Sunday, 2 February 2014

Our Snowflake Inquiry Further Learning!

I showed the students the book called “Snowflakes” by: Kenneth Libbrecht.  It is a collection of magnified snowflake pictures taken in various coloured backgrounds.  The students were captivated by the beauty that they saw in each picture.  They “looked closely” and were able to see just how unique each snowflake was.  As a learning extension, the students chose a snowflake from the book to sketch, paying close attention to the number of lines, type of pattern, and shape of their chosen snowflake.

The students remain very intrigued by snowflakes.  They continue to wonder what makes them look like stars?  Why they have six points?  And how do they get their patterns?  To help us explore our wonder questions more deeply, we decided to read the book “The Story of Snow” by: Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson, Ph.D.  The students learned many new things about snowflakes.

“Snow comes out of clouds.” G.M.

“It is so cold up there in the clouds that they form arms, six of them.” A.P.

“First they start as a hexagon, and then is starts to grow arms of the shape to turn into a snowflake.” B.S.

“Snowflakes start small and get bigger.” R.W.

“It gets bigger because the points keep growing.” C.D.

“Frozen water and dirt makes different patterns to make snowflakes.” E.S.

“What two things tell us what snowflakes look like?” Mrs. Ralph

“How cold it is and how wet the cloud is.” H.S. and B.S.

“Some snowflakes are called plate snowflakes.” A.M.

“There are column snowflakes that are shaped like a hexagon.” P.I.

“Do we ever see column snowflakes more than once?” E.S.

“On my car window, I saw a plate snowflake.” C.D.

“Snowflakes are not the same (pointing to a snowflake in the book), the arms are different sizes.” G.M.

“There are column snowflakes with a hexagonal shape.” E.S.

“Some look like a star.” C.M.

“There are some that look like a fern.” R.W.

“Some snowflakes have twelve sides.” E.H.

“The shape inside of a snowflake is a hexagon.” G.B.

“They fall from the sky and are made of ice.” D.C.

“Why does the book refer to snowflakes as crystals?” Mrs. Ralph

“Because they are made of ice and have six sides.” W.E.

Our snowflake inquiry continues!  More observations, explorations, and investigations to come!


  1. Very cool...we are in the same type of inquiry...did the students use GREY pastels for drawing their snowflake before painting the background colour?

    1. Hi Christina, yes the students used oil pastels (white or grey) first and then they applied the water colour paints. The technique is called water colour resist.

  2. Thank you for sharing your students' projects! I am homeschooling my kids this year and would love to do this with them!