Snowflake Bentley Literature Guide

To me Wilson Bentley, better known as Snowflake Bentley, was a fascinating guy and should be such an inspiration and role model for persistence. This book touches my heart every time I share it with students. Here is a guy who spent his entire life studying snowflakes and even developed a method for photographing them using a microscope with a camera attached to it. Now that might not sound too impressive to you, but considering that he did this in the late 1800’s is pretty remarkable. The kids have always found his life pretty interesting, and are very sad when they read that he caught pneumonia walking home in a snowstorm and died two weeks later, but even with the sad ending, they say it’s one of their favorite books.

I decided to create a literature guide to go along with the book which I think many of you will enjoy. It is geared to grades 2-5, but could easily be used as a read aloud for first graders. ; It’s a pretty good deal at $8.00 for 116 pages.

The purpose of this unit is to help students develop the skills of advanced readers in analyzing and interpreting literature. The questions promote big ideas, themes, and concepts, and provide opportunities for students to question the author, analyze the author’s and illustrator’s craft, and make connections to self and the real world. Questions can also be used for journaling and require responses that go beyond the literal meanings or the answers found in the text as they invite analysis of character, events, and interactions; synthesis of ideas; and evaluation of relationships, actions, consequences, and alternatives.

Extension activities address multiple intelligences and learning styles, provide multiple paths to learning and opportunities to develop higher level thinking skills, writing skills, vocabulary, and research through choice in the creation of products and/or performances. The Common Core Language Arts Standards are embedded throughout the guide in the questions and extension activities.

Teachers may decide how many questions students need to answer and how many activities the students must complete. It is important to note that teachers should allow students some choice in the selection of questions to respond to and activities to complete. Providing students with choice increases student interest, engagement and learning. Students should not be required to complete all the extension activities. Rubrics and checklists should be used to evaluate the student products.

Activities in this unit include:

Comprehension Question Cards

Summarization – Someone Wanted But So

Character traits anchor chart

Snowflake Bentley Character Analysis

Cause and Effect activity

Snowflake Bentley Fortunately/Unfortunately story

Theme Anchor Chart

Understanding the theme worksheet

Similes activity sheet

I am Snowflake Bentley activity

Snowflake Acrostic Poem activity

The Important Thing About Snowflakes activity

Snowflake facts mini book activity

Poem in Two Voices – comparing Snowflake Bentley to John James Audubon

I am Unique writing activity

Persuasive Writing Activity

My Gift to the World writing activity

Book Review writing activity

Book about the life cycle of snowflakes

Interview the author activity

Classifying snowflakes activity

Looking Closer activity

Vocabulary Cards with matching definition cards

Word Map

Synonym and antonym game

Syllables matching cards and game

Parts of speech sorting activity

Making words from the letters in snowflake

Making OW words

Analogies activity sheet

Growing Borax crystals science investigation


I hope you and your students enjoy learnning about Snowflake Bentley. Remember to always Keep ’em Thinking! – Susan Morrow

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