Well we certainly picked the perfect week to be working on a snow-themed Five in a Row! Sunday brought the biggest storm yet of 2014 (I know, I know, we were only 5 days into the year, but it certainly rivaled the ice storm the week before Christmas!).

Our area was hit with a polar vortex and MAN was it cold! -40 Celsius is normal for some parts of Canada, but for central Ontario, that’s downright frigid.

Five in a Row Winter Study : Snowflake Bentley

Since we were cooped up most of the week we had plenty of opportunity to get our school work back on track and spend lots of time working through Snowflake Bentley.

This is a story about a man who was fascinated with snowflakes and wanted to capture their intricate beauty for his friends to see. He examined them under a microscope and tried drawing them, but they always  melted before he could finish. Finally he was able to get a camera with a microscopic lens which allowed him to capture in photographs the awesome wonder that is the snowflake.

Wilson Bentley snowflakes

His images are jaw-droppingly beautiful and much of the detail is captured – pretty amazing considering it was the late 1800s! There has to be no doubt in a person’s mind that there is a Masterful Creator at work here.

Science

Since we’re already on the topic of a creator and masterful design, did you know that the molecules of water, when forming a snowflake, literally know EXACTLY where to fall into place?

“Water molecules in the solid state, such as in ice and snow, form weak bonds (called hydrogen bonds) with one another. These ordered arrangements result in the symmetrical, hexagonal shape of the snowflake. During crystallization, the water molecules align themselves to maximize attractive forces and minimize repulsive forces. Consequently, water molecules arrange themselves in predetermined spaces and in a specific arrangement.”

They don’t just randomly become a snowflake, they follow a very specific pattern for each molecule. Amazing or what?! You can read more about how snowflakes are formed.

I tried to make a crystalized water molecule for the kids out of zoobs. Not quite accurate, but they got the picture :D

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  • And our favourite, making it snow with boiling water! It’s a pretty cool effect!

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If you’re interested in the WHY of it, here’s a great link that explains why hot water evaporates so quickly. Just be careful if you ever try this to throw the boiling water WITH and not INTO the wind.

  • We made snow icecream! Delicious, and fun! (But stay tuned next week as we find out if we should really eat snow ;D)

snow icecream

There are heaps more ideas for science fun with snow, since it isn’t going anywhere any time soon I’m hoping we can do some more of these over the coming weeks.

Math

We measured temperatures over the first freezing days – we went from -40 Celsius to -10 (that’s about 14 F) and did some math to determine how much it was rising each day.

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We also determined how long it would take an egg to freeze in -30 C temps – 20 minutes!

Each week I try to involve the kids in at least one baking endeavor to practice measurement.

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This week they helped make snowflake graham crackers and marshmallows.

Keekers had fun with lots of kindergarten winter printable pack math sheets.

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We downloaded a couple free ones from Teachers Pay Teachers as well, but here are some of the other ones we used:

Snow & Ice from 2 Teaching Mommies

Winter Pre K/K Pack from This Reading Mama

Literature

snow books

Lots of reading! Our favourite snow books to go along with Snowflake Bentley are:

Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury

Perfect Snow

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow 

Sadie and the Snowman (read on Youtube!)

We played a game to match the number of syllables in a picture.

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We used the Winter Word Bump game from This Reading Mama to practice spelling.

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emergent readerKeekers also worked on an emergent reader from the Winter Pack from This Reading Mama. There are 3 different options depending on abilities.

Art

cutting snowflakesWe learned how to cut a snowflake.

Our last day of the week we usually do some art projects, but we only had time for one this week! So we did oil pastel and watercolour resist snowflake paintings. They tried copying some of the designs and patterns from the book. I love how they turned out!

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Just for fun

We soaked a clean diaper in water and opened it up to take out the gel (aka super-absorbent polymer). It feels cool to the touch and kind of looks a bit like snow :0).

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For a  fantastic end to an insane weather week – we spent a good chunk of the day outside making snow art (thanks Home School Innovation for the snow ideas!) and target practice with dyed water and water guns, then went tobogganing.

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sledding

 Finish the day off with homemade snowflake marshmallows and graham cracker s’mores. Delish!

winter s'mores

Candace posted a whole bunch more winter study ideas that we are hoping to do over the next little while.

You can also check out my Winter Pinterest board for more!

http://www.pinterest.com/ServingFromHome/winter/

Follow Lauren ServingFromHome’s board Winter on Pinterest.

See you next time for another FIAR Winter study!

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