibernation
  • Hot Chocolate

Winter Grammar Packet

One of my favorite ways to review and practice grammar skills is with the January Winter Grammar Packet.

These pages are such a simple way to review needed grammar skills. Just print and go. Students will love the color activities, puzzles, riddles, and more.

Make this winter fun and engaging!

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