Winter Reading Materials

From Fall we move into Winter! Now is a time for cold weather sports, jolly holidays and long, dark nights keeping warm by the fire. Inspire your learners with winter-themed resources. Help new Canadians learn about the winter holidays. Enjoy the chilly season with festive stories or learn about wintry pastimes or animals. Embrace winter with our selection of themed resources below.

Winter Readers and Resources

  • Blizzards: killer snowstorms. This reader explores some of the worst blizzards in history and offers tips on how to prepare for one. Level A1 beginner basic.
  • Fighting for gold: the story of Canada’s sledge hockey Paralympic gold. The Canadian men’s sledge hockey team came into the 2006 Paralympic Games as underdogs. At that time, Canada had as of yet to conquer the world of ice sledge hockey, a version of hockey played by athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body. This is the story of the team’s struggle to overcome every obstacle.
  • The great blanket of moss. In this Coast Salish story, to make up for her children’s rudeness to Snow, Mother Tree gives up her life as a tree and transforms into a great blanket of moss. The moss blanket protects the younger trees from Snow’s anger. Respect for the wisdom of the elders is a theme woven throughout this delightful story that will appeal to readers of all ages. Grade level: 1, 2, k, p.
  • Family Literacy Kit: Winter. The contents of this kit can be used by family literacy programs for early learning activities related to winter. Games and books are included.
  • Hello winter! The basic facts about the season of winter including how plants, animals and the climate change and adapt are included in this photo essay introduction to winter. Ages 4-8 (K to grade 2).
  • Penguins. A basic exploration of the appearance, behavior, and habitat of penguins, a family of flightless birds. Also included is a story from folklore explaining why emperor penguins are so big.
  • Polar bears. A basic exploration of the appearance, behavior, and habitat of polar bears, Earth’s biggest land predators. Also included is a story from folklore explaining why polar bears have short tails.
  • Weather for literacy: I’m so cold: teacher’s guide. The book includes a teacher’s guide for a one week unit on weather, student handouts and activity masters, a student reader and copy master for student reader, and a CD with audio files intended for students to use at home to review class materials.

Holiday Readers and Resources

  • Best of the Reader: Special days and holidays. This book contains BC-focused stories about Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Diwali, Vaisakhi, Easter, Hanukkah, Norooz, Ramadan, Remembrance Day, and the Lunar New Year. Available online as an e-book.
  • Chinese New Year: a celebration for everyone. Part of the nonfiction Orca Origins series, Chinese New Year is illustrated with color photographs throughout. Readers will learn how a simple gathering of family and friends grew into a weeklong, worldwide festival.
  • Christmas. This book provides readers with a look at how Christmas is celebrated in Canada. Facts are presented in an interesting way with simple language, illustrations and photographs, maps, activities and recipes. It is written at a grade four level.
  • Christmas: from Solstice to Santa. This informative and engaging exploration of Christmas is aimed at the middle grades but will entertain readers of a much wider age range. Learn about the games played, foods eaten, music played and favorite ways of decorating in different parts of the world. With lots of fun facts (about everything from frumenty to the jolly old man in red himself) and recipes, there’s plenty in this beautifully illustrated volume to satisfy anyone with an interest in the festive season.
  • Winter. This teacher’s manual includes two readers plus student handouts and activity masters for a unit on wintertime holidays for literacy/low 1 level students. Activities, techniques and a sample lesson plan are included. The 2 readers are: Christmas and Lunar New Year. Resource includes a CD with audio files.

High/low books and readers for new literates

  • Balto and the great race. Based on a true story, this book is about a sled dog in Alaska who played an important role in bringing a badly needed serum to an isolated group of children infected with diphtheria.
  • The bootlegger’s goddaughter. As Gina gets ready for her Christmas wedding, all is quiet in Steeltown. Then she’s robbed, cousin Jimmy has a heart attack, and someone in the city has hijacked a transport truck full of booze. But who? And why? Gina knows bootlegging used to be a family business, but they stopped that in the ’30s. Didn’t they? Gina and Nico work feverishly to keep the latest bungled family matter under wraps, but the police are closing in. And, once again, everything points to the Holy Cannoli Retirement Home. The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter is the fifth book in the Gina Gallo Mystery series.
  • Missing her. Shelley Vincent has been missing for over a year. Her fiancé, Albert Romaine, is desperate to find out what happened to her. With Christmas less than a week away and no plans to speak of, PI Anna Sweet is happy to take the case. But as Anna digs deeper into Shelley’s past, she uncovers more questions than answers. Why would a woman with everything to live for simply disappear? Was Shelley murdered? And if so, why didn’t the police find her body? Anna begins to have a bad feeling. Fry reading level grade 3. CLB level 4.
  • New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve, Dixie and her husband Grady set off on a car trip, but they’re caught in a blizzard. While the husbands, RCMP officers, go out on duty, the RCMP wives share secrets. New Year’s Eve is a turning point for Dixie and Grady, and a new road for them both. Reading level: 2-3.
  • Slide. When Rennie’s dad, the Major, goes overseas on assignment, he enlists his mother-in-law to babysit Rennie. Babysit! A guy who’s about to turn fifteen! But Grandma is no surrogate drill sergeant. She has fun on her mind. That means ditching school and heading to avalanche country for a surprise ski trip. Nothing can ruin Rennie’s vacation, not the lodge owner, who turns out to be Grandma’s geriatric long-ago boyfriend, not the annoying backcountry guide or the crooked park ranger or the pushy businessman from Mumbai, not even the explosions. And definitely not the most beautiful girl in the world, whom he meets while stumbling onto a murder plot.
  • A winter kill. When rookie police constable Nicole Patterson discovers a body on the edge of town, she’s drawn into a murder investigation that’s well beyond her experience and expertise. Reading level: 2.8.

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