The Story of Snow: Book Review for First Grade

I have a totally excellent science book for you today that's all about snow. I read it to my class yesterday and you could have heard a pin drop. They were VERY engaged.

Cool Fact: Did you know that each snowflake is made up of thousands of snow crystals?


Title: The Story of Snow. The Science of Winter's Wonder
Author: Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson, Ph.D.
Publishing: 2009, Chronicle Books, LLC.
Suitable for Ages: 6 to adult
Theme/Topic: Snow, Non-Fiction

Opening: "Our story starts on a winter day, high up in the sky, in a cloud that is very, very cold."

Synopsis (taken from book flap): "How do snow crystals form? What shapes can they take? Are no two snow crystals alike? These questions and more are answered inside this exploration of the science of snow, featuring photos of real snow crystals in all their beautiful diversity. Perfect for reading on winter days, this book by a nature photographer and a snow scientist will inspire wonder and curiosity about the marvels of snow."

Why I Like It: There are lots of reasons to love this book, but for me it's the fabulous photos of magnified snow crystals and the accompanying, easy-to-understand, descriptions of each type of crystal. My kids were very intrigued when they learned that snow crystals can have bumps, they can be twins, and they are rarely perfect (kind of like people:).  It also explains, with accompanying illustrations, how snow is formed (spoiler alert: one teeny tiny, invisible-to-the-naked-eye, speck!)

Links to Resources:
1. A "snowflake watching" video by physicist Ken Libbrechton.
2. In a post I wrote last year, you can find another snow video, glitter snow playdough, Borax snow crystals we created, and a fun snowman addition booklet we made.
3. You could try your hand at crayon resist snowflakes. We made these yesterday. Some worked well and some not-so-well, so be sure to read my directions.

Crayon resist snowflakes. Easy art for first grade. GradeONEderful.com

Crayon resist snowflakes. Easy art for first grade. GradeONEderful.com

Crayon resist snowflakes. Easy art for first grade. GradeONEderful.com

Directions:
1. Pre-cut paper into squares (we used plain white paper, but watercolour paper might be better).
2. Pre-draw 6 pencil lines (the arms of the snow crystals)
3. Use a white crayon to make your snow crystal design: Be sure to press hard and make the lines as thick as possible. This is where some of ours missed the mark. We started out by using gray crayon so it would be easier to see the designs, but we found that the gray didn't snow up as well.
4. Paint a wash over the crayon crystals. We used slightly watered down liquid water colours, which I LOVED! But it would work fine with pan paints, too.

If you'd like to read more great book reviews, be sure to check out Susanna's weekly series, Perfect Picture Book Friday!

P.S. If you're a clipart fan be sure to pop over to GO Designs. I make all sorts of cute clipart AND write tutorials for beginner bloggers. See you there!

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A book review of The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder. This is a fabulous book for primary kids and older. By GradeONEderful.com

11 comments

  1. An important book for curious kids who love snowflakes. Great activities.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia:) I was very happy to see how "into it" they were!

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  2. I love books about the snow...and this looks like a really good one, Barbara. And I LOVE your activities and resource links! This is perfect because we have lots of snow on the ground outside and my grandson is visiting today. ;)

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    1. A grandson visit! I'm jealous😊 Have fun, Vivian!

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  3. We've had more snow this year than we've had in over 30 years. I bet the kids would find this fascinating.

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    1. Lucky you? Or maybe not:). We haven't had much but Vancouver had a record dump!

      If you can get a hold of the book I'm pretty sure your class will enjoy it.

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  4. oooh! I like your crayon-resist snowflakes!

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    1. Thank you, Sue. The ones that worked out are very pretty.

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  5. Thanks for the great review. I just picked this up from the library today. It's a great one!

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    1. You're welcome, Janice! I'm glad you like the book as much as I do.

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  6. I think I need this book now! I can see why you like it. The snowflake designs are beautiful!

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