Basic English, Intermediate English, Zero English

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Who wouldn't want to go flying with a snowman?

Who wouldn’t want to go flying with a snowman?

This beautiful classic story is ideal for English language learners as both the book and the animated adaptation are completely wordless, allowing students of different language levels of enjoy the story equally. The lesson plan covers several activities which you’ll probably want to split up over a few days of teaching. If, like me, you live in an area where snow is a rare or unheard of occurrence, first build the students’ background knowledge by reading other stories about snow, or looking at a set of snow photographs.

Snow, ice and arctic photo pack

A set of ten full-page photographs showing features of the arctic and polar regions. You’ll feel chilly just looking at them!

‘The Snowman’ lesson plan

These activities are designed for use with children aged 3 – 6 who have limited experience with English. There are several activities described – pick the ones that suit your students best. Students will learn basic vocabulary from the story, as well as gaining experience with the use of the present simple tense to describe attributes (‘my snowman has a nose’), and the present progressive tense to describe temporary attributes (‘my snowman is wearing a scarf’).

‘The Snowman’ vocabulary cards

A set of vocabulary cards showing images and words for almost all of the major nouns that are used in the story. Use these to preteach vocabulary and to support children’s retelling of the story.

‘The Snowman’ retelling frames

This set of differentiated retelling frames helps children of all language levels retell the story of The Snowman. Very young children can draw scenes from the beginning, middle and end of the story, beginning readers can read and illustrate key scenes from the story, and intermediate writers can give their responses to their chosen parts of the story.

Design your own snowman

A simple activity for young learners with limited English. Includes writing frames for beginning writers.

Invite your students to a snowman party!

Why not decorate your snowman party with this snowman garland from The Snowman’s official page?

Pass the noses! A game for snowmen.

Print this set of ‘snowman noses’ and play a fun game of ‘pass the noses’ with your class!

I strongly recommend buying a copy of The Snowman. It’s a wonderful book that children will enjoy retelling and re-reading. It is available on, as well as the official Snowman site. If you are unable to obtain a copy, you can watch the animated version online via youtube.

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Elmer’s Colors

Elmer's Colors

Literacy with Leaves: Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

Leaf Man

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Classroom Freebies

Classroom Freebies


6 thoughts on “The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

  1. This is one of my favorite winter stories! Your lesson plan is very thorough. Thank you for sharing this 🙂 ~Sonya

    Posted by Anonymous | February 10, 2014, 5:34 pm


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