Mrs. Ahlbrecht's Second Grade
Robert Frost Elementary
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Snowflake Bentley

We read Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

The first time through we read the story part of the picture book. On another day, we read the nonfiction border story. During our computer lab time, we visited other Snowflake Bentley projects.

In math, we used pattern blocks to make symmetrical six-sided snowflakes. We used stencils to trace and color our snowflakes on a sheet of paper. After they were cut out, we displayed them on the bulletin board. Just like the snowflakes in nature, our snowflakes are all different and unique. No two are alike in our classroom.

In writing class, we were working on descriptive words and vivid language, so we wrote Cinquain Poetry. We wrote our poems in the classroom using dictionaries and a thesaurus to find new words. We went on the computers to type our poetry. We learned about using the keyboard and how to align and justify our work. It was fun choosing different fancy fonts and changing the colors.

Sparkle, designs
Sparkling, designing, icing
I desperately love snowflakes.

Pretty, rare
Falling, dropping, blowing
I really like them.
Sticky, fluffy
Frosting, icing, snowing
He loved the snow.

Snowflake Bentley

Caring, sharing

Helping, writing, trying

He loved studying snowflakes.

Wilson Bentley

Snowflake Bentley
Caring, loving
Working, playing, looking
He loved the snow.
Ice snow

Wilson Bentley

Nice, agreeable

Photographing, caring, working

He collected snowflake pictures.


We worked together in small groups to retell the important information. Using the acrostic poetry form, we shared our work with the class
No two are alike
Only fall in winter
Frosted berries
Lay gently on the ground
A snowstorm
Kindly falls
Easily breaks
Snow in Vermont was as common as dirt. (That means they weren't interested.)
Neat patterns appeared to be easy, but no two were alike.
Other people didn't care about Snowflakes like Willie did.
Willie saw a camera in a magazine with its own microscope. (He was excited.)
Flake by flake, he counted the snow.
Later he got the camera that he wanted.
After turning the first page of his book he walked home in a terrible blizzard.
Knitted hats kept Willie warm.
Everyone laughed at the idea of photographing snowflakes.

Beginning each morning he would work.
Everyone had fun.
No one thought snowflakes were as wonderful as Willie.
Terrible blizzards roamed threw the air as Willie worked in them.
Later his book was published.
Every day he worked like crazy.
Yet he was patient.

Some people said snow was as common as dirt in Vermont.

No one cared about snowflakes.

Other kids pelted snowballs at roosting crows while Snowflake Bentley studied snowflakes.

When he was 66, he published his first book called Snowflakes.

Father and mother bought a camera that was as big as a newborn calf and cost as much as his father’s herd of 10 cows.

Lots of people liked him after he published his book.

After walking home in a blizzard, he got pneumonia and died.

Kind and caring to people, although they all laughed at him.

Every snowflake was a special gift from the sky.

Bentley’s snowflakes were his gifts to the world.

Everybody laughed at the idea of photographing snowflakes.

No one knew the beauty of snowflakes like Bentley.

The neighbors laughed at him.

Laughter went on through the years.

Every snowflake either melted or broke before he knew how to photograph them.

Yucky! I can’t believe he tied grasshoppers to leaves and came back and photographed them covered with dew.

Our class did a snowflake sorting activity from Activities Integrating Math and Science. We worked in pairs of two to sort 24 snowflakes into groups. Every group did it their own way. One group sorted the snowflakes by seasons and holidays. They had nine different groups. The snowflakes that looked like flowers were called summer.

Another group named their groups by the way the snowflakes looked. They had titles like wood, bark, and branches. Here is the graph that shows the groupings we used. The group that divided them into two groups titled them "real" and "not real." Four and five groupings were used the most.
The snowflake drawings in this activity were made from Wilson Bentley's book about snowflakes. We checked out the real snowflakes falling outside very carefully after we did this activity. Some of us didn't believe they were all real snowflakes at first.

District Learning Standards


Patterns, Relations, and Fundamentals
· Describe and represent patterns that are continuous, growing and/or repeating
· Represent patterns geometrically and numerically
· Explain relationships present in a set of data
· Determine common attributes in a given group and identify those objects that do not belong

· Order events by time sequence

· Use objects to perform geometric transformations, including flips, turns and slides
· Identify lines of symmetry in a variety of shapes and figures

Language Arts

· use knowledge of sentence structure and punctuation when reading.
· compare plots, settings and characters presented by different authors in various texts.
· identify simple figurative language in text. explain major elements in text to form an understanding of stories and other materials.
· describe cause and effect relationships in various text.

· distinguish between complete and incomplete sentences.
· use correct grammar in a variety of sentence structures.
· use appropriate vocabulary and descriptive words in written work.
· use correct spelling of frequently used words in final copies.
· use the writing process to generate various forms of writing.

· model story structures or organizational patterns. (example: beginning, middle, end)
· condense, combine, and order new information in written work.
· examine personal work and the work of others for capitalization and punctuation.
· use technology to share writing with others.
· conference with others to revise and edit written work.
· use technology to share writing with others.
· write to accomplish different purposes. (example: share, inform, invite)
· use descriptive detail and a variety of sentence types
· write stories/narratives based on personal experiences or familiar persons, places, or objects.
· write to explain key concepts and relationships with other concepts in various subject areas.

· interact appropriately in formal and informal speaking situations with peers and adults.
· use visual aids in oral presentations.
· identify conditions which are beneficial to the listener. (example: tone of voice, being able to see the speaker)

· integrate technology into the daily instructional process and operation of the District
· become proficient in the use of technology
· develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning and collaboration

© Patricia Knox & Susan Silverman - Frosty Readers 2002 - All Rights Reserved