With winter storms comes great opportunity to examine and think critically about the wonder that is snow! What a better place to do this than within our nature journals? Snow is a pretty general term used for white, frozen precipitation that flurries from the clouds, but it can come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and textures! In the perfect conditions, snowflakes can be up to two inches long!
What you should know about snow:
3. Although all snowflakes follow the same general formation structure, no two snowflakes are identical… ever!
So, how can we examine snowflakes in our journals? The first think you can do, and this can be with ice or snow, is go out and find areas where there is evidence of frozen moisture. Try looking in a variety of different places and then record, either by sketching or writing down observations, some of the similarities and differences you are noticing between the formation/accumulation of ice/snow. This year, we haven’t had too much snow accumulation, but ice tends to pop up in some really cool places and can look very different depending on where it is! For instance, below is ice on a pond, ice on a leaf and ice that has formed in the mud (mud ice is called needle ice and it is my favorite kind of ice to examine due to its awesome hexagonal, needle-like pillars).
If it is actively snowing outside, you can actually “catch” snowflakes and examine them up close to see what kind of shapes they form! All you need to do this is a black piece of paper, a small space in a freezer for the paper, a magnifying glass and, of course, your nature journal!
Put the black construction paper in the freezer for at least a couple of hours so it is nice and cold! Then, bring the construction paper outside with you while it is snowing and “catch” some of the snowflakes on the construction paper. Use a magnifying glass to examine the different shapes and try to notice the hexagonal structure! Next, sketch what you are seeing in your nature journal! This activity was taken from WeatherWizKids.com and is a great place to explore other awesome, weather-related activities!
Do you have any questions you want to write in your journal? How long can the snowflakes stay on the paper before they melt? Are all of the snowflakes the same size? Have a great time exploring snow and enjoy the upcoming winter weather!
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