My children are captivated by snow! So, to explore our natural affection, we are learning about mysteries of fascinating snowflakes!
First, we observe, then we read ...
"The Secret Life of a Snowflake" book (buy here) is truly an amazing source to learn about snowflakes. The book tells a beautiful full-color story about a journey of a single snowflake: from its creation in the clouds, to its brief and sparkling appearance on a child’s mitten. The story is told by a physicist, featuring his brilliant photographs of real snowflakes. He explains how snowflakes are forming, water evaporating, clouds developing, ice crystals growing ... all the elements of the weather that add up, flake by flake, to the white landscape of winter.
The point of relativity is so important for children: holding an actual penny, helped Adrian understand the various sizes snowflakes can grow to.
Extraordinary photographs of real snowflakes are truly amazing!
Details about why snowflakes always have six branches and why they vary in size really sparked children's interest.
Some elementary science, such as water cycle and crystallization process explains why no two snowflakes are ever alike.
The book also offers a craft project: how to make paper snowflakes.
I made two paper snowflakes, and Julia was inspired to color in her snowflake to resemble the one in the book after being so impressed by the brilliance of mesmerizing crystals lit up with colored light.
Adrian colored in his snowflake.
Children then painted their snowflakes with glitter, and I laminated their work.
I am sure we all heard the phrase "no two snowflakes are alike". Well, this discovery was made in a small rural town of Vermont by W. A. Bentley (1865-1931). A self-educated farmer, Bentley attracted world attention with his pioneering work in the area of photomicrography, most notably his extensive work with snowflakes. By adapting a microscope to a bellows camera, and years of trial and error, he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in 1885.
"For almost a century, W. A. Bentley caught and photographed thousands of snowflakes in his workshop in Vermont, and made available to scientists and art instructors samples of his remarkable work. His painstakingly prepared images were remarkable revelations of nature's diversity in uniformity: no two snowflakes are exactly alike, but all are based on a common hexagon."
In 1931, the American Meteorological Society gathered the best of Bentley's pictures of snowflakes and had them published. "Snowflakes in Photographs" book (buy here) includes over 850 royalty-free, black-and-white snowflake photographs.
These images of real snowflakes are so appealing, revealing the intricacy and beauty of design in the natural world.
To know more about a photographer, we read "Snowflake Bentley" book (buy here), which tells a story about a small boy in Vermont, who saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful.
"Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied." -- Wilson Bentley (1865-1931)
Children then decided to make more snowflakes.
Julia helped Adrian to roll the pieces of paper on a pen to give it a curl.
Adrian loved painting the snowflake's branches with glitter.
Adrian's snowflake is done!
Coincidentally, Julia picked up a book from her school library about snowflakes before even knowing that I had prepared a snowflake study! She enjoyed reading "Snowflakes Fall" (buy here) to Adrian, cuddling up. The author poignantly compares snowflakes to children "No two the same - All beautiful" and the vocabulary was just right for her reading level.
Children really enjoyed exploring the nature’s most magical phenomena
And deciphering the miracle of a snowflake!
Are your children fascinated by snowflakes?