Monkey in the Snow Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will examine how snow monkeys stay warm in the cold.


Science Focus:

animal adaptations


ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, text evidence, writing


Page 4 Skill:

read a chart



hot springs, groom, insulate



SL.2.3, RI.2.1, RI.2.4, RI.2.8, L.2.1


Guided Reading Level:



Lexile level:


Provide students with some background on snow monkeys.

Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “Snow Monkeys Have a Ball.” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following question:

  • What is one thing snow monkeys do in the snow?

Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are hot springs, groom, and insulate.

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. How do children think this monkey stays warm in the snow?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 2: “Think about why the monkeys go to the hot springs.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Quiz 

Pass out the Reading Quiz to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

  • Use the online game show to gauge comprehension and reinforce the issue’s content. Students can play by themselves or in teams. For each question they answer correctly, they get a point!

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here’s how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words hot springs, groom, and insulate.

Editor’s Pick: Text Evidence (15 min.)

  • Once again, Norbert Know-It-All thinks he knows everything! This time he shares his knowledge of snow monkeys, but he has not read his Scholastic News very carefully! Read kids his “expertise” and let them write back to correct him! Send letters to [email protected]. Norbert will write back!

ELA Focus: Solve a Word Puzzle (15 min.)

  • The Snow Monkey Crossword skill sheet is a fun way to practice vocabulary from the issue! Each clue is a cloze sentence, so children have to find a word from the bank that makes sense and fits in the grid.

 Here are past issues you can use to extend your lesson on animal adaptations:

  • “World’s Coolest Bears,” January 2021. This issue gives fi ve cool facts about polar bears—including how they stay warm in the freezing-cold ice and snow.
  • “A Chick Grows Up,” January 2019. In this issue, children learn about a penguin chick’s life in chilly Antarctica.

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher Lexile level: 530L
  • Lower Lexile level: 430L