Fall, winter, spring, summer — each season has its own vibe. We associate different holidays, images, and even colors with each season. Connecting with the seasons is one way to keep kids engaged. That might look like harvest themed bulletin boards or snowflake name tags … but you can use seasonal activities to guide learning too.
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Seasonal activities to teach literacy
You can use activities about the seasons or use the seasons as a theme for games and worksheets. Here are three ideas to try in your literacy lessons or literacy center.
1. Read books about seasons.
Kids are usually attuned to weather changes, seasonal activities, holidays, and foods associated with certain times of year. Books about the seasons can tap into this interest. You can also use seasonal books to extend learning about weather, animal habits, plant life, or seasonal cultural topics. There are so many fun books with seasonal themes. Here are just a few to try.
- The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll and Jeni Bassett
- Hello, Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher and Kate Kiesler
- Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
- Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
- Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
- The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer and Jesse Reisch
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
- Summer Color! by Diana Murray and Zoe Persico
- The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer and Linda Bleck
- Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey
- Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
- And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano and Erin E. Stead
- When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
- Worm Weather by Jean Taft
- Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring by Kenard Pak
Use books to prompt discussion about the differences between seasons.
2. Tie writing prompts to seasonal activities.
You could start with a group brainstorm. What do you think of when you think of spring? (Or whichever season you are in.) Encourage students to talk about foods, animals, weather, activities they connect with the seasons.
Seasons are an opportunity to dip into rich sensory details. Ask students about what they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel during each season.
Use the Goodbye (Season), Hello (Season) as a prompt. Ask students to think about what they do in the season that is ending (goodbye mittens) and what they associate with the season beginning (hello rain boots).
3. Use seasonally themed games.
Even games and worksheets you use all year can be adapted to match the season to engage students. That means whatever skills you are working on can adapt to become a seasonal activity. Working on long e sounds? A summer bingo card might use beach while a fall bingo card uses leaf. Or use your word list with seasonal images.
Get done-for-you games and activities for each season!
- Digraph Spring Spelling Games — These science-of reading aligned games are perfect for spring!
- Spring Task Cards are a perfect addition to a literacy center. These seasonal activities have students filling in missing sounds, matching words to pictures and words to words, reading and finding words, writing words, filling in missing words, unscrambling sentences, correcting punctuation and capitalization.
- Digraph Summer Games — Use during summer sessions or to help kids stay on top of phonics during summer break.
- Summer CVC Task Cards provide lots of practice segmenting and blending. Use them in your literacy center or for homework!
- Summer CVC Games — Bingo, Snakes and Ladders, and Spell It are all summer themed with multiple options per game!
- Consonant Blend Games, Summer Edition — More seasonal activities, this time to practice consonant blends!
- Consonant Blend Games, Fall Edition — Update your literacy center for fall with these spelling games! Mix it up with a variety of bingo variations, and different board and word list options for two more games.
- Winter Consonant Blend Task Cards — Try these cards with similar activities to the spring cards, but with new word lists and designed for winter.
- Winter CVC Games — Bingo, Snakes and Ladders, and Spell It are classic games that can be used again and again with different word lists and themes! Keep it familiar by rotating different seasonal activities and games through your literacy station. Kids can focus on the words and skills not learning a new game when you use activities over in different seasons.
Keep your Literacy Center fresh and up-to-date with seasonal activities all year long!