Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Snowflakes Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Snowflakes, and supports the standard of understanding how snowflakes are formed as part of Earth’s weather systems. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of creative projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display images of a snowflake and ice, like these:

 

 

 

 

 

Ask students: 

  • What do you notice about ice?
  • How does ice compare to a snowflake?  

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description below the Movie player.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “Flora and Fauna” or “Personalities”. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY
Students synthesize their ideas and express them through one or more of the following creative projects. They can work individually or collaborate.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a mini-documentary from the point of view of a snowflake. Describe your journey from forming in a cloud to falling to the earth. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map comparing and contrasting snowflakes formed in humid and dry weather. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme expressing the uniqueness of snowflakes.

Step 4: REFLECT & ASSESS 

Reflect: After sharing creative projects with each other, students reflect on what they’ve learned about snowflakes. Prompt them by asking questions such as: 

  • How would you describe the molecular structure of a snowflake?
  • In what ways are all snowflakes the same? In what ways are they different?
  • What determines the shape of a snowflake?

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Snowflakes Challenge

Step 5: Extend Learning

Examine and analyze images of snowflakes in this  Primary Source Activity.

Continue to build understanding around Earth’s systems with BrainPOP’s Weather topics, games, and teacher resources. 

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