2.04.2011

Snowflake Bentley

 Today we are having a Texas snow day!  As you can see, it's more of a slightly icy day, but any weather this cold is confusing for poor, unsuspecting cowboys.

If you are cooped up indoors with kiddos to occupy, spend some time learning about Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley.
Snowflake Bentley was a snowflake enthusiast from Jericho, Vermont.  Fascinated by snowflakes as a child, Bentley convinced his parents to save up for a special microscope-camera.  Each year, he carefully collected snowflakes to photograph using his unique camera.

Get students interested in Bentley's work by sharing Jacqueline Briggs Martin's story Snowflake Bentley. Snowflake Bentley won the 1999 Caldecott Award for its illustrations by Mary Azarian.  Find curriculum connections for the story when you visit Briggs Martin's site.

After reading the biography which includes a few of Bentley's snowflake photographs, explore so many more at SnowflakeBentley.com.  You may be surprised to learn that students (especially those in warm climates) don't realize that real snowflakes are even more detailed and beautiful than the paper ones we make in class.  If your little learners can't get enough, visit Caltech's Snow Crystals site to see more snowflakes, watch snow flakes form, perform snow activities and experiments, and find out if it's true that every snowflake is unique.

When it's time to take a break from reading, let students create their own snowflakes with this recycling-craft tutorial from Alphamom.  Then click back over to SnowflakeBentley.com to play a snowy version of memory.

Images from SnowflakeBentley.com, Jacquline Briggs Martin, and Alphamom.

2 comments:

Terry M Scott (AKA Terry Mann) said...

Nate likes the berry basket snowflake idea, wants to try it soon.

librarianism said...

I can't wait to hear how it goes, Terry and Nathan!