It doesn’t snow very often here in south Georgia, but I thought we could still enjoy learning about snowflakes! I started off reading Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin to all of the 3rd grade classes. I also wanted the students to review and practice using reference sources.
I had the students partner up and use either a dictionary, an encyclopedia or an atlas. They looked up the definition of snow or snowflakes or wrote one fact about snow from the encyclopedia. The students used the atlas to locate the city of Snowflake and to determine what state it was in. Reading the Snowflake Bentley book and doing the research used all of our time for the first week.
Sharing our Research and Cutting Paper Snowflakes
The next week we reviewed what they learned about snow and snowflakes. I summarized the facts on a whiteboard and then we proceeded to the fun part. The students cut out 6 sided paper snowflakes.
Thinglink and Digital Snowflakes
I created a Thinglink page that included 2 websites where you can cut “virtual” snowflakes. The sites are so much fun and a bit addictive! Check it out…http://www.thinglink.com/scene/479319938847211522.
I sent the link to the teachers and they let the students explore the Thinglink page which also had links to the Bentley museum and the NOAA website containing many of Bentley’s photographs.
Blogging on Edmodo
On the 3rd week I created Edmodo accounts for every student and they had the oppourtunity to blog about all of their “snowflake” experiences from researching to cutting snowflakes (paper and digital). I had the students write down their thoughts about the whole process, from reading the book, Snowflake Bentley through research and cutting snowflakes. I asked them to use the International Baccalareate (IB) PYP concept questions, the IB Learner Profiles and Attitudes while reflecting on the experience. They wrote on index cards so when the time came to blog, they already had their thoughts down on paper.
Students reflecting on snowflake activities prior to blogging.
We also reviewed some internet etiquette. I think they did a great job for the most part on reflecting on their experience and sharing it with their classmates on Edmodo. Here are a few samples.
Jalen S: What are the points of view?The neighbor was excited because he knew nobody had ever taken a picture at a snowflakes before. I wondered- How can you cut straight lines?
Kameron: So the snowflakes have 6 sides. I got a dictionary for snowflakes and found out what it has.It snowed on Wednesday and I felt excited. What does it look like in real life?
Abi: Snowflake Bentley is open-minded.He thinks that snowflakes were cool.When I had to create a snowflake it was difficult.
By the way…I think I made it snow in Albany, GA! We actually saw a dusting of snow on January 29 which was one of the weeks we were doing our snow instruction.