'Snowflake' Bentley Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about Wilson Bentley, the first person to photograph snowflakes and discover that no two are alike. Students will read a text lesson outlining Bentley's life and photographic process, discuss concepts before applying concepts to an engaging project.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • give a brief biography of Wilson Bentley's life
  • explain the photographic process Wilson Bentley used
  • cite evidence to support analysis of text related to Wilson Bentley


1 - 1.5 hours (if all activities are chosen)


  • Images of snowflakes taken by Bentley
  • Small paper or foam bits
  • Black construction paper
  • White crayons or colored pencils
  • Plastic wrap or clear plastic to-go container lids
  • Printed images of pairs of snowflakes, cut apart

Key Vocabulary

  • William 'Snowflake' Bentley
  • Ephemeral
  • Photomicrography
  • Emulsion

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3

Follow precisely a multi-step procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.2

Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.

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