A Very Special Snowflake by Don Hoffman - Teaching Ideas

Jeff and Veronica take their little dog Snowflake outside to play on a very snowy day. Snowflake is so excited that he jumps into a snowbank. The kids look around and can't find Snowflake anywhere. They are very worried so they start to wonder around their community asking everyone if they have seen Snowflake. Their neighbors think they are talking about all the snow that is falling, not a lost little dog. Will Jeff and Veronica ever find Snowflake? Have fun reading this fun little story and discovering if Snowflake is gone for good, or hiding right under their noses.

In this book Jeff and Veronica ask a florist, baker, police officer, and a mail carrier if they have seen Snowflake. This book would fit nicely into a social studies unit on communities and community workers.

Here is some extra information about this book that you might find useful if you plan to use it for a read aloud/lesson.

Reading level: 2.0
Theme: cooperation/teamwork, family, winter
Genre: fiction {winter/weather}

Suggested Vocabulary: winter wonderland, whirled, glanced, spotted, trudging

Reading skills and strategies:
  • asking questions - {before} Is the dog's name Snowflake? {during} How come Jeff and Veronica can't see Snowflake hiding in the snow? How come nobody can see Snowflake? {after} How come the neighbors didn't know Jeff and Veronica were talking about their dog, not the snow falling.
  • author's point of view - 3rd person point of view
  • author's purpose - entertainment
  • beginning, middle, end - {beg} It starts to snow and Jeff and Veronica want to take Snowflake outside to play. {mid} Snowflake dives into a snowbank and the kids can't find her. They ask all their neighbors and nobody has seen her. {end} Jeff and Veronica are so sad that they may never see Snowflake again they lay down in the snow and wonder what to do. All of a sudden they see Snowflake in the snowbank.
  • cause and effect - Why did the kids want to go outside to play? because it was snowing. How come Jeff and Veronica could not find Snowflake? because he was hiding in the snowbank and he was white like the snow. How come Jeff and Veronica's neighbors couldn't help them find Snowflake? because they were too busy trying not to let the snow ruin their work. Why did the kids flop down into the snowbank? because they were worried they would never see Snowflake again.
  • characterization - describe Jeff, describe Veronica, describe Snowflake
  • classify & categorize - clothes you wear in winter and clothes you wear in summer. If you are working on social studies you could classify & categorize the neighbors into jobs that offer goods and jobs that offer services {in the book they ask a: florist, baker, police officer, mail carrier}.
  • compare & contrast - Jeff and Veronica. You with either Jeff or Veronica. Your dog with Snowflake. Your neighborhood with Jeff and Veronica's neighborhood.
  • connections - text-to-self connections - snowstorms, bundling in  lots of clothes, losing a dog, shoveling snow, having friendly neighbors, having a family member that is a florist, baker, police officer or mail carrier.
  • drawing conclusions & inferencing - Why did the kids not see Snowflake? How come none of the neighbors new that the kids were asking about a dog, not the actual snow?
  • main idea & details - {MI} Snowflake gets lost. {details} the kids look everywhere and can't find him. They ask a neighbor, a florist, a baker, a police officer and a mail carrier and no one has seen her.
  • predict - Will Jeff and Veronica ever find Snowflake? Will their neighbors find Snowflake?
  • problem & solution - {problem} Snowflake is missing. {solution} the kids look and look and finally find Snowflake hiding in the snowbank.
  • sequencing - The kids get dressed to go outside to play. Snowflake dives into a snowbank. The kids cannot find Snowflake. They ask their neighbor. They ask a florist. They ask a baker. They ask a police officer. They ask the mail carrier. They lay down in the snowbank trying to figure out what to do. They find Snowflake in the snowbank.
  • story elements - title, author, genre, characters, setting, beginning, middle and end.
  • strong thought - your students will probably be seeing Snowflake throughout the story and keep pointing and telling Jeff and Veronica that Snowflake is "right there".
  • summarize - {somebody} Jeff and Veronica {wanted} wanted to take Snowflake outside to play {but} but Snowflake dove into a snowbank and the kids couldn't find him {so} so they started asking all their neighbors if they had seen Snowflake. {then} They went home to figure out what to do and {at the end} then they found Snowflake hiding in the snowbank.
  • visualize - what Snowflake looks like hiding in a snowbank.
I hope you can use it!I have created a problem/solution freebie to go along with this book.


Happy teaching!


  1. Aww, I LOVE this book and was so excited to see it on your blog! Thanks for sharing this freebie :) Have a great start to your week!

    Lisa :)
    Made In The Shade In Second Grade

  2. Hey Lisa,
    I am so glad you have this book, it is a good one!
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. Thanks for the review. I'm going to have to add this to my every growing list. Will work in perfectly (my class them is dogs & I love dogso) :-)

    First Grade Delight

    1. I L*O*V*E dogs too! I would recommend this book, it is easy, cute and has lots to offer as far as ways to teach it.

  4. I am so glad I found your blog. I am your newest follower.


    1. Thanks for visiting! I hope you find some useful info here.

  5. Thanks for following my blog! I am following you as well. I love your blog! It is great! :)

  6. I have this book and was so excited to see this activity! Thank you for sharing.
    Teachin' First

    1. Hey Kristy,
      This is a super cute book, I love reading it. I hope you can use the problem solution page.


Thoughts and comments are always welcome!