Writing Extension: Celebrate the Winter Wonderland

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When the excitement of a snow day or a long weekend is over, you may want an activity to teach your students how to find interest in nature’s resting time. It's an opportunity to find the beauty on display right outside the window! Take a classroom field trip outside and have your students paired up with clipboards to record the details they observe. This is a great time to review descriptive writing to spark their imagination. We've provided a few descriptive writing resources for you at the bottom of this page!

As your students gather back inside with their observations,  you can brainstorm a list of descriptive winter words based on what they saw.  Then encourage them to take their lists and create a rough draft describing the scenes. As your students share their creations, listen for how much they have developed their writing skills during their time in your class. Be ready to praise each one for this growth!



You may also want to take this time to review the figures of speech that you have previously covered this year, such as similes, metaphors, and personification. Encourage each student to include at least one figure of speech in their revised rough draft.  Of course you can model this process by revising your own rough draft to include a figure of speech such as:

The snow was as thick as a blanket! 

The barren tree was reaching to catch every snowflake that fell.

The glistening snow sparkled like diamonds in the noonday sun.

The bare oak tree was watching over the silent playground.


Remember to show your excitement over each victory made by your students as they develop their writing skills. Your enthusiasm will be catching as you celebrate the winter wonderland right outside your window.


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Cindy Goeden

Cindy Goeden has enjoyed being involved with Shurley English for the last sixteen of her twenty-six years in the field of education.  Working with various levels of students in elementary, junior, and high schools, in both the private and public arenas, Cindy surely is thankful for the providential day that she was introduced to Shurley English, which changed forever her approach to Language Arts instruction. That has led to her current job of having the joy of sharing about Shurley with other educators.  Her love of learning has prodded her to earn over two hundred and twenty hours, which includes two bachelor degrees in education.


Cindy currently lives with her husband, Donald, in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she enjoys puttering in her flowers, changing up her décor with the seasons, and occasionally getting out and traveling with Donald to either explore a new beach or view historic sights and gardens.