Groundhog Day Classroom Fun!

A SHADOW??? Oh boy! I'm not all that happy with Phil right now, but I'm still sad to see him go! We said goodbye to groundhog as we finished up our furry friend activities today. The kids had lots of fun in the days that we spent learning more about groundhogs, shadows, hibernation and celebrating the silly side of the event.

 It was a jam-packed two days of playing catch-up from our snow days off so we didn't quite get to publish our peeker writing project, but the groundhog heads went up on display anyway! Isn't he cute?

The craftivity comes with paws to hold onto an expository writing piece about groundhogs. 

The kids each made their shadow predictions on Friday and we created a class graph.
 This year, I decided to make printable pieces and laminate them to reuse, rather than create a new graph each year on butcher paper. The whiteboard worked great for this!

As you can see, we ran out of room with so many YES votes! 
Oh well. Our graph is not completely accurate, but it was cute!

The students kept tally as each child voted and then created a graph on their own recording sheet. 

Afterward, we talked about our data, made comparisons, did some mental math and wrote a summary statement about our graph. 

We also read this sweet Groundhog Day story, Gregory's Shadow. It's always a favorite and a great one for leading into the science of shadows.

We talked about shadows and how they are created. The weather kept us inside, but we may venture outside to test out our groundhogs and make shadow observations as soon as we can! 

There is a great Groundhog Day video on Safari Montage for those of you who may have access. The students learned a lot about woodchucks, hibernation and the history of the Groundhog Day tradition.

We learned even more with some reading activities too! The video introduced some new vocabulary which was very helpful.

Several times each week, we work on a nonfiction selection. This reading selection about groundhogs was used as a guided highlighted reading activity. 

First, the students number each paragraph. Then, I give verbal directions about what they need to look for and highlight in the selection. 

For example, I will say...

In paragraph 3, highlight the part of the sentence that tells the reader when the groundhog goes into the burrow to hibernate. 
In paragraph 1, highlight the proper noun that names the continent where groundhogs live.

There is no script, I just make it up as I go! 

The kids are getting to be really good at this skill. 
This is a great stepping stone for being able to provide text evidence.

If you have never tried a highlighted activity like this, I highly recommend giving it a try! You get a lot of bang for your buck while combining a reading lesson with science and a holiday theme!

For reading fluency practice, we worked on repeated readings of this Fun on Groundhog Day poem. This one was great for talking about rhythm! 

After reading and coloring them, our weekly poems go into the student's poetry binder. We have a really nice collection going!

You can find all of the printables, the graphing pieces and the craft here if you are interested.

 The kiddos really enjoyed our yummy last hurrah by putting together their groundhog burrow pudding cups with Oreo dirt and a tiny Teddy Graham peeking out!
 It was easy peasy and adorable!

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek into our classroom!
 Hope you were able to get some ideas for your class too!

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