As we wait to see what winter has in store for us, students can learn how cold weather — from the smallest snowflake to a raging avalanche — offers a wealth of teachable moments. While it’s hard to pick from the many wonderful PBS LearningMedia resources for Exploring Ice and Cold, here are a few:
Igloo 101 (Grades 3-8): This interactive activity from NOVA challenges students’ knowledge of igloo construction. The quiz format includes questions such as where igloos were traditionally built and the best type of snow for building. Detailed explanations provide further insight into how these ingenious snow shelters enabled entire families to survive the brutal Arctic winters.
How Do Avalanches Form? (Grades 6-12): There are two basic elements to an avalanche: a steep, snow-covered slope and a trigger that causes a weak layer within the snow pack to collapse. This video segment adapted from NOVA reveals that the shape of the ice crystals of snowflakes within a snow pack is also a critical factor.
Sid’s Holiday Adventure (Grades PreK-1) Join Sid and his classmates for Rug Time with Miss Susie to discuss the holidays and temperature. In the Super Fab Lab, the class conducts a temperature investigation and learns how to measure things that are hot and cold. The students learn about the thermometer and study the temperature of different places and objects.