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How to Describe Winter: A Fun, Free 5 Senses Writing Activity

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Defeat the winter doldrums and involve all five senses in this fun winter writing activity for preschoolers, Kindergarten and elementary age students.

Written by Pam Odd of Keeping Life Creative.

Around my house, the arrival of cold, wet, winter weather and shorter, darker days can easily lead to gloomy attitudes, seasonal depression, and lack of school-work motivation.

It helps to plan some fun school projects. They help me remember to celebrate the winter season, rather than dread it. That helps kids appreciate it since they usually model their behavior and attitudes after mine.

Talk about the sounds, smells, and other sensory opportunities that we experience during winter to help your kids discover the best parts of the season. This Winter Five Senses Book provides the perfect project for an indoor day!

I’ve done this winter writing activity in a public school classroom, homeschool co-op, and at home with my kids. It’s always a hit!  Use the free Describing Winter printable, or just use these ideas as inspiration for a winter senses discussion.

Winter Sensory Fun

Begin the discussion and get the kids thinking about the sensory experiences of winter with one of my favorite books, “A Little Bit of Winter.”

A Little Bit of Winter by Paul Stewart

This darling story follows the interaction between best friends, Rabbit and Hedgehog. As Hedgehog prepares for hibernation, he repeatedly asks Rabbit to describe winter. Hedgehog has only experienced winter through a deep, cozy sleep.

Rabbit is perplexed and mentally stretched as he tries to describe winter in a way Hedgehog can relate. Kids love the surprise ending as Rabbit reveals a surprise he comes up with to save “a little bit of winter” for his slumbering friend.

Reading this story naturally leads to a discussion and I ask the kids questions such as:

  • If your friend knew nothing about winter, what would YOU tell him/her?
  • What “little bit of winter” would you save?

We then take the story discussion a bit deeper by considering the five senses in a pre-writing mini-lesson.

Describing Winter Using the Five Senses

Think about the five senses, and discuss how winter looks, feels, sounds, smells, and tastes. Everyone has different experiences with winter, and where you plays a huge role, so there are no right or wrong answers. All ideas are considered.

Winter Senses Description

If you’re doing this activity with a group, this step works well as a shared writing activity on a whiteboard. Alternately, you could have the kids do the activity independently on the printable included in the five senses Describing Winter printable.

Winter 5 senses writing printable

Creating a Winter Senses Book

After the five senses description discussion, older elementary kids can take their ideas and write a paragraph or journal entry about winter. Encourage them to use lots of details and adjectives in their descriptions.

Illustrate the writing and complete the project with a winter-themed art project. For some fun winter art ideas, visit this Creative Winter Pinterest board.

My younger kids love making books, so I created a simple Winter Five Senses Book. We used it to illustrate and apply their experiences and learning from the story and winter description discussion.

I intentionally left the printable book very basic so that it’s versatile for you to adjust for your own needs and allow more creativity. Consider letting kids draw; write; cut-and-paste magazine images; or print, color, cut, and paste clip art pictures to illustrate their books.

Once the book is illustrated, line up the pages of the flip book, place the cover on top, and staple along the edges. Let your kids proudly “read” their book to you.

5 senses winter flip book

Celebrate winter! Download the FREE Describing Winter printable or pin for later.

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This article was written by a Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers guest author. See the author's full bio in the body of the post.

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