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Use Snow to Your Advantage: Snow Day Learning!

There’s no day like a snow day…in the South that is! We have had a great time for about a week and a half with a large amount of snow where I live, yet we were teaching virtually. I knew this was a losing battle. I mean if I was a child, I definitely wouldn’t be doing schoolwork when record snowfall is happening outside. I gave the kids these options, and do you know what?! I actually had some children participate!!

Here is what I assigned them:

Snow Experiments and Creativity

Do this OR pick two of the following:

Build a snow creation that no one else will think of (especially not a snowman or woman). Add extra details to make it more interesting. Give it an interesting name.   You must use at least 2 snow tools to build your sculpture.  I showed them 2 snow sculpture videos in which they used tools.

What tools did you use? 

How did you use the tools? What did you build? Send me a picture. 

1.Measure the snow in it’s deepest part with a ruler. Use inches. Where did you measure it? How deep was it?

2.  Put a some snow in a jar or measuring cup. Mark a line to show how deep it was in the jar. Bring it inside and let it melt. Mark the new line. How did it change? Why do you think this happened?

3. Throw some crackers or breadcrumbs outside. Watch the birds. Feed them. How are they eating since the snow is so deep? What kind of birds do you see? What do you notice?

5. Do you have a thermometer? Take the temperature from your hands outside. Now put on mittens. Put the thermometer inside the mittens.  How did the mittens affect the temperature of your hands?

6. Get some containers with a small spout like water bottles and fill them with very cold water. Add food coloring. Make a beautiful picture in the snow by pouring your colored water out on the snow. Send me a picture.

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The actual results of my activitiesI had some students measure the snow in a jar and melt the snow in the microwave. Over a zoom we figured out the fractional amount of water that was created after the snow had melted. We discovered that one-fourth of the water remained from the melted snow.

I had students who took their technology device outside to build their snow sculpture so that the other kids could be involved in what they were doing. The sculpture changed several times as it didn’t work out like the child had planned. I also had one child build a snow fort as she turned a tunnel into a structure where her father buried her.

Another student excitedly exclaimed that he had a book about birds for the bird watching activity! (I reminded children they could go inside to do this one and get warm if they got cold in the snow.) This same child seemed to delight in waking his mother up from a nap to ask for food coloring of which they had none.

Lastly, I had a measurement competition going in which children found the depth of snow at their house. Now, I couldn’t tell you if they were being honest, but at least they were pulling out a ruler and thinking about measurement.

I hope you get a chance to experience some of these activities with your students virtually, too!

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