Audubon from Home

Ode to Winter

Showing our gratitude for winter through poetry. Ages 7+

In Vermont, winter is a magical time of year full of skiing, warm drinks, bonfires and so much more! Winter can also be hard. Sometimes, the gray sky persists for days and, just like the sun, our motivation and good mood vanishes. Today we’re going to read and write some winter poetry that will prompt us to think about what we are grateful for on days that we can’t remember. We’ll do this by writing odes! An ode is a poem that addresses the importance or wonder of a certain object or being by using personification, similies and exageration. You can write odes to things big and small! I’ve written an odes to the Downy woodpecker who visits my feeder and to the last chocolate chip cookie sitting on the plate. Today, we’ll focus our odes on things that bring us joy, comfort or inspiration in winter.

You will need:

  • Paper and a pencil 
  • Optional: an object to write about - it may be easier to write about something right in front of you, but you are welcome to use your imagination or memories! 

First, make a list of things you are thankful for in the wintertime. This will act as our brainstorm list for what item/place/topic we want our ode to priase. These can be items, places, people, animals, etc. 

Here are some of mine:

  • A warm home 
  • Hot tea 
  • My mom's black bean soup 
  • My cross country skis 
  • Birds that stay the winter 
  • Bonfires
  • Animal tracks in the snow
  • My sled 
  • Evergreen trees 
  • My favorite soft blanket 
  • Wool socks 
  • Knitted hat 

Ex). Why I appreciate my winter hat:

  • It keeps my head warm 
  • I love the bright organe color 
  • It's made of wool
  • A friend made it for me 
  • It fits my head perfectly 

Now, I'm going to think of words and actions that describe my item. Think about the way your item looks, smells, tastes and sounds. 

Ex). My winter hat

Warm, soft, woolen/wooly, bright, sunny, comforting, knitted, cozy, orange

Here's a model to help you write your poem:

Ode to (your item)

  1. Oh (item),
  2. Use adjectives to describe what it looks/tastes/feels like
  3. Oh (item),
  4. Use a verb(s) to bring your item to life (this is called personification) 
  5. Oh (item),
  6. Thank you for...

Ex). Ode to my winter cap

Oh, winter cap 

Your orange yarn pulled together loosely, perfectly around my head like a sheep wrapped in wool.

Oh winter cap, 

thank you for coddling my ears in the cold.

Oh winter cap,

you bring color to a winter so gray, 

that's why I wear you every day. 

Now it's your turn to be the poet! You can make yours as long or short as you'd like. 

Share your poem with us @AudubonVermont on Instagram or Facebook to be featured. 

For more tips and tricks on writing an ode:

How you can help, right now