Objective: The children will learn about snow, how it forms, and how it melts.‹ Return to Theme
Note: This lesson is designed based on real snow being available. If real snow is not available, perform the activity using finely chopped ice; it will be similar to the consistency of snow. You can make pretend snow for the children to make a picture with (see Explore, Extend, & Integrate).
Any type of water that forms in the atmosphere and drops to the Earth is called precipitation. Precipitation forms in clouds. Rain, hail, sleet, and snow are forms of precipitation that fall from the sky. Precipitation comes from water drops in the clouds that become heavy enough to fall back to Earth. Rain that falls from clouds and freezes before hitting the Earth is called sleet. Hail comes from very cold water droplets that freeze as soon as they touch dust or dirt in the air. Cold storm clouds blow the frozen droplets into the upper part of the cloud. Frozen droplets attach to each other, and then they fall to the Earth as hail. Snow is precipitation that falls in the form of ice crystals.
Snow is soft, individually frozen ice crystals that form in clouds. In order for snow to fall to the ground, the temperature must be cold in the clouds as well as on the ground. When the temperature drops below freezing, tiny water droplets stick to small bits of dust that have been carried up into the atmosphere by the wind. The water droplets and the dust stick together and form ice crystals. Ice crystals stick together in clusters to form snowflakes. As snowflakes grow, they become heavier and fall to the ground. Each snowflake is made of as many as 200 ice crystals. Every snowflake has six sides but each snowflake is different. Snow falls only in areas where the temperature is cold enough for snow to form, so it does not snow in all parts of the United States.
Be sure to use finely chopped ice, like you would get from a blender. The chopped ice will have a consistency similar to snow.
These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.
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There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.