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To explore winter weather and the changes it brings to plants, animals and us.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore winter weather and the changes it brings to plants, animals and us.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need an OHP/whiteboard for reading the poem.
  • The poem could be read by the assembly leader or by rehearsed children.
  • Collect some pictures of animals such as hedgehogs and squirrels, trees in winter, snowy or frosty scenes and anything mentioned in the poem.


  1. Draw the children’s attention to recent cold or wet or frosty weather. Ask who likes the winter and why. Make time for discussion here.
  2. Remind them that some people do not like the winter at all, especially older people who find it hard to keep warm. Winter can bring problems on the roads; when it is foggy or icy they can become very dangerous. Some birds and animals find it hard to get food.

    Invite the children to read the words of the poem to themselves as you (or others) read it out loud. Ask them to listen carefully because you will be asking them some questions about it. Use illustrations where possible.
  3. Winter
    by Jan Edmunds

    The sun is veiled in clouds of grey, there’s many a gloomy morn,
    With biting winds and freezing fog when winter comes to stay.
    The distant hills are capped with snow, the trees stand tall and bare.
    They sleep in silence, taking rest; in spring they’ll start to grow.
    Beneath the soil bulbs hide away, deep down to keep them warm,
    As safe and snug they rest and wait to see the light of day.
    Patterns swirl on window panes, hoar frost sparkles bright.
    Jewelled cobwebs hang from walls like shimmering silver chains.
    Life is hard for creatures, whether great or small.
    Some survive and some do not, some even fly away,
    Yet life goes on, yes, life endures to flourish another day.
  4. Invite the children to answer these questions:
    What kind of weather is described in the poem?
    What are capped with snow?
    Why do the trees stand tall and bare?
    When will they start to grow again?
    What are safe and snug deep down in the soil?
    What makes the patterns on the window panes?
    What do some animals do to stay warm in the winter? (Hibernate)
    What do animals need in order to survive? (Discuss water, food, shelter and rest)

    In nature winter is a time of rest. All living things need rest and sleep. A time to repair, strengthen and grow.

Time for reflection


Seasons bring variety and change.

What does winter mean to you?

What is the weather like?

What do you do especially in winter that you don’t do at other times of the year?

What do you like most about winter?



We give thanks for the beauty of the world in wintertime.

For the way growing things rest, are protected, then burst into life when springtime comes.

For the way small animals are safely tucked away and sleep until the warmer weather.

Just as our bodies need sleep and rest,

God has planned that trees and flowers should rest in wintertime.

We know that the warm weather will come again,

the flowers and trees will bloom, some birds will return,

small animals will appear in the fields

and the sun will shine and fill our hearts with gladness.

God is good to all. (Psalm 145.9)


‘Can you be sure that the rain will fall?’ (Come and Praise, 31)

Publication date: February 2008   (Vol.10 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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