Do you change out your writing center materials from time to time? I love setting up a fresh new writing center every season to help build excitement about learning to write! That’s why I’m sharing 5 fun winter writing center activities to inspire your planning. These activities are low-prep, fun for students, and full of winter sparkle!
Using Themed Writing Centers
As a kindergarten teacher, I’m a big fan of thematic teaching. Selecting a theme and teaching around it is such a great way to grab student interest. At the beginning of the year, I love to set up a back-to-school writing center. As the days pass, I switch it out each month to include materials and lessons that reflect the current season and theme.
Doing this helps to keep my writing center engaging for students. We can continue to work on many of the same skills while presenting them in a new fun format. Using themed writing centers has been a total game-changer in my classroom! My students are always excited to see each new set of monthly writing center materials. Curious about what I use in the winter months? Here are my top 5 favorites!
1. Winter Writing Center Vocabulary
In my writing center setup, I use large, full-color pages with seasonal vocabulary words on them.
My students LOVE these festive vocabulary lists. Every month, there’s a new set of vocabulary cards for students to explore. In the winter months, some of the words include things like:
- weather words
- winter clothes
- snowman parts
- winter & arctic animals
- winter activities
- January holidays (New Year’s & MLK Jr. Day)
My students love looking through the pictures and identifying what the words say. We use these vocabulary cards as a resource in the winter writing center. Students can use them for list making, writing stories, sight word sentences, and more!
It’s so much fun to watch their vocabulary grow through these cards. Not only do students learn new words, but they use them in their writing too.
2. Winter Word Tracing
Next up, I love to make sure I include a set of tracing cards each time I set up a new monthly writing center.
Our winter writing center tracing cards include winter clothes, weather, animals, and activities. In my classroom, I like to laminate these cards and set them out with dry-erase markers for students to practice with.
These cards are also great to use printed on regular paper for students to trace with crayons, pencils, or regular markers.
If you go this route, give each child a different sheet of words and have them work on rainbow writing each one!
After tracing the words, extend this activity further by having them write the words on their own on the backside of their papers. They can also practice using each word in a simple sentence. Let them write on their own or provide a sentence starter like “I can see the. . .”
3. Label & Write
This winter writing center activity is always a student favorite!
The label and write pages we use ask students to label parts of different things and then write a sentence using some of the words.
The things they work on labeling include:
- kids doing winter activities
- winter animals
I offer a few different paper styles for this activity so that I can meet the needs of all the kiddos in my class. One of the options includes labeling boxes with words to trace while other pages have blank labeling boxes.
There are also options for pages that use clipart while others use real-life pictures. Having some variety in these winter writing center pages makes sure every student gets what they need!
4. Write a Story
My “Write a Story” winter writing center activity is such a fun way to encourage new writers!
In this activity, every student will get a writing prompt page that includes a word bank and a sentence starter. The word banks include things that go along with the sentence starter.
For example, one page says “In the winter I wear….” and has a word bank with a variety of winter clothing words. Students will read and trace the sentence starter and then choose words from the bank to draft a short story.
I love seeing what my kiddos come up with when they use these writing prompts! This activity is a great one to start with when students are just learning how to brainstorm story ideas on their own.
5. Build & Write
Finally, this last lesson might be my students’ favorite winter writing center activity of all. In this activity, kiddos get to build an image with play dough, trace the word, and then write a sentence about it.
This is another fantastic activity for new writers who need a little prompting on what to write about. The images included for this activity are:
- winter clothes
- arctic animals
- winter tools (skis, sleds, ice skates, etc.)
- winter words (snowball, snowman, etc.)
I love using this activity when my kiddos seem a little restless and need to use some hands-on learning. Playdough activities can save the day on those gloomy, winter days when you’re stuck inside!
More Winter Writing Center Activities
These are just a few of my favorite winter writing center activities. I have 10 more fun activities (plus blank pages) in my January Writing Center Unit! Included you’ll find all of the activities I mentioned plus…
- Letter Formation Cards: Students can practice fine motor skills by tracing each thematic letter
- You Pick: Students can practice opinion writing by picking an image and writing about their choice
- Finish and Write: Students will look at the image and finish drawing the setting and what else is happening then write about the picture
- Make a List: Students will use the picture cards to draw a picture and write the word
- Picture Cards: A set of cards with a picture and word to be used in multiple ways such as write the room, write a story, make a list, sight word sentences, and more
- Spin a Silly Story: Students will spin two pictures and use them to create a silly story
- Directed Drawing & Writing: Students will follow the step-by-step directions to draw the picture then add details to the picture then write a sentence about what they drew
- Write the Room: Students will search the room for picture cards and write and draw what they find
- Sight Word Sentences: Students will use the picture cards to complete the sight word prompts
- Free Write: Students can use the picture cards to write and draw a story of their choice
- Blank Pages: Students can use these pages to draw and write their own story
The great thing about having so many activities to choose from is that you’ll be able to plan your winter writing centers by skill level and meet the needs of all your kiddos. Many of the activities also come with and without sentence starter options, offering even more options for differentiation!
If you’re ready to start planning your winter writing center activities, be sure to check out my January Writing Center Unit!
More Winter Fun!
Looking for more fun winter activities for your classroom? Check out these.
- 10 Winter Lapbook Activities Your Students Will Absolutely Love
- 3 Kindergarten Shape Activities to use in the Winter
- January Fine Motor Activities for Kindergarten and 1st Grade
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