The First Snow  

James had seen pictures of snow. But he didn’t know what it felt like to touch snow, to hold it in his own hands. 

He had never thrown a snowball. He had never tried to catch a snow flake on his tongue. He had never built a snowman. He had never put a snowball into the freezer, so he could bring it back out, some time in the middle of the summer.   

 He had never even snuck up behind his Dad and yelled “surprise,” as he dropped snow down the collar of his shirt.   

There was so much “snow fun” that he had missed in his ten years of life, so far. But James and his family had lived too deep in the South for it to snow. It just didn’t get cold enough. But this would change in the new school year.   

His Mom just got a great new job. She would help to find more cures for cancer. So they had moved way North, for the new job. It would snow a LOT there, every winter. 


James was looking forward to enjoying the new things that he could do in cold weather. Things like ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snow-boarding, ice-skating, and hockey. This was all very fun for James.   

 Ten weeks had gone by in the school year. Finally, about four o’clock, as James was getting his homework done for the day, a big snow was rolling in. The first large flakes filled the sky 

He couldn’t believe his eyes! He thought he was seeing giant magic popcorn puffs. They started to cover everything in a thick, white blanket. James guessed that there were millions of snow flakes coming down!   

James went to bed around nine-thirty. There was already a good six inches of snow on the ground. He woke up early the next day. Light flakes were still coming down.   

He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Or what he was NOT seeing! Now there was only white. He couldn’t see a road, a bush, a branch, or a car. The only thing that he could see were the tree trunks in the woods

His Mom came into his bedroom. She said, “James, there’s now over a foot of snow on the ground! This storm was so big that many of the roads are closed. Even the people who are good at removing snow from the roads couldn’t clear them. And the school buses aren’t safe to ride in weather like this. So guess what? School is closed for today!”  

It was a magical day for James. He played with snowmen, snow forts, and snowballs. He sledded down steep hills. He fell in the snow and made snow angels with his arms and legs. He also got to watch his cat Sparky try to keep from getting buried in the tall snow drifts.   

Late in the day, James was putting a carrot on his third snowman’s face. This one now had a long, thin nose. His Dad drove up the driveway, coming home from work.   

His Dad got out of his car. James yelled to him, “Living up north is so much fun! I’m so happy that you and Mom brought us here!” James turned around, but then he felt a snowball hit the back of his coat. He and his Dad started laughing. Then they had fun throwing snowballs at each other, until it was time for dinner!   


multiple: Raised Exception
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S u r p r i s e
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S c h o o l
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C a n c e r
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S k y
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I n c h e s
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B e d r o o m
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B y
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M o v e d
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S k i i n g
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E y e s


multiple: Dropped Exception
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P u t
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W o o d s
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C h a n g e
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C o u l d
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T h e y
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A n g e l s
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L o o k i n g
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G i a n t
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B u s h

1. At the beginning of this story, why hadn’t James played in the snow? 
   a) he did not like cold weather
   b) he got sick when it snowed
   c) he lived in the south where it did not snow

2. Why did James and his family move up north?   
   a) so that James could play in the snow
   b) his mother got a new job
   c) his dad got a new job

3. What was James doing when the snow started? 
   a) working on homework
   b) walking home from school
   c) playing in his front yard

4. James thought the snowflakes looked like:  
   a) tiny snowmen
   b) feathers
   c) popcorn puffs

5. When James went to bed:  
   a) there was over a foot of snow on the ground
   b) there was over six inches of snow on the ground
   c) there was over six feet of snow on the ground

6. James did not have to go to school because:  
   a) he had a bad cold
   b) it was too cold to wait outside for the bus
   c) the schools were closed because of the snow

7. During the day James: 
   a) shoveled snow
   b) went sledding
   c) went ice skating

8. What did James and his dad do before dinner? 
   a) read in front of the fireplace
   b) helped Mom make dinner
   c) threw snowballs at each other