I had no idea how interesting groundhogs were until I read the book Groundhog gets a Say by Pamela Curtis Swallow. Although it is written as if it is told by a groundhog, it is full of interesting facts about groundhogs. I created a bundle for PK-2nd grade teachers that you can grab at my TPT store.
My students love to do group research. (Yes! They can research with a group… even in kindergarten!) Just to give you an idea- I have 6 groups of 2-3 students. My lowest group was studying wordless photos of groundhogs. Then they were told to draw a picture about what they learned. My highest group was reading short passages about groundhogs and squirrels and comparing the 2 animals by completing a Venn diagram. I know it sounds like a lot for kindergarten but they can do it. I did this with my class today for an observation and it went great! If you would like to pick up just the Nonfiction Research Unit – you can grab that here.
I liked the idea of having each groups materials ready in a plastic bag so I could quickly pass them out and have the students get right to work. This worked seamlessly. The resource comes with a group planning guide and cards to label the groups which was really helpful and kept me organized. I’m sorry I don’t have more pics from this activity but I was so busy being evaluated that there was not much time to take pictures! 🙂 The kids impressed me so much with how hard they worked and how much they learned. We completed a KWL chart together and their answers were fantastic. Did you know that groundhogs are skilled climbers and swimmers which helps them escape predators? They are called whistle-pigs because they whistle to alert other groundhogs of potential danger. They truly hibernate meaning their heart rate slows way down, they sleep for months, and they barely even breathe…. I could go on and on and so can my kindergarten kids! They are ALL groundhog experts now!
We have completed several of the crafts already. The kids LOVED the peek-a-boo groundhog in a cup. I thought he turned out really cute and it really helped students remember the legend.
Isn’t this picture the cutest? She is precious!
We also tried putting the groundhog in some coffee filters. These were colored with markers and sprinkled with water. After they dried, we inserted the craft stick. It turned out pretty cute, but we still preferred the cup.
My sweet girls make the perfect models!
We had so much fun making the headbands and all the kids are looking forward to wearing those on Thursday.
We haven’t finished our hallway display yet, but we are working on it. This will include a cute little groundhog holding up some of the students’ writing so I will update soon with that picture. Tomorrow, we will be predicting the weather, going outside to check for our shadows, and graphing the results. (All of those activities are also included in the TPT resource.)
If you would like to grab just the crafts without the differentiated research group assignments, you can grab those here.
Legend of the Groundhog Crafts, Writing Projects, Prediction Activities and More!
How do you celebrate with your class? I’m so glad that I finally have some really cute and fun groundhog ideas to use every year!