Snowflake, Snowflake

With a few simple materials, students can improve their fine motor skills and make beautiful snowflakes experimenting with lines, positive and negative space, and the concept of hot and cool colors.

  • 1.

    In a large group, have students brainstorm what they know about snowflakes (they are frozen water, no two look alike, etc.).

  • 2.

    Explain how drawings of snowflakes are usually composed of different types of lines. Ask students to name some of the types of lines they know (short, long, curved, straight, thick, narrow, etc.) Challenge students to draw as many types of lines as they can in two minutes on a scrap piece of paper. Have students share their ideas for lines in small groups.

  • 3.

    Hand each student a plastic bowl or small plate (they can be recycled) and a set of Crayola® Dry-Erase markers. Explain how colors can be grouped in many different ways (primary or secondary, complimentary, hot or cool). Ask students what group of colors they think would be good for making snowflakes. They should answer cool.

  • 4.

    Let students color the entire inside of the plate or bowl with cool colors using the dry-erase markers. Talk about how you are creating a negative space that will be the back or their snowflake.

  • 5.

    Provide students with cotton swabs to erase lines on their plates or bowls to create the positive space element of their snowflakes. If they make mistakes, they can color in the area and start again. Depending on the age of your students and background knowledge, you can challenge students to create snowflakes dividing the plate into different fractions, using only certain types or number of lines, having no two snowflakes in the class looks alike, etc.

  • 6.

    When their drawings are complete, cut away sections of the plastic bowl or plate’s rim to obtain a fancy edge.

  • 7.

    Display the snowstorm of snowflakes on your classroom door or bulletin board.

Standards

  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.
  • MATH: Represent and interpret data.
  • MATH: Develop understanding of fractions as numbers.
  • SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.
  • VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.
  • VA: Students demonstrate an understanding that art communicates about and helps viewers understand the natural and constructed world.

Adaptations

  • Challenge students to create 100 different snowflakes for the 100th day of school.
  • Make virtual snowflakes on a computer program like Barkley Interactive’s Make-a-Flake at www.snowflakes.barkleyus.com .
  • Share a variety of books on snow such as “Snow” by Uri Shulevitz, “Snow” by P.D. Eastman, “Snow” by Cynthia Rylant, etc. Compare and contrast the stories and illustrations to each other. Have student chose their favorite Snow story and explain why.