Zoom In, Zoom Out

White and spiky

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Classroom view

Activity overview

15 mins
Ages 5 – 7

Science topics:

Seasonal changes

Take a much closer look at this familiar object. Can your class use their reasoning skills to work out what it is?

Run the activity

You will be zooming in and out of the image above – starting very close and stepping back slowly.

1. Start by asking everyone:

  • What do they think the image is and why?
  • What does the image remind them of and why?

2. Every time you zoom out, ask the class:

  • Can they describe the colours, shapes and textures?
  • What do they think the image is now – have they changed their minds?

Background science

Hoar frost is formed when the air is saturated with water vapour and the temperature is below freezing. Instead of forming dew, as the water vapour comes into contact with the freezing surface, it turns into solid ice crystals, missing out the liquid stage (water) altogether. As more and more water vapour comes into contact with ice that has already formed, layers of ice crystals build up creating magical ‘winter wonderlands’.

Take it further

If there is a hoar frost, do make time to take your class outside to enjoy the magical views. Look out for dead leaves, dry grasses and spiders’ webs, which will all have been transformed by the frost. This could be a stimulating starting point for an English lesson such as poetry. Perhaps your children could make some ice mobiles to hang outside. Find out more at Nature Detectives, from the Woodland Trust.

Image Credits:

Hoar Frost Crystals by Stux via Pixabay, CC0

Hoar Frost by Stux via Pixabay CC0

Hoar Frost Grass by Stux via Pixabay CC0