Mrs. Kreul's Second Grade Class
Richards Elementary School
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Snowflake Bentley


Students in 2K would like to share what they have learned about an amazing man named Wilson Bentley, a self-taught scientist who became an expert in the study of snow and snowflakes.

We began our unit of study by reading the 1999 Caldecott Award winning book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. We learned that Wilson Bentley was the first person to ever photograph snowflakes by using a special camera which contained a microscope. Wilson Bentley thought that snowflakes were a very beautiful part of nature but felt that it was sad that no one had really seen a snowflake up close. He made it his life's work to study and photograph as many snowflakes as he could and that's how he got the name "Snowflake Bentley".

We worked on a variety of activities to integrate the theme of snow and snowflakes into reading, writing, science, and technology. Our activities included reading and discussing a variety of fiction and nonfiction books about snow, writing individual poems and stories about snow, writing a class counting book titled A Snow Counting Book, collecting a list of interesting facts about snow, going outside to measure snowfall and snow temperature, using Kidspiration to create a web to review and organize what we have learned about Snowflake Bentley after we read his biography, and, of course, playing in the snow!



  • American
    • born in Jericho, Vermont on Feb. 9, 1865
    • named Wilson Bentley and nicknamed "The Snowflake Man"
    • has a monument in his honor in his hometown of Jericho
  • Photographer
    • got a camera with microscope when he was a teenager
    • took the first photos of snowflakes ever made
  • Musician
    • started a city band with his brother and friends in Jericho
    • enjoying playing the piano and singing songs
  • Uncle
    • had nieces and nephews who lived next door to him
    • played games, sang songs, and told stories with the children
    • went maple sugaring every spring and had a sugaring off party
  • Farmer
    • had sugar maple trees on the farm
    • shared a farm with his brother
  • Scientist
    • studied and photographed snowflakes every winter
    • used a camera with a microscope to take pictures of snowflakes
    • was patient and never gave up, even when his experiments didn't work and people thought he was a little strange
  • Author
    • published a famous book with his photographs
    • honored when his book was used by colleges and universities to study snowflakes
  • Lifelong Learner
    • learned by reading encyclopedias and taught by his mother
    • studied snowflakes his whole life all year long, not just in the wintertime

Writing Projects

by Zoe and Mrs. Radcliffe 

To make a snow angel, first you must dress warm. You need to wear snowpants, jacket, hat, gloves, and boots. Then you go outside and look for a good spot. Then you lay down and move your arms and legs at the same time. You move them like wings, like a bird. Then you're done! Just get up and walk away and look at your angel.

 by Danny

1 snowflake falls on my tongue 
2 little snowflakes melt on the ground
3 snowflakes fall on my jacket
4 little snowflakes fall on my boots
5 snowflakes on my window 
6 little snowflakes on my hat
7 snowflakes blow away
8 little snowflakes going round and round 
9 weird snowflakes going round my nose 
10 funny snowflakes landing on my hand

by Charlie

Snow piles by the road.
No sound.
Only one snowflake is like another.
Winter means snow.
Falling gently from the sky.
Little flakes falling down.
A lot of snowflakes fall at once.
Kicking the snow in the air.
Everywhere falling in the air.

 by Becca 

Snowflakes falling from the sky.
Now I play in the snow.
On the snow are sparkles. 
Wow - the pictures of snow. 
Falling in the sky it comes. 
Lots and lots of snow.
And we drink hot cocoa.
Kinds of snow are falling.
Everyone having lots of fun. 
So now we play in the snow.



 Snow Facts

All snowflakes are different because they are made up of snow crystals that combine in different ways.

Every snowflake began as a speck that is much too tiny to be seen by humans.

Some snowflakes are wet and sticky while others are light, dry, and fluffy.

It is never too cold to snow.

Every snowflake has 6 sides.

Snowflakes begin inside clouds.

When the temperature goes down, there is less water vapor in the air so it is harder for snowflakes to form.

There are six main snow crystal shapes - plate, stellar, column, needle, spatial dendrite, capped column - and each snowflake is made up of two of more of these snowflake building blocks.

A snowflake is made up of one or many hundreds of crystals of ice.

Scientists have been studying snowflakes for more than 400 years.

Snow is good for all living things.

Visit our web site for more Snowflake Bentley activities!


From The 2K Snow Counting Book


Ten black snowmobiles being ridden on the snow

Sixteen ice skates zipping on the ice

Two red cozy, warm gloves getting put on a friendly girl

Eleven ski goggles ready to go down the slope


Learning Standards

Reading - Demonstrates competence in general skills and strategies for reading a variety of literary texts. Demonstrates competence in general skills and strategies for reading a variety of informational texts.

Writing - Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process. Demonstrates competence in the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of writing.

Science - Understands the basic features of the Earth. Knows that the Earthıs water goes through repeated patterns of change that affect our daily weather.

Technology (NETS) - Uses technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity. Uses telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.

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