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Early Literacy

Early literacy is what children know about communication, language—verbal and non-verbal—reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

Reading Tip

One early literacy skills is vocabulary — knowing the names of things. If you read picture books to children, you will expose them to words they would not hear in daily conversations with adults.

Winter: Books

Bear and Hare Snow! by Emily Gravett
Friends Bear and Hare go out to play in the snow.

Bear Needs Help

Bear Needs Help by Sarah Brannen
A young bear needs help with an untied shoe.

First Snow by Peter McCarthy
When Pedro comes from far away to visit his cousins, who are eager to introduce him to snow, all Pedro can think about at first is how much he dislikes cold.

Go Dog, Snow Dog by Deborah Heligman
Snow doesn't stop Tinka. She runs and plays and sleds with her boy. But when her friend Millie the beagle shows up, off races Tinka. And she gets lost until her boy finally rescues her.

How to Build a Snowbear by Eric Pinder
To build the biggest and best snowman ever, Thomas enlists the help of his "bear" brother who would rather sleep.

Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko

A child plays in the snow and experiences the sensory joys of winter and independence.

Just So Willow by Sara Shacter
When a storm covers Willow’s back yard, the young polar bear is determined to keep things neat and tidy, even when her Arctic neighbors are sliding, stomping and creating a lumpy, bumpy mess.

The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow by Lora Koehler

The little snowplow looks forward all year top clearing snow, but a warmer winter challenges his wish for a big snowfall.

Once Upon a Winter Day by Liza Woodruff
Milo's mother is too busy to read him a story so she sends him outside to play in the snow, where he discovers a story of his own.

One Snowy Day by Diana Murray
Spinning and twirling, they float to the ground, millions of snowflakes not making a sound. This lyrical, rhyming text counts up to ten, then back down to one.

A Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett
Follow a magnificent polar bear through a fantastic world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Over the ice, through the water, past Arctic animals and even a human, until he finally reaches his destination.

The Snow Dancer by Addie Boswell

Young dancer Sofia wakes up to a quiet snow day and makes her way to the neighborhood park, where a field awaits her, white and shining and open.  It isn’t long before the rest of the neighborhood kids make their way to the park, scattering Sofia’s beautiful silence.  With the help of a new young friend, Sofia shows everyone what a snow dancer can do on a perfect day like this.

Supertruck by Steven Savage
When a blizzard stops the mighty trucks of the city from working, it’s Supertruck to the rescue.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper
Walking to her grandmother's home to help make a special meal, Lina discovers many ways to hear snow, from the scrape of a shovel on a sidewalk to the quiet pats of snowman-building.

A Thousand White Butterflies by Jessica Betancourt-Perez and Karen Lynn Williams

Newly arrived from Colombia, Isabella’s first day of school in the United States is cancelled because of snow. When Isabella notices a girl playing outside, she makes a new friend, despite the language barrier.

Winter: Songs and Rhymes

My Old Snowplow

(Tune: “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)
My old snowplow goes bumping along, bumping along, bumping along.
My old snowplow goes bumping along, all the way to town.
Continue, substituting underlined words with one of the following:  bouncing, rolling, slipping, sliding, crawling, driving

The Mittens on My Hands
(Tune: “Wheels on the Bus”)
The mittens on my hands, (hold up hands and rub together)
Keep me warm, keep me warm, keep me warm,
The mittens on my hands keep me warm
All winter long.
The hat on my head (pretend to put on hat)
Keeps me warm, keeps me warm, keeps me warm, (hug self to keep warm)
The hat on my head keeps me warm
All winter long.
Continue with boots on my feet, scarf on my neck, jacket on my body

One Little Snowflake: A Counting up Rhyme
One little snowflake with nothing to do, (hold up one finger)
Along came another and then there were…two! (hold up two fingers)
Two little snowflakes laughing with me, (pretend to laugh)
Along came another and then there were…three! (hold up three fingers)
Three little snowflakes looking for some more, (hand above eyes looking)
Along came another and then there were…four! (hold up four fingers)
Four little snowflakes dancing a jive, (pretend to dance)
Along came another and then there were…five! (hold up five fingers)
Five little snowflakes, having so much fun!
Out came the sun, and then there were none!  (hold arms over head like sun rising, then show fist for none)

Five Little Snowflakes: A Counting Down Rhyme

Five little snowflakes floating by my door, (move fingers in a floating motion.)
One blew away.
WHOOSH! (dramatically move both hands from one side to the other.)
And then there were four. (Hold up 4 fingers.)
Four little snowflakes falling down on me, (wiggle fingers down to the floor then point to self.)
One blew away.
WHOOSH! (dramatically move both hands from one side to the other.)
And then there were three.
(hold up 3 fingers.)
Three little snowflakes falling down on you, (wiggle fingers down to the floor then point to children.)
One blew away.
WHOOSH! (dramatically move both hands from one side to the other.)
And then there were two. (hold up 2 fingers.)
Two little snowflakes having lots of fun, (point to big smile)
One blew away.
WHOOSH! (dramatically move both hands from one side to the other.)
And then there were one. (hold up 1 finger.)
One little snowflake lying in the sun (form a large circle over your head with your arms.)
It melted away.
SPLOOSH! (clap hands together.)
And then there were none. (hold up closed fist.)
 

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