This collection contains 27 stories and poems on the theme of ‘Winter’ (including one or two selections suitable for Christmas and New Year), and a handful of ‘Winter’ colouring pages from Medieval woodcuts. Following each selection is a Topic of Discussion: a question which requires the student to think about one element of the text they just read, to form an opinion about it, and to express and defend that opinion.
Younger students will benefit from the effort spent reading (either in their head or out loud) and then speaking with a parent/teacher or in a classroom setting about the Topic of Discussion, in a free style.
Older students can benefit from using the Topic of Discussion as a starting point for a written assignment. I recommend that the older student state clearly what their point of view is, and defend it in one or two paragraphs. This will be good practise in defending an argument, a skill which becomes useful for essay-writing assignments in upper grades. The exercise of writing clearly and stating a coherent defense will prove a worthy challenge, even for pieces of writing which have simpler themes.
Note: These selections are suitable for students in elementary or middle school, but are not presented in any specific order. Different texts may be better suited to older or younger students: a parent or teacher should always preview each individual piece of writing to make sure it is appropriate for a specific age group.