I have always enjoyed folding and cutting paper. Pop-ups, origami, cutting, and pasting, it’s a problem, I like it all. Paper snowflakes are no different. I generally fold a piece of regular copy paper(8 1/2 x 11)long wise, fold it into 60 degree triangles, and then start hacking away. If I’m teaching this to elementary students I’ll be teaching lines of symmetry, hexagons, sequencing, degrees in triangles, how to use a protractor, or some other such educational objective. But really, in my head, I’m just cutting snowflakes.
There are lots of nice books about snowflakes from a science or an art perspective. The guy Wilson Bentley took some of the first pictures of snowflakes and there is a nice kids book about him called Snowflake Bentley
Below are some links to other people instructions to making snowflakes:
Highhopes snowflakes instructions
Instructables page on snowflake folding
The above are good examples of easy to make six sided snowflakes.
You don’t necessarily have to make the snowflakes from paper. Here the student is cutting them out of very thin sheet copper. It’s a little more work physically, you sometimes have to use snips, saws, and a bit more muscle. the one below is how it came out.
This one is cut from thin aluminum that is colored red on one side. This came out real well. I should have chosen a better background color.
You don’t have to stick to just doing 6 sides either. For the younger student six sides can be a bit challenging so just folding a piece of paper in half and talking about symmetry and lines of symmetry can be useful lesson.
I did this one. I used the spider web idea(see below) from Jacks Paper Snowflake, from the movie, The Nighmare Before Christmas, and cut out the Christmas tree and bats instead of the spider. I have to do this again and cut the mouth, fangs, and eyes a bit better, maybe add a skull at the top. That would just scream Christmas spirit, wouldn’t it?
This is three stages of cutting out the spider snowflake from the movie. Michael in class said he remembered the movie and one of the characters cutting out a spider. I googled the appropriate words I thought would work and an Instructables lesson/episode(see above links) popped up with a a printable PDF. I’m always glad when a student suggests something I have not done before.
More examples of cut paper lines of symmetry. I think Mr. M in the back of the room made the one above.