Winter-time by Robert Louis Stevenson
Winter-time by Robert Louis Stevenson

Christmas poems go hand-in-hand to making classrooms a special place at Christmas. Winter-time by Robert Louis Stevenson’s is a beautiful resource to have, as it’s very useful in covering a multitude of curriculum objectives.

Firstly, when reading the poem it’s clear there are many beautiful images all to do with winter, such as A frosty, fiery sleepy-head’. Also note the metaphors ‘And tree and house, and hill and lake, Are frosted like a wedding cake’ which are great teaching points in poetry technique.

Integrate the lesson with other subjects like:

  • Art (illustrate your favourite images for a display, storyboard each verse)
  • Geography (weather, Winter time and seasons)
  • History (of poet Robert Louis Stevenson)
  • Religion (include a verse in a Christmas card)

Winter-time

By Robert Louis Stevenson

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.


Poetry Ideas:

  • Check out our Poetry Page for lots of poems to use in your classroom
  • Keep a poetry diary for kids to record read work – read more poems by favourite poets
  • Adjective / Onomatopoeia word hunts
  • Write a response verse from the perspective of a different character
  • Write a response verse in a different style – nonsense, rhyming, haiku, cinquain etc. Does this change the poem?
  • Think up of 5/10 Questions you would ask a character in a poem/the author
  • Illustrate your favourite image from the poem – in black & white, colour.
  • Storyboard the poem: each verse gets a scene
  • Create a diorama of the poem out of recycling materials
  • Illustrate a book cover/movie poster that could accompany the poem
  • Write the poem using appropriate fonts / why did you choose this to reflect the poem?