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By Megan Baker and Lisa Olson. E.FE.02.14 Describe the properties (hard, visible, freezing, ice) of water as a solid (ice, snow, iceberg, sleet, hail). Water as a Solid Lesson Plan. Engage. Read: Snowflake Bentley Snowflake Observations *weather permitting*

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By Megan Baker and Lisa OlsonE.FE.02.14Describe the properties (hard, visible, freezing, ice) of water as a solid (ice, snow, iceberg, sleet, hail).

Water as a Solid Lesson Plan



Read: Snowflake Bentley

Snowflake Observations

*weather permitting*

Students catch and examine real snowflakes

with magnifying glasses. Students will draw

and write about what they see on their organizer.

If weather does not permit actual observations, students will look at examples of some different types of snowflakes in a power point.

(Student Power Point included in this presentation slides 4-11 )


Q’s: What do you notice about these snowflakes? What do they all have in common?

Answers: 6 sided, ice crystals, ornate.

Q’s: If you touched one would it be warm or cold? Would it melt on your finger tip?

Answers: They are cold, they would melt if we touch them.


Simple Prisms   A hexagonal prism is the most basic snow crystal geometry.Simpleprisms are usually so small they can barely be seen with the naked eye.


Stellar Plates

These common snowflakes are thin, plate-like crystals with six broad arms that form a star-like shape.


Stellar Dendrites

Dendritic means "tree-like", so stellar dendrites are plate-like snow crystals that have branches.These are fairly large crystals, that are easily seen with the naked eye.


Hexagonal columns often form with conical hollow regions in their ends, and such forms are called hollow columns.  These crystals are very small.

Hollow Columns




12 sided snowflakes
12-Sided Snowflakes

Sometimes capped columns form with a twist.The two end-plates are both six-branched crystals, where two crystals grow joined.


Activity #1

Compare and Contrast

Students examine and compare snow (crushed ice if snow is not available), ice and water.

Observations should include:

ice is solid water

solid water floats (icebergs)

ice is “white, clear or opaque”

water is a liquid

ice/snow is cold

snow/crushed ice is compactable

solid water is visible

Students will record their data on an organizer.


Activity #2:

Sink or Float

Students will conduct an experiment using

several household items, ice cubes and crushed ice to see if they sink or float.

Student observations should include:

ice cubes float

crushed ice floats

marbles, paperclips, erasers sink

Students will record their findings on an organizer.


Discuss with the class what they found.

Write their findings down on the board or overhead as a word splash. Define vocabulary together.

Ask the class a few questions:

In Michigan, what time of year do we get rain?

When do we get snow?

Why don’t we get snow in the summer?

What other kinds of precipitation do we get in the winter in Michigan?


Activity #3

Students will make Oobleckand decide whether they think it’s a solid or liquid using what they know about these states. Take a vote of which category your class thinks it fits into. Discuss.

Oobleckis cornstarch and water in a

2 to 1 ratio. Oobleckis a fun way for

children to explore the properties of

a substance (a “non-Newtonian fluid”)

that can exhibit the properties of

both a liquid and a solid.


Evaluations will be based on class participation, involvement in discussions, and their observations on their graphic organizers.

Snowflake Observation Sheet

Compare and Contrast Sheet

Sink and Float Sheet


Snow Flake Bentley by Jaqueline Briggs Martin

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2009)

Oobleckrecipe came from Ann Arbor Hands On Museum