What's Going On?


Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 9 – 11

Science topics:

States of matter

Spark a conversation with this video showing some amazing snowflakes. This activity is great for describing observations and applying ideas in unfamiliar contexts.

Run the activity

1. You’re going to watch a short video. The aim isn't to find right answers, it's to explore ideas and find out what they know.

  • Do they know what might happen based on the image?

2. After you've watched the video, lead a discussion with your class:

  • Have your pupils seen a snowflake close up before? 
  • What do they know about how snowflakes are formed?
  • What do they notice about the patterns the snowflakes make?
  • How might you capture a snowflake without it melting? 

3. Ask the class to describe what they saw using only one word.

Background science

Do you know that no two snowflakes are alike? Each and every snowflake is different. When cold droplets of water freeze onto dust particles, a six-sided snowflake begins to grow. Temperature and humidity affect the size and pattern but every snowflake is unique.

Have a look at this additional information from the RSC.

Take it further

If your class love looking at these beautiful snowflakes up close, they might also enjoy the BBC Terrific Scientific’s Birth of a Snowflake activity, where they can decide which part of the snowflake they want to focus on.


Video credit: Vyacheslav Ivanov via Vimeo CC BY-NC 3.0