January 4, 2008

Snowflake Bentley

As we resumed school a few days ago, we started studying this book. We love the story of Wilson Bentley, late 1800's photographer of snowflakes, around here! Last year I simply read the book a few times to the girls; this year we're delving in a little deeper. This year I downloaded a copy of this unit study from the Five In A Row website. I'll also be using some go-along material from the Homeschool Share site.

Today I had them copy the following (one of Bentley's quotes) into their composition books:

"Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated."

Then I let them cut out snowflakes. I had showed them how to do this last year when we read the book for the first time. Since then they have continued to cut snowflakes at least once a week. :) So after a little snipping here, and little clip, clip, clipping there...we had a blizzard of paper confetti to shovel away! I do believe it's one of their favorite things to do! But what can you expect from kids who've never experienced real, white, fluffy snow?

After they cut their flakes, they put them on their completed copywork page and colored around them using markers or oil pastels (probably our most favorite medium) to create a colorful snowflake design. They lifted their snowflake "stencils" and voila! a white negative design was left. How convenient for our study of a man who made photographic negatives of snowflakes!

This is M pictured below doing her work and then being silly with her post-colored snowflake. (If you look closely behind her, you'll see a sample of the new color of our living room. Matt painted 3 full walls and around all the trimmings in the room. On the one blank wall he surprised us by painting "Merry Christmas" on Christmas morning...silliness runs in the family!)

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