Measuring the depth of snow

Curriculum

Measurement

From the Ontario Ministry of Education Kindergarten Curriculum

  • 1.4: sustain interactions in different contexts (DLMB)
  • 3.2: demonstrate the ability to take turns during activity and discussions (SWB)
  • 13.2: make predictions and observations before and during investigations (PSI) 
  • 13.4: communicate results and findings from individual and group investigations (PSI)
  • 14.1: ask questions about and describe some natural occurrences, using their own observations and representations (DLMB) 
  • 15.3: make use of one to one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects (DLMB) 
  • 16.1: select an attribute to measure, determine an appropriate non-standard unit of measure
  • and measure and compare two or more objects (DLMB) 
  • 16.2: investigate strategies and materials used when measuring with non-standard units of measure (DLMB) 
  • 24.5: communicate and record results and findings either individually or in groups (PSI) 
  • 29.2: describe what would happen if something in the local environment changed (BC) 

Context

In the classroom, students and the educator begin by sitting in a circle on the floor.

Materials

  • Measuring stick
  • Cubes 
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Masking tape 
  • Snow 

Lesson

Introduction

  • Facilitate dialogue with the students to prompt them to think about how they can measure the snow 
  • Use the guided questions as follows: 
    • How can we measure snow?
    • How might we find out how deep the snow is?
    • How can we keep track of how deep the snow is?
    • How might we find out how heavy the snow is?
    • How might we find out how cold the snow is?

Lesson

  • Talk about the winter season and the snow accumulation 
  • Assist students to find a place near the main sitting area where the group will not be walking, select an area to measure the snow all winter 
  • Explain to the students that we can measure how deep the snow is with a measuring stick, and how the students can expect the depth of the snow to change over the winter season 
  • Ask students to predict how deep the snow is, encourage the students to show their prediction with their hands 
  • Have a student take the measuring stick to determine the depth of the snow, by sticking the measuring stick into the snow 
    • The teacher will place their hand on where the snow comes up on the stick 
  • Have students place cubes along the length of the stick 
    • Count the cubes and record, then compare this result with their predictions 
  • Have students stand next to the stick and measure where the snow comes up to on their body

Closure 

  • Ask the students to think about how the depth of the snow will change over the duration of winter 
    • What will happen to the depth of the snow when it is warm outside? 
    • What will happen to the depth of the snow when it becomes colder and snows more? 
  • Once in the classroom, tape the cubes together and record the date and the number of cubes 
  • Display the cube towers in the classroom to watch the progression of the depth of snow 
    • Transfer this information into a graph and display it in the classroom 
  • Continue to measure the snow throughout the winter 
  • Measure in different areas (i.e., areas exposed to the sun vs. shaded areas) and compare 
  • Explore snow further, with different measures 
    • Volume
    • Mass
    • Temperature