Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Life Cycle of a Snowman: A Water Cycle Review

Our week began on an exciting note...after waiting all winter long, it finally snowed! Earlier in the year we had learned all about the water cycle.  We used the materials found in this set and students knew their stuff. You can click the link to check it out....  Let's Learn About the Water Cycle

So the kids and teachers were all a buzz about how we might finally see some frozen precipitation and the excitement was building by the minute! By nine am on Monday, the snow was coming down hard and fast. I was giddy, I was excited and then I was seriously bummed. None of the snow was sticking to the roads. Darn those 70 degree days last week! I decided to make the best of it and grabbed some buckets and scooped up mounds of snow to bring inside and the kids worked in small groups to make baby snowmen. They had the best time. Then we made a class snowman to experiment with. Here he is...Isn't he great?

We run a representative democracy in our class so I called our reps over and we had a vote to decide on our snowman's name.

Here were the names suggested. I'm not sure what the name Sylvester was about but we went with it and added it to our list of possibilities. But majority ruled and snowman was named: ICY.

We checked our room temperature...It was a toasty 75 degrees. We determined ICY wasn't going to last long. And he didn't.

Here he is getting skinnier by the minute:

The kids shouted, "He's fallen and he can't get up!" Where did they hear that from???

Less than two hours later... Poor ICY!

We decided to pour ICY into a measuring cup to see how much there was of him.

He measured at 500 ml. We left him here to see what would happen to him next.

We decided to write about his life. We used this life cycle flowchart:
It was a great review of the water cycle we had studied earlier in the year (Maybe they'll get those questions right on our spring state test???). We are now working on animal lifecycles so it fit in there too!

Two days later and he is measuring at 450 ml.
He is currently the focus of our estimation station. Kids are trying to estimate the time it will take for him to evaporate completely in both days and hours. There was great math discussion as kids were figuring it out..."if it took one day for 25 ml of water to evaporate and we have 450 ml's more to go then...

Check out this kid's math thinking: Awesome! I loved how he was breaking down those numbers.
Here is an example of the snowman life cycle sheet I made up. Use if you want to...
Snowman Life Cycle
It was a disappointing winter for snowlovers in VA this year. But I'm over it all at this point and am ready to feel the warmth of spring. Good bye snowmen, Hello Easter rabbits! Make mine a chocolate one please!


  1. I LOVE THIS! I don't teach Science this year, but if I ever do again, I totally want to squeeze this in! What a fabulous idea! :)

  2. What a cute idea! I will have to remember it for next year if it happens to snow here.