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Fourth Grade Drawn Snowflake Patterns

This is a project that I like to use when I need something simple and not-too-messy, or when I’ve got a dis-proportionate number of absences, like the week of Thanksgiving. I do some version of it at every grade level, just enlarging and simplifying for the younger students. We start by folding a square, first diagonally and then side-to-side – I tell the kids it should look like a pizza with eight slices. We start with a circle in the middle, then start stacking shapes on the “arms” or rays – keeping them lined up on the fold marks. Rotating the paper so the part you are working on is always up helps keep things even. We talk about star-fish, suns, radial symmetry as opposed to bilateral symmetry and whatever other links I can find to math, science or other classroom learning. The repeated shapes can be circles and triangles for the littlest kids, symmetrical letters, shapes like fleurdelis or clubs and spades from cards, and for the older kids we create a design from their initials, stacking the symmetrical ones and using non-symmetrical ones back to back. Once the “rays” are extended so there is space between, we start making “in-betweeners“, and using lines to connect the tips of the rays to the central body of the pattern for a more cohesive design. Metallic pencils or gelly pens are really striking, but regular colored pencils or thin markers on white are acceptable too. Warm colors on white make great sunbursts, and they can be used anytime as just decorative designs.

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One Response to Fourth Grade Drawn Snowflake Patterns

  1. Would tailor nicely with an artist study of Wilson Bentley, first known to photograph snowflakes.

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