Cozy Up to the Classics this Winter


The holiday season can get very busy; planning school and family events, inclement weather, and working with students eager for winter break can add additional strains to the day. Ease your way into the last few weeks of the year with these classics that will help fuel students’ dreams of winter play and holidays.

Login to to access these winter classics, available to you for free in the Kurzweil 3000-firefly Universal Library.

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare The Snow Image: A Childish Miracle by Nathaniel Hawthorne Life Adventures of Santa Claus by Frank L. Baum
kurzweil_shakespear_winters-tale kurzweil_hawthorne_snow-image kurzweil_baum_santa


Refer to the Kurzweil 3000-firefly Common Core Standards page for recommendations on grade level assignments your students could work on while reading these books. Here are a few examples to get you started.

Example 1:
Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

  • Remind the students they can use Kurzweil 3000-firefly’s Highlighters for highlighting key text structures before thoroughly reading the text or to mark up key information during reading.

Example 2:
Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film). You could watch the film production of The Winter’s Tale or Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and compare it to the book.

  • Use Kurzweil 3000-firefly’s Circle tools (red and blue) to circle key text structures before thoroughly reading the text or to mark up key information during reading.
  • Use Kurzweil 3000-firefly’s Extract notes and highlights to extract any or all of your notes and highlights and create a new text document that can be used later to record answers or study for tests.

Example 3:
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.

Kurzweil 3000-firefly offers multiple Vocabulary Tools to help with word meaning including:

  • Translate — Translation on the fly for English Language Learners to help build their knowledge of English.
  • Definition — Lookup words, choosing from several different dictionaries. Definitions can also be translated into multiple languages.
  • Picture dictionary — Aid word recognition and comprehension with the built-in picture dictionary of 1,500 images or you can create your own; also available in Spanish.
  • Syllables — Learn how a word breaks down in to syllables.
  • Spell — Practice the correct Spelling of a word, a simple click gives you the spelling in visual and auditory formats.
  • Online reference look-up — Look up information on a topic with instant access to online reference tools; including Wikipedia and Columbia Encyclopedia.

Before you send students home with these winter classics, create Vocabulary Word Lists easily with the Kurzweil 3000-firefly Highlighting tool. Watch the video now.

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