Snow Journals

Grade Levels: 3 - 5

Objectives

  • Students will observe the natural world and come to conclusions about those observations.

Materials

  • Notebook, pen
  • Types of Snow handout
  • Place to observe snowfall
  • Thermometer
  • Cup measure
  • Ruler
  • Scale

Procedures

  1. Students will organize an observation journal.
  2. They can make the following types of observations:
    1. Date, time, and amount of snow fall;
    2. Temperature of air and snow pack;
    3. Kinds of snow crystals observed (review Types of Snow handout and Viewing Snowflakes Lesson);
    4. Weight of unit of snow. (Using a cup measuring scoop, gather enough snow to fill the container (DO NOT COMPACT SNOW). Use a straight edge (like a ruler or butter knife) to level snow to top of container and weigh it on a postage scale. The idea is to keep the unit volume of snow being measured consistent each time. You'll find that the higher the weight, the higher the water content.)
  3. After students have done a few journal entries ask them to answer the following questions:
    1. Is there a relationship between the type of crystals observed and the weight (water content) of the snow?
    2. How does the air temperature affect crystal formation?
    3. What happens to snow flakes on the ground over night and after several days? Do they change shape?

    Did you know?
    The most snow in one season occurred during 1998–1999 when 1,140 inches of snow fell on Mount Baker, Wash. That's a whopping 95 feet of snow! For more records like this one, see: Greatest Snowfalls.

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