I scooped some snow into four small clear tubs and put them out for the students to explore. I also put out magnifying glasses.
We talked about using our senses to explore the snow. This explains why one girl here is trying to listen to the snow.
They stirred the snow with the magnifying glasses, squished it between their fingers, and looked at it closely with the magnifying glasses. It was beautiful to watch. Some students were fascinated by how cold the snow felt (have they not been outside at all? what were they doing on our snow days?) and others were amazed by how the snow looked like diamonds when scrutinized.
I'm learning that I shouldn't assume my students understand the world they see everyday. One would think I'd have learned that from reading Science Teacher, but clearly I needed a more concrete reminder. We'll be exploring more common, everyday things in the future.