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Why is snow white?
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DISCUSS:

Why do you think snow is white?

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Overview
Grade K-5
Topic Current Events And Trending Topics
Focus Light, Materials, & Color
Print
Activity Prep

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

Number of students:
Scissors
30 scissors
White Glue
15 bottles
Paper Plates
45 plates
Wax Paper
1 roll
Snowflake Maker printout Print 30 copies
Prep Instructions

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.

Prepare the Wax Paper

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.

Prepare the Glue (Optional)

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:

glue

Teacher Tips

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!

Display Student Work (Optional)

If you'd like to display these snowflakes in your classroom, you can use a hole punch and string to hang them!

Overview
Grade K-5
Topic Current Events And Trending Topics
Focus Light, Materials, & Color