I have developed a Snowflake unit to use with my third graders using the STREAM lens. These lessons will be done over a series of days when they visit my class. Since I enjoy having our students do STREAM projects in other Special Area classes, I asked our Media Center Teacher to share the story of “Snowflake Bentley” with students and they analyzed the story events with her. I also asked our Art Teacher about developing a Snowflake themed art project with our third graders so she will be doing this project in January with them. Here is a video of many highlights from the lessons!
In my lessons, the acronym STREAM stands for the following words:
The S stands for Science or Social Studies and Self Directed Learners.
The T stands for Technology and Thinkers.
The R stands for Reading, Research and Reflection.
The E stands for Engineering and Effective Communication.
The A stands for Art, Adaptability and Academic Risk Takers.
The M stands for Math, Movement and Music.
Science and Self Directed Learners:
Study the people who have been Snowflake researchers. Watch videos about them and be prepared to compare and contrast their work.
Discuss Snowflake Bentley in small groups using the discussion cards found at this Freebie on Snowflake Bentley! I love the resources found in this Paid Unit on Snowflake Bentley that could be used with your class!
Response: Create a graphic organizer comparing the work of two scientists who studied snowflakes. You could use a Venn Diagram or a Double Bubble Thinking Map.
Create a Bubble map to include adjectives that describe snowflakes!
In January, I will place a copy of Build a Snowman in our Google Classroom to have them creatively develop a snowman or snow-woman using their copy/paste skills inside of a great Google Slide Presentation found here then they will create a story about him or her and type it!
Read this Smithsonian article to learn about the categories of Snowflakes that exist!
Response: Create a Tree Map to categorize the types of Snowflakes that have been discovered.
Engineering and Effective Communication: – Become a designer of code which will guide characters from the “Frozen” movie to skate in the shape of various snowflakes. Try to categorize the type of snowflake shape that you program the character to skate! Use the Frozen Hour of Code tutorial!
In addition, my students loved using Winter Themed STEM Mats to create Winter Inventions using Legos!
Art and Adaptability: – Use paper and scissors to create a snowflake using these directions. See if you can categorize it using the categories in the Smithsonian article which are on your Tree Map.
Math, Music, Movement:
Students can conduct a Math investigation by throwing cotton ball “snowballs” or larger cotton snowballs like these that I found at Target. They can throw it a few times, measure how far the snowball traveled and record it on a sheet. They can create math word problems with their data and share them in a Flipgrid that the teacher would create then solve each others’ problems!. They could graph their results on a bar graph or other types of graphs too!
You can view my students’ Flipgrid responses on winter inventions by visiting this guest Flipgrid link.
They could discuss Symmetry in snowflakes and use pattern blocks to create symmetrical snowflake designs!
I really like this Movement lesson involving creative dance as if they are snowflakes falling and music!
There are so many fun snowflake themed lessons that are great to do in winter! I hope you will enjoy framing your thoughts about snowflakes using the STREAM lens!
Lindsay Petlak’s Scholastic Blog Post is full of awesome snowflake lesson ideas!
Another resource which I’d like to recommend is this Paid Resource from Teachers Pay Teachers for additional lessons to go with “Snowflake Bentley”.
I love to use Sphero robots in my lessons and really like this lesson on going through the engineering design process to have the Sphero act as a snowplow to move “snowballs” to a location in the class. I have modified this lesson a bit and am doing it with my 5th Graders using the larger cotton snowballs from Target and the Sphero Chariots!
I am excited to implement this Snowflake STREAM unit! I hope you enjoy it too! Please let me know your ideas!