Why do you think snow is white?
In this mini-lesson, students see how the shape of snowflakes causes them to look like the color of light that is shining on them. In the activity, Wax Paper Snowflake, students create a decorative snowflake and investigate how to make something transparent look white.Preview activity
|Snowflake Maker printout||Print 30 copies|
Each student will make their own Wax Paper Snowflake, but will need a partner to help with a few steps. Homeschool students can work on their own, but will need a partner to help with a few steps.
Snowflakes must dry overnight before students can hang them up or take them home, so plan accordingly.
For each student, tear off two sheets of wax paper, each about 8 inches wide. Each student will need one sheet to experiment with and a second sheet on which to make their snowflake. Enthusiastic experimenters may need additional wax paper for making their wax paper snow.
Kindergarteners may have difficulty cutting wax paper into tiny pieces. If you teach Kindergarten, we suggest you pre-cut wax paper “snow” by following the directions shown in Step 8.
Students can share bottles of glue or you can put glue into small dishes and let students use a Q-tip for “painting” the glue onto snowflakes. When students are squeezing glue from a bottle, they usually get more than enough glue on their snowflake printout. But if they are using Q-tips, you may need to encourage them to put on enough glue. Encourage students to use lots of glue. Here's how much we used:
Here’s a tip that is not shown in the activity step-by-step video: To make sure all the bits of paper are making contact with the glue, students can use a paper plate to push gently down on the snowflake after they sprinkle the wax paper bits.
Some classes have found that their snowflakes don’t peel off easily or break apart when they try to peel them. If that happens, we recommend you have students cut out their snowflakes rather than peeling them. The snowflakes will still look festive!
If you'd like to display these snowflakes in your classroom, you can use a hole punch and string to hang them!
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