Sequencing Events with The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, is one of my favorite winter read alouds. And one of my favorite activities to do with the book is to sort and sequence events, finishing with a fun display of students' work. Sequencing events from the story works well with The Snowy Day because the text has a simple, clear structure with which students can connect.

The materials I use in the photos come from my literature unit for The Snowy Day, which you can find HERE. After reading the story, students cut out 10 story event "snowballs." These snowballs will be used for both parts of the activity.

In the first part of the activity, students sort the snowballs into two piles according to categories you give them. For example, have students sort the snowballs into "Inside Events" and "Outside Events," or "Events Done Alone" and "Events Done Together." 

For an extra challenge, pair up students and see if they can come up with their own way to sort the snowball events into two categories, where all (or most) snowballs fit. Have volunteers share by only reading the events in each pile and having the rest of the class try to guess what the categories are.

In part two of the activity, students will sequence their snowball story events. Students prepare a "sequencing strip" by gluing the three pieces end to end, making a fun (and long!) place to hold the events.

Once students have their snowball events and sequencing strip ready, read aloud The Snowy Day to students a second time. This time, you'll pause after each page to allow students to find the corresponding event snowball and attach it to their sequencing strip.

Notice how the snowballs, when attached, appear to "sit" on the snow, with part of the snowball peeking above the edge of the strip.

Once all ten events have been sequenced, check their work by choral-reading each event out loud.

Last, to add a finished look, especially for a bulletin board display, add construction paper to the background and decorate with snowflakes. I used strips of multiple colors to resemble a snowy sunset with a unique pop of color.

The lesson and all the materials for "Sorting and Sequencing Snowball Events" is part of my literature unit for The Snowy Day. Click HERE or the image below to check it out.

The unit also includes other engaging lessons and activities, including setting analysis, character analysis, cause and effect, opinion writing, and narrative writing.

The story and unit are appropriate for grades one through three. I hope you check it out!

I also have several other engaging literature units for more of my favorite read alouds. Check them out right HERE.