Snow of wonder, snow of joy!

4 December 2008 · 3 comments

in Early Years Outdoors, Literacy Outdoors, Nature Play & Learning, Science Outdoors

I am delighted! The cold spell has continued which has resulted in more than 90 school closures in the NE Scotland and thousands of children given day release. However I am not sorry that my school remained open throughout. Snow provides fantastic learning opportunities.

The other day I sneaked outside with a group of Primary 5 children. Their teacher was delighted! She is a strong advocate of creating awe and wonder in children. After five minutes of acclimatising to the conditions (that’s edu speak for running about), we settled down to the task of drawing a picture on paper with felt tip pens. In a classroom this is nothing special. Trying to draw on soft snow is a completely different experience. To begin with you can’t spend too much time producing highly detailed work as your hands freeze. But a rough picture is fine. Next we turned our drawings face down on the snow and rubbed them furiously, which warms up your hands and, like magic, the picture fades and gradually disappears altogether.

This result brings forth a fountain of questions and comments from the children who became fascinated to find out where all the colour has gone. We finally found the evidence from one child’s work where a pale pink print of a window could be seen on the snow.

Back indoors the snow stuck to our mittens allowed us to continue our experimenting. We peeled it onto one of the faded pictures and watched to see what happened. Hmm. It turned out to be a highly interactive affair with the children prodding the melting snow and tapping the paper which got wetter and wetter. The stream of on-task chatter was amazing as they wondered about the amount of water created, discussed the disintegrating paper and in the process created a simple cinquain poem to describe snow. Mostly importantly they experienced joy as they learned.

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Visit www.joellucks.com December 4, 2008 at 12:56

Snow turns us all into little children, and for the truly young children it is a fairyland of spectacular awe.
I love snow. It is a gift that often comes and goes too fast. Long Island, NY, doesn’t see many big snow storms these days. In fact, we probably haven’t had a good fall for more than 3 years, maybe longer.
Today, though, I leave for the Catskill Mountains and there I do expect to see snow. In January I will be traveling to Vermont to ski and, there too, I will see snow.
Maybe it’s intended to be just that, an occasional gift that reminds us all that we still are children in many ways?
Joel

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CreativeSTAR December 5, 2008 at 16:14

Hello Joel

I think your comment is spot on. It is one of the rare times we see many more adults get outside to play is when the snow is about.

I hope you had a good trip to the Catskill Mtns.

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