The Snowman (Barbour Christmas Advert 2018)

Age Range: 5 - 11
By: Sam Collins

The story of a girl who believes in the magic of Christmas, and what happens when she wakes to a snowy Christmas morning…​​

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Explore our huge bank of ideas related to Raymond Briggs’ wonderful book The Snowman.
  • Stop the video at 0:17 and discuss the dedications at the beginning of the book. Why are there two? How are they linked?
  • Stop the video at 0:24 - write a thought bubble for the girl as she sees the snow. What might she be thinking? How might she be feeling?
  • Stop the video at 1:11. Why doesn’t the girl want to play with the dog?
  • Discuss the line“Maybe, just maybe” - what does it mean?
  • Write the story from Dad’s point of view.
  • Write some dialogue between the characters.
  • Make a storyboard of the story.
  • Use a thesaurus to find synonyms for cold, e’g’ nippy, freezing.
  • Write a character description for the girl.
  • Draw a map showing the girl’s emotions throughout the story. How do they change?
  • What happens next? Write the next part of the story.
  • Write the girl’s diary entry for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


  • Watch the section from 0:55 to 1:09 and observe how the shadows change. Make your own snowman (perhaps out of a large piece of cardboard if you are not lucky enough to have snow!) and observe how the shadows change during the day.
  • If you do have snow, try this melting snowman experiment.
  • Try making some snow slime.


  • Use an animation program to make an animation of a flying snowman.

Design Technology



  • Learn and sing “Walking in the air”.
  • Listen to some different versions of “Walking in the air”. Which do you prefer? Why?


  • 2018 is the 40th anniversary of the publication of the book. How were things different in 1978? Research on the internet and ask friends and family. How would a 1978 Christmas be different from one today?

Physical education

  • Make up a dance to “Walking in the air”. ​

Religious education

  • The book dedications say “Always believe in Christmas Magic.” What is belief? What do you believe in?​


  • Find out the words you need to describe snow and cold weather in the language you are learning.​


  • What qualities does the girl show in the story? Why are those qualities important? When have you been determined, for example?​


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