PRISM logo

Polar Radar for Ice Sheet Measurements

   
Curved ice line
Jagged line

Home>K-12 Resources>Snow and Ice Lessons

Jagged line
 


Snow and Ice: Lessons

K-3 4-6 Middle School High School

Appropriate for Grades K-3

Winter In Florida

This set of four links is designed to help young children who live in warm climates have fun in playing in virtual snow. Children in grades 1-2 may need help from a more sophisticated reader to read the directions. You can see the content of this lesson by clicking View in Frames or View in Text.


"Katy and the Big Snow" CyberGuide

One of the many wonderful literature guides available from the SCORE project, this one is designed for students in grades K-1. It provides a unit guide for this wonderful book with student activities, printable maps, and web sites to community helpers and appropriate weather links.


Supplemental Unit to Jan Brett's "The Mitten"

Four links with ideas of how to use "The Mitten" as a starting place for literacy activities for children in grades 1-2. You can see the content of this lesson by clicking View in Frames or View in Text.


Appropriate for Grades 4-6

Snow Melting Experiment

An experiment designed for students in grades 2-6. It can only be done if you have deep snow around your school. You may not need the snowshoes mentioned in the lesson if the snow is not terribly deep. This site provides the handouts and background material needed to conduct this experiment.

Standards: observation, measurement, inference
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle


Snow Density Experiment

This experiment allows upper elementary students to measure how much water is in the snow. This makes a particularly nice experiment if you can repeat the experiment each time it snows. Then students can see the difference in the density of different snowfalls.

Standards: measurement, graphing, communicating
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle


Winter Wonder: Snow

An information gathering lesson for students in grades 3-4, so they can learn a lot of facts about snow. It's a fun way to learn a lot about the "white stuff". To see the content, click on "View in Frames" or "View in Text". Younger students seem to do better in the Frames view.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle


Glacial Pressure

Elementary students use marshmallows as the basis for this hands-on experiment to help them better understand why glaciers move because of pressure. You may see an advertisement first. Click on link that reads "Go Directly to Your Link" to see the actual site.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


Learning to Take Scientific Notes

Uses an edible sediment core simulation to stimulate the interest of students in grades 4-6. Teaches data collection in a very fun way.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


Frozen In Time: Ice Cores

Uses a teacher prepared simulated ice core to visualize what an ice core looks like and how scientists visually study the cores. Students grades 4-6 can visually detect the seasonal layering of ice in the simulation. HINT: Each layer in the simulation must be completely frozen before adding another --takes several days to make good simulated ice cores.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


Snowstorm in A Can

Instructions for a really impressive teacher demonstration (probably a little too dangerous for the students to carry out), especially if you drink a large glass of water just before breathing into the dry ice mixture. The explanation is easy to follow.

Standards: observation, classification.
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle


Snow Treasure

Teacher activities hooked to the book "Snow Treasure," an account of the Holocaust in a small town in Norway near the Arctic Circle. This provides several multidisciplinary suggestions for extension activities for grade 4. Most of the activities are snow-related. To see the content, click on "View in Frames" or "View in Text".


Appropriate for Grades 5-9

Growing Your Own Snow Crystals

Definitely an experiment to be conducted under adult supervision, this is a simple and inexpensive way to make a snow chamber and then use dry ice (be sure that only the teacher handles the dry ice and that all safety precautions are observed) as a source of cold to precipitate snow crystals. Makes some gorgeous crystals.

Standards: observation, classification.
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

This set of six sites has been arranged into an information-gathering lesson appropriate for students in grades 4-9. You can see the content of this lesson by clicking View in Frames or View in Text.


Fluffy Snow to Glacier Ice

A fun activity for students in grades 6-8 allows a hands-on understanding of glacial ice and permeability. All handouts needed are provided with the unit or can be obtained by e-mailing the author.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


Salty Sea Ice or Not

An introduction to Polar sea ice for students in middle school, this experiment is easy to do with everyday materials. Designed by a teacher in the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic program.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


Avalanche

An activity from NOVA that complements their video/television program of the same name, This experiment is designed for students grades 5-9. You can download the activity sheets in PDF format or can view them online. All materials are easily made or obtained. The activity is a lot of fun and allows students to collect data, predict when their "snowpack" will begin to slide and try to come up with a stable snowpack. It's good project-based learning.

Standards: observation, data collection, prediction, inference
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure


Ice Volume Changes

Designed for Grades 6-8, this lesson plan and related activities help students understand the relationship between ice volume and the Earth's sea level.

Standards: inquiry, critical thinking,
Earth and Space Sciences: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle.
Physical Sciences: Understands the structure and properties of matter.


Appropriate for Grades 9-12

Snow on Sea Ice

An opportunity for high school students to discuss the potential correlation between the thickness of sea ice and the thickness of the snow cover. They graph data acquired in the field to examine the correlation and draw conclusions based on the interpreted data. An offering from a high school science teacher with the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic program.

Earth and Space Sciences Standard 1: Understands atmospheric processes and the water cycle
Earth and Space Sciences Standard 2: Understands Earth's composition and structure

 

<<Back to top

 
 
Jagged grey line
Quick Peek!
 

 

zoomed-in satellite map showing a small portion of the Ross Ice Shelf as seen from a satellite. A grid and red arrows have been added for clarity.

The red arrows show the extent of the world's biggest iceberg which broke free of the Ross Ice Shelf in the Antarctic in 2000. This picture was taken by the NOAA-12 polar orbiting satellite.

See a bigger version of this picture and read more about this monster berg at BBC SciTech News.

 
Jagged grey line
 
Jagged grey line
Quick Fact!
  An igloo must have holes in it or a person risks dying. Learn why at Building An Igloo.  
 
 
Jagged grey line


PRISM © 2002, 2003 is brought to you by
NSF logo
National Science Foundation University of Kansas
NASA logo
NASA
KTEC logo
Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation
University of Kansas logo
University of Kansas