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The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Summary of the Story

Peter wakes up to find it has snowed and goes out to play in it. Before he comes inside, he makes a snowball and puts it in his pocket. That night he dreams that the sun melts all the snow, but when he wakes up he finds that it has snowed again. Peter and his friend go out to play in the new snow.

Introducing the Story
  • Read the title of the book from the cover, while pointing to each word. Say the title together as you point to each word. Does the child know what snow is? If not, explain that snow is white and cold and it falls during the winter. If the child is familiar with snow, use the story and the pictures to start the child talking about some of his or her experiences with snow.

Reading the Story for the First Time

  • Read the words to the story on each page, moving your finger under the words as you read.
  • Give the child enough time to look at each of the pictures. After you have read the story, say: This book is about a boy named Peter who plays in the snow. What does snow feel like? What can you do with snow?

Reading the Book Again and Again

  • Each time you read The Snowy Day, leave more of the "reading" or retelling to the child. Give open-ended prompts on each page. For example, ask: What is happening in this picture?
  • Give prompts about objects or activities in the pictures. For example, ask: What is Peter doing? (He is sliding down the hill.) Use your finger to point to what you are asking about. Evaluate the child's response. Expand it by giving more information. Ask the child to repeat the answer. If he or she needs help in answering a question, ask that question again the next time you read the book. Good words to ask about are listed in the vocabulary section below. Be sure to talk about objects and actions the child brings up, too.
  • You may wish to discuss the prompts shown below.

Building Literacy

  • Start a conversation with your child about ways to play outside. What does your child like to do outside? When you are outside with your child, look for children at play. Use words like sliding, jumping, running, and throwing to describe their actions.


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Excerpted from Read Together, Talk Together, the Pearson Early Childhood research-based program that makes reading aloud even more effective!


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