It's cold outside! Let's stay in, drink hot chocolate, and explore these worksheets related to winter weather and activities.

The following collection of worksheets contains a number of short reading passages covering topics associated with winter, such as snowflake formation, why it gets colder in the winter, lake effect snow, and more! Two separate answer sheets are associated with each passage. One is a multiple choice worksheet and the other is a short-answer worksheet. Instructors may choose to use either or both question sheets (answer keys are provided for all).

Note for instructors: If you have no place for these in your regular curriculum, these worksheets make great project seeds, independent essay topics, or extra credit assignments.

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What is Lake Effect Snow? - Reading Passage

Have you ever wondered why cities and towns near lakes tend to receive large amounts of snow each year, while areas farther away from lakes receive much less precipitation?

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Lake Effect Snow - Multiple Choice Questions

As cold winds sweep across a lake, they pick up both dynamic energy and water vapor, so when they reach land, they bring a high concentration of moisture.

Lake Effect Snow - Free Response Questions

Lake effect snow occurs in many parts of the world, but the Great Lakes region of the U.S. is widely known for its "snowbelts" - narrow bands of land that tend to receive large amounts of snow each year.

When The Heat Stops - Reading Passage

First, it is a good idea to take a long cloth, such as a sleeve from an old shirt, and stuff it with rice, dried peas, or even the stuffing from an old bean bag chair.

When The Heat Stops - Multiple Choice Questions

Keeping the curtains open during the day will help sunlight heat your home. At night, close the drapes to help prevent heat from escaping.

When The Heat Stops - Free Response Questions

Serve warm beverages and foods, and try to keep everyone in the same part of the house— body heat will help keep everyone warm.

What is Frostbite & How do you avoid it? - Reading Passage

Frostbite is a skin and tissue condition you can develop after a prolonged exposure to the cold.

Frostbite - Multiple Choice Questions

In its mildest form, frostbite can affect the outer layer of skin. More severe cases of frostbite can damage blood vessels, muscles, or even bone.

Frostbite - Free Response Questions

The best way to prevent frostbite is to avoid it completely. Always be sure you are dressed in warm clothing, paying special attention to the frostbite danger zones - your fingers, toes, and face.

What is Hypothermia & How do you avoid it?

People suffering from hypothermia often have impaired movement or judgment, so it is important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of the condition.

Hypothermia - Multiple Choice Questions

The very young and the very old are most susceptible to the effects of hypothermia. Infants are unable to regulate their body temperature well, and have overlarge heads, which can contribute to heat loss.

Hypothermia- Free Response Questions

Overexposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia. Being wet or immersed in cold water will speed the process along considerably.

Why are no Two Snowflakes the Same? - Reading Passage

Individual crystals bond together, forming snowflakes and float towards Earth. As snowflakes descend, they can change size and shape several times due to changes in humidity and air temperature.

No Two - Multiple Choice Questions

Snowflakes take many shapes, like simple prisms, cubes, pointy needles, or complex star shapes.

No Two - Short Answer Questions

In 1885, a farmer from Vermont named Wilson Bentley was the first person to capture a snowflake on film. He did this by attaching a microscope to a camera lens.

Cloudy Ice - Reading Passage

Why Can We See Through Ice Sometimes and Not Other Times?

Cloudy Ice - Multiple Choice Questions

The first, and most important, reason has to do with how quickly the water is frozen. The faster water freezes, the cloudier it becomes.

Free Response Questions

The second reason why some ice appears cloudy has to do with the concentration of impurities in the water.

Why can you only see your Breath in winter?

When you go outdoors in the wintertime, one of the ways that you can tell it is cold is the way you can see your breath.

Winter Breadth - Multiple Choice Questions

Water vapor is tiny particles of water that are too small to see individually. Water vapor is what you see when you look at a pot of boiling water.

Winter Breadth - Multiple Choice Questions

The higher the dew point, the more likely you are to see your breath when it is cold. The dew point is the point that the air becomes so humid that it can’t hold any more water vapor.

Why Do the Days Get Shorter in the winter? - Reading Passage

The primary reason for the change in daylight hours from summer to winter is because the earth’s axis is tilted.

Shorter Days - Multiple Choice Questions

This tilt means that different areas of the earth receive longer and more intense exposure to the sun’s rays at different times of the year.

Shorter Days - Free Response Questions

As the earth rotates around the sun, the effect of the earth’s tilt changes, so the seasons change around the world. It takes a full year for the earth to make one trip around the sun.

Winter Sickness - Reading Passage

Why Do More People Seem to Get Sick in the Winter?

Winter Sickness - Multiple Choice Questions

The truth is, though, that cold temperatures do not cause illnesses. Instead, there are a variety of other factors that make us more prone to sickness during this time of year.

Winter Sickness - Free Response Questions

This problem is compounded by the fact that indoor spaces tend to be more tightly closed in the winter. We seal windows, keep the doors closed, and block the fireplaces to keep the cold air out.

Cold Winters Passage

Why does it get so cold in the winter? When winter approaches the temperature gradually drops, until both day and night become very cold.

So Cold - Multiple Choice Questions

The first reason is because the Earth turns on an axis that is tilted away from the sun. In December and January, the northern hemisphere of the Earth is tilted in the farthest position from the sun, which is why these are the coldest months of the year.

So Cold - Free Response Questions

This makes winters more intense the farther away you get from the equator, and more mild the closer you get to the equator.