Grade: Pre-School
Subject: Literature

#3975. Snow flake Bentley

Literature, level: Pre-School
Posted Wed Apr 11 21:36:35 PDT 2007 by Raymond Orsua (
University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene USA
Materials Required: • Snowflake Bentley, by Martin, Jacqueline.
Activity Time: 40 minutes
Concepts Taught: Introduction to shapes using the story

Objectives and purpose:
• Create their own snowflakes by correctly cutting out squares, circles, and triangles from a sheet of paper.
• They will learn and identify two new shapes, diamond and teardrop.
• Students will be able to properly use a shape formula and cut out the proper amount of shapes.
• Compare and contrast others snowflakes.

Anticipatory set:
Show slides/overheads of snowflakes found on the website listed above. Ask the students the following questions, and any others you may think of.
1. Did you think snowflakes looked like these pictures?
2. Have ever seen a snowflake?
3. How do you think snowflakes are formed?
4. Do any two snowflakes look alike?
5. What shapes are found in the design of snowflakes?
6. Continue with similar questions to gain students interest.

You will be teaching the students two new shapes, diamonds and teardrops.
1. Review the basic shapes (squares, circles, triangles, etc.)
a. Teach diamonds and teardrops.
1. Draw the shapes on the board.
2. Demonstrate how they can make basic shapes and modify them to create the new shapes.
3. Show how they are similar to circles, squares, and triangles.
4. Have the students practice drawing the shapes.
Check for Understanding
• Check individual child's work to confirm they can recognize and make the new two shapes.

2. Read Snowflake Bentley.
a. After reading the book, discuss the snowflakes in the book.
b. Ask the following questions:
1. How is each snowflake different from each other?
2. Did you see any snowflakes with our shapes in them?
3. What shapes did you see?
4. Do you think you could make a snowflake?

Each student will each receive one sheet of paper. They will be required to create a snowflake using one of three formulas; these formulas will be put on the board;
1. 1 teardrop, 2 diamond, 3 squares,
2. 2 teardrops, 3 diamonds, 1 circle
3. 3 teardrops, 1 diamond, 2 Triangle
Demonstrate how to fold their paper for snowflakes.
1. Fold the paper in half to form a triangle
2. Fold it in half again to form a smaller triangle
3. Fold it in half again to form a smaller triangle
4. Fold it in half again to form a smaller triangle
Once they have successfully folded their paper have them choose which formula they want and start cutting out the shapes. Demonstrate on your own paper how to cut out the shapes.
Check for Understanding
• Check to see if each student has correctly folded the paper.
• Ask which formula they have chosen and how they want to proceed (drawing the shapes first or just cutting them out)

Guided Practices
Walk around the classroom watching the progress of each student. When students are finishing up their snowflakes have them group up in twos.
• These groups will compare and contrast each others snowflakes.
• They will talk about and write down two differences and two similarities.
• Once a few groups have finished comparing and contrasting each others work have them compare and contrast their work to that of another group.
1) Come together as a group and talk about snowflakes.
2) As a group you will form a Venn diagram displaying the differences and similarities.
3) The teacher will draw and fill in the diagram on the board.
4) Call on students to share what they found out about the snowflakes.
5) Write down the differences and similarities the students discussed with each other.

A few closing questions may follow the line of.
1. Were there are any identical snowflakes?
2. How could we form snowflakes where each one is different and unique, even though we all used similar formulas?
3. Ask about real snowflakes and how amazingly different they are.

Extended Activity
If it is snowing outside get dark sheets of construction paper and students can catch and examine real snowflakes outside, and see for themselves how different they can be.

If students have troubles with following the formulas you can allow them to create their own design out of any shapes. If they do have some grasp of the shapes but just the amount of them, allow them to create snowflakes with as many shapes as they want, try and have them cut out at least one of the new shapes.

If you have students who have difficulty with the reading have them sit close to you while you read. You also could have these students help summarize the chapters after you have read them to keep them focused on the book. They also can be very helpful pointing out shapes to the rest of the students.