Teaching first grade students about Snowflakes is one of my favorite units to start of the year.
The topic of Snowflakes is naturally magical and exciting for students which makes it easily engaging for a science unit.
I use this opportunity to talk about the different stages of a snowflake life cycle and what they can look like.
This post is definitely for you if you're looking to spice up your winter science lessons and save some time by combining science, reading and writing for a fun and engaging Snowflake themed unit.
My first graders start by learning the basic facts about Snowflakes.
We start with this 6 minute video from Youtube called Snowflake Science.
This video is the perfect start to the unit and learn some really cool facts about snowflakes.
Just about everything at the beginning of our unit is done together as a whole group, and is what I call “guided practice” because I am guiding the class through most of it.
The students really love the “All About Snowflakes” activity on the left because they really enjoy getting to draw different kinds of snowflakes.
PS. If you want to save time, you can simply show the activity on a document camera and complete it together as a class. This is my go to trick for science and social studies since we very rarely have time for it.
More Facts about Snowflakes
Now, it's time for some more independent activities where students show what facts they have learned about snowflakes.
Cut and paste activities, like “Snowflake Life Cycle”, are perfect “end of the day” activities that first grade students can do on their own. It will give you as a teacher time to catch up on some one on one testing or help, or let's be honest, catch up on that stack of papers that have been sitting on your desk since last week.
If I want to save time… which is ALWAYS… I'll put these science themed activities in my writing station during guided reading time.
This works GREAT when it's a topic that we've already talked about as a class and something that the kids are really interested in.
Which makes this snowflake unit the PERFECT activities to use as independent writing station activities.
You can see three of my favorite snowflake independent activities to the right.
If you want to “beef up” any station activity, have students write about the topic on the back. You can have them write one sentence or you can require them to write four or five sentences using facts they have learned about snowflakes.
The same expectations can be set for the interactive journals that compare and contrast snow and sleet.
Snowflakes Facts Writing Activities
The best way to wrap up any first grade science unit is with a writing activity and this Snowflake unit is no different.
With an open ended prompt, you are able to meet the needs of all of your students. Just like station activities, the expectations you set for your students' writing will make sure that struggling students are not discouraged and also make sure that your more advanced writers are given a challenge.