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Winter-Themed Activities for Reviewing ELA Vocabulary After Break

January and February are the perfect months of the year to use these 3 winter-themed activities for reviewing ELA Vocabulary while also taking inventory of student needs as you prepare for the second half of the school year.

Winter-Themed Activities for Reviewing ELA Vocabulary After Break Facebook Image with snowy branches in the background

At this point in the year, most of the general ELA Vocabulary has been taught and reviewed, but that doesn’t mean that it’s sticking.

Sometimes, like Frosty during a heat wave, the content our students seemed to have before break sometimes has melted away completely when they get back, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rebuild that knowledge with just a little review.

(Feel free to use the previous sentence as an example of a simile or extended metaphor as you review terms with your students after break!)

Today, let’s break down 3 fun, winter-themed activities for reviewing ELA Vocabulary after break.

3 Winter-Themed Activities for Reviewing ELA Vocabulary

#1 | Figurative Language Examples for a Frosty Day

Put all the types of figurative language that you have studied in a hat or container so you can draw them out at random. Then give students a winter topic to create an example from.

For example, you can use topics like…

  • Snowman
  • Icicles
  • Holiday Movies
  • Snow Flakes
  • Hot Drinks
  • Cozy Blankets

For this activity, a student will pick a topic, and then another student will pick one of the figurative language types out of the hat. Then, on sticky notes, all the students will write an example of that figurative language example based on the topic they were prompted to write about. 

We have included some examples below that you can use to help students get started or just to better wrap your mind around this activity.

Winter-Themed Activities for Reviewing ELA Vocabulary After Break (image includes a tablet with a copy of the sticker activity on the screen)

Here at Fun in 5th Grade, we typically focus on the following types of figurative language.

  • Onomatopoeia
  • Simile
  • Personification
  • Alliteration
  • Hyperbole
  • Idiom
  • Metaphor

Examples from the game:


The snowman grins wickedly from his spot on top of the hill. He sees all. He knows all.


The way the icicles crashed to the ground had me breaking out in cold sweat. (Pun intended)

Holiday Movies/Metaphor

The Christmas Story is the homemade ornament of Christmas movies, it’s not always the most pretty to look at, but we can’t help but bring it back out year after year.

These types of activities can be a lot of fun, and result in a whole bunch of really great examples. 

Note: If students are really struggling, you can always have students search for examples first and then create their own, or you can ask students to work in groups to create as many examples as they can in a given amount of time.

If you are looking for even more ways to review and reinforce figurative language as you enter the second half of the year, check out this blog post for 40 examples and 4 resources intended for exactly this purpose!

#2 | Quick Independent Winter-Themed Activities

reteaching ELA Vocabulary

Using quick, independent activities like these Winter Sticker Style Google Form activities, can be a prep-less way to quickly assess what students have retained, and what they still need to work on. 

In addition to using these activities in their intended way, you can also use the sticker-style activities, and the suggestions from this blog post about not-reteaching ELA vocabulary to reintroduce the content to your students without much extra effort from you!

We like these Winter Sticker Style Activities because they cover a variety of topics and ELA vocabulary, which is exactly why it works so well with the lesson idea from the post.

#3 | Snowflake Quiz

Pick a day shortly before break and have students create snowflakes out of regular white paper, then use some of our task cards, questions from the Sticker Style Activity, examples from this Figurative Language Holiday Light Craftivity, or even very small printed versions of any of your Game Show activities, to either write or tape questions to each snowflake before you tie them up or string them around the room. Then proceed with one of the two activities below.

Option 1: On one of your first days back from break, hand out whiteboards and markers to your students and ask students (one at a time) to move around the room pulling down one of the questions to read aloud to the rest of the group. The other students will write their answers on their whiteboards and hold them up. This is a fun way to both review and assess your students’ knowledge while still staying on theme. 

Option 2: If you really want to have fun, crumble the snowflakes up after pulling them down and use them to have a snowball fight! Let students throw the paper ‘snowballs’ at each other for 30 seconds, and then ask them to grab the snowball nearest to them and answer the question on it. You can walk around and review the answers, and then start the snowball fight again and repeat the process.

Winter-themed activities are a fun way to review and assess student learning as you prepare for the second half of the school year. These 3 ideas are all on-theme, a little unexpected, and generally a fun winter modification for taking a quick inventory of where your students are at regarding ELA vocabulary as you move into the end of the school year!

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