We finally had a bit of measurable snow here in North Carolina! Even though it was too wet and muddy to play in, it sure was beautiful.
Like a few other topics, we tend to read about snow each and every year since we enjoy learning about it. And you can’t enjoy learning about snow without reading the beloved Snowflake Bentley!
We have easily read this book 15+ times, and it captured our attention right from the first reading. The story of Mr. Bentley is fascinating, and the lovely illustrations just bring the story to life.
Make sure to reserve it at your local library!
→ Read more: Browse through all of our favorite books about snow
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Book: Snowflake Bentley
Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Illustrator: Mary Azarian
Wilson Bentley had a driving desire to photograph the beauty and intricacies of each and every snowflake he encountered.
Even though he was largely misunderstood in his time, his passion to study snowflakes was never squelched.
I love the small facts and trivia in the margins of the book. Often times, interesting facts scattered throughout a book are very distracting for my children, but this author adds just the right amount.
It’s enough information to spark interest, but not so much that we can’t keep up with the story line.
Talking About It with Your Children
One thing I love about living books is the opportunity to really discuss them with my children. I ask questions to encourage their curiosity, and they certainly deliver with a million questions of their own!
If you need a few ideas, here are the types of questions I ask my children when reading Snowflake Bentley:
♥ In what time period does this book take place? The opening line is a great clue!
♥ Where did Bentley grow up? Let’s find it on the globe.
♥ Willie Bentley adored snow. What do you love in the same way that Willie loved snow?
♥ Willie didn’t attend school for long, but he was a very smart man. How did he gain his knowledge?
♥ Do you think photographing snowflakes is important? Why or why not?
Using Snowflake Bentley as a Literature Unit Study
Snowflake Bentley would make a perfect book to use as the spine of a literature unit study.
Here are just a few ideas:
→ Study photography; determine how the photography process has changed since Wilson Bentley was a young man
→ Study weather patterns, including snow
→ Study how and why each snowflake is unique
→ Choose 5-8 major cities in the US and track their yearly snowfall. Then make different types of graphs – bar graph, picture graph, pie graph, etc.
→ Find a few snowflake crafts
→ Search Pinterest for a snowflake experiment
→ Make a small notebook about the Life Cycle of a Snowflake
Browse through 365 Days of Children’s Books!