I had a chance to use my Groundhog Day Writing Packet both at home and at school recently.
Last week I had my students write a persuasive paragraph on why spring was better than winter (or winter was better than spring).
We began by reading about the history of Groundhog Day and discussed what it meant if he saw his shadow.
As a class we created a Venn Diagram comparing winter and spring and then they created their own version using the brainstorm page.
Next, I modeled a top-down web using my reasons for preferring spring.
They completed their webs and then composed a draft. The publish pieces came out insanely cute. I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of them before I left. I had originally planned a different craft, but inspiration struck as I stumbled upon a stack of headshots I had taken of my friends.
I held each head/shoulder up to black construction paper and cut out the shape of just their head and shoulders so that I had their photo and a black piece of paper that was the same size and shape. They drew a "hole" on their papers, glued their picture down, placed the black shape in front like a shadow and illustrated a background to represent their season. When all was said and done it looked like they were popping out of a little hole and seeing their shadow. Cute!
My first grade son announced he wanted to learn how to tell time on an analog clock last night. For the record, he didn't actually use the word analog. Go figure.
Inspired by his enthusiasm and the groundhog I integrated some science, math and literacy at home. We spent the day measuring his shadow and recording the time and length. It was such fun to see how it changed shape, size and direction. We made predictions as the day went on. He's so much fun to teach.
I printed off a copy of the page with the primary-ruled paper and he used it to reflect on our experiment in writing.
In my Groundhog Day Writing Packet I list a few ideas for writing prompts / topics. You could use the pages from mu packet to write...
- a nonfiction piece about groundhogs
- explain the history of Groundhog Day
- write a descriptive paragraph about a groundhog
- write about a place that the student and their shadow have been
- If I lived underground...
- and so much more