Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - Teaching Ideas

Little Peter wakes up to lots and lots of snow. He gets up and gets ready for his day outside. Peter has many adventures in the snow: he builds a snowman, makes snow angels, and climbs up and slides down a little hill. Peter loves the snow so much he decides to save some for later. He makes a snowball and stuffs it into his pocket for safe keeping. After Peter gets home he has a bath and gets ready for bed and then remembers his snowball. Peter looks in the pocket of his snowsuit and finds only a wet pocket. Poor Peter goes to bed sad but awakes to another day filled with snow, but instead of heading out alone he calls a friend. What kind of adventure will Peter have today?

This is another great snow day book and to go with it I have created a question freebie. It is in the form of a brace map listing who, what, where, when, why and how questions.

If you are in need of another activity, here is a list of reading skills and strategies to help you create what you need.

Reading level: 2.5
Theme: weather/winter         
Genre: fiction

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is about. I wonder how old the little boy is. {possible questions during} Does the little boy have any friends? Does he know the snow will melt in his pocket? {possible questions after} I wonder what Peter and his friend will do today in the snow. **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author’s point of view – Third person. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this.
  • Author’s purpose – Entertain {evidence} It is funny when the snow from the tree falls on Peter’s head. The snowman that Peter made looks funny. Peter is having fun in the snow. All these things make an entertaining story.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} Peter puts on his snow suit and heads outside. {most important event from middle} Peter had many adventures in the snow. {most important event from end} Peter called his friend to play.
  • Cause and effect – Why did Peter put on his snow suit? So he could go outside and play. Why did snow fall on Peter’s head? Because he was knocking the tree with a stick and it all fell off. How come Peter did not join the snowball fight? Because he thought he was too small.  Why did Peter pick up handfuls of snow? Because he wanted to save some snow for later. Why was Peter’s snowball not in his pocket anymore? Because it melted. Why did Peter call his friend? So he could have someone to play with.
  • Character analysis - describe Peter {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Classify & categorize – activities you could do in the snow and activities you could do in the sun.
  • Compare & contrast – the books Snow Day! by Barbara M. Joosse and this book as well as the characters from each.
  • Connections - {possible text-to-self connections} playing in the snow. Trying to keep a snowball. Getting hit by a snowball. Making a snowman. Making snow angels. {possible text-to-text connections} Snow Day by Barbara M. Joosse – they both have characters that play in the snow.
  • Drawing conclusions & inferencing – Why do you think Peter dreamed about the snow melting? {text clues} The snowball melted in his pocket and that made him sad. {what I know} Sometimes I dream about things that happen during the day. {my conclusion} I think Peter dreamed about the snow melting because his snowball melted in his pocket and he was sad about that. I think Peter wanted to play more in the snow.
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} Peter was enjoying his day in the snow. {details} He made a snow angel, and a snowman. He had fun sliding down the hill.
  • Predict – What will the story be about? What will Peter do out in the snow? What did Peter find to make the track in the snow? What do you think will happen if Peter keeps smacking the tree? What do you think Peter will do after making his snowman and snow angels? Why do you think Peter wants to keep a snowball? What will Peter and his friend do?
  • Sequencing – Peter wakes up and sees snow. He goes out in the snow and makes tracks. Peter finds a stick and smacks a tree. Peter sees boys having a snowball fight. He makes a snowman and snow angels. Peter climbs up and slides down a little hill. Peter puts a snowball in his pocket. Peter gets home and takes a warm bath. Peter remembers his snowball and checks his pocket. Peter’s snowball is gone. He dreams about the snow melting. Peter wakes in the morning to more snow. Peter calls his friend.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Visualize – Peter had a great time playing in the snow. Visualize what your day in the snow would look like.

You can download this FREEBIE from either one of my stores. 


Happy reading! 


  1. Seriously my childhood FAVE .... my earliest memory outside of the Bible books my parents and grandparents would get me. Oh, how disappointed I was when the snowball in his pocket melted .... thanks (as always) for an awesome review with activities!


    1. The funny thing is, I don't remember this book from my childhood, it wasn't until I started teaching that I fell in love.

  2. Love this book!! I use it when I teach small moments!! Thanks for all the information! Have a good weekend!

    1. Hey Kelley,
      I love to hear what other teachers use books for. Great books offer a wealth of great teachable opportunities. Glad to hear this is a book you is a keeper!

  3. Oh, wow! I feel like I found a treasure tonight when I found your blog -- so many great books! I'm following and pinning like crazy!!

    1. Thank you Ann! I love teaching with picture books and think they have so much to offer. My goal with this blog is to help make your job a bit easier by digging deeper in the books and finding the information you need to create great lessons.


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!

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