Friday, December 27, 2013

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin ~ Lexile 830


Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the kickstarter book to our third grade unit on biographies that include Scientists, Inventors, Authors, Musicians, Firsties and many more... This biography is a delightful story about one man's passion and perseverance when he was not always supported by others who surrounded him.  Snowflake Bentley gives the reader a glimpse into the strength of character needed to pursue your dreams.  The students also gain an understanding of the process for making snowflakes that is a great springboard for studying states of matter.  The book that Wilson (Snowflake) Bentley published is still in print today, which is sure to intrigue many students!
Book Jacket Synopsis:
Snow in Vermont is as common as dirt.  Why would anyone want to photograph it?  But from the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley thinks of the icy crystals as small miracles, and he determines that one day his camera will capture for others their extraordinary beauty.
Often misunderstood in his time, Wilson Bentley took pictures that even today reveal two important truths about snowflakes:  first, that no two are alike, an second, that each one is startlingly beautiful. 
I brought the book home to write down some ideas and ended up developing an entire literacy unit for our teachers.  It can be found at Teachers Pay Teachers and includes two versions of a clothesline timeline, which is an introduction to timelines, a cause and effect interactive activity, two anchor charts; one is on biographies and the other is about theme, Greek and Latin roots and how they are key to understanding vocabulary in this story and many more integrated ideas! This unit is applicable to third and fourth grade reading levels.

 A preview is below.


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