Monday, January 14, 2013

Groundhog Day: Fiction Books and Writing Ideas

Groundhog Day is one of those holidays that totally sneaks up on you. By the time you turn the calendar to February...BAM...it's already here. Over the next two days, I'll be blogging about books and ideas to help you plan ahead to celebrate the little guy (and more importantly, the start of spring). Today's post features some fiction books that I enjoy reading to my students and my own kids at home. Tomorrow I'll share the informational texts that I use.


Go To Sleep, Groundhog! by Judy Cox features a furry little fellow who has a hard time falling asleep. Despite hitting the sack on Columbus Day as usual, he tosses and turns. Ultimately he creeps out of his burrow and comes to realize he's been missing lots of holidays by sleeping. He meets characters such as a Halloween Witch, a Thanksgiving Turkey and Santa. This is a fun book for reinforcing calendar concepts with little learners.


Mr. Groundhog Wants the Day Off is about a groundhog who needs a break. He's tired of being blamed for 6 more weeks of winter and tries to get others to do his job. This book is a great springboard for a writing project about a job/responsibility that your students would like to give away. Since the characters in the story point out the reasons why the groundhog is good at his job, it also lends itself to writing about a chore they are good at.

Along those same lines, Substitute Groundhog tells the tale of a groundhog who is feeling under the weather and interviews other animals to fill in for him. This book pairs nicely with having the students write about an animal they think would make a good substitute for the groundhog.




Ten Grouchy Groundhogs is a cute story about grouchy, grubby, gobbling, gabby, giggly, groovy, graceful, glitzy, gleeful, groggy groundhogs getting ready for their great big day. This book easily lends itself to math extensions for young students, but I think it's a fun one to reinforce adjectives. Challenge your students to think of even more adjectives that start with the letter G or have them each pick a different animal and brainstorm adjectives that begin with that letter as well. While this book was written for younger learners, it's a fun one to read to intermediate students as well. You can do the same activity, but with a lesson on alliteration and dictionary skills by having them use a dictionary to find even more adjectives that start with that letter. 

AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE...Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holus. While most groundhog books are geared towards the little folks, this one is a great read for my third graders. It's funny and engaging and chock full of facts. The style of the writing and pictures really appeals to them and they gather details to use in their groundhog animal research writing as well. If you aren't familiar with this book I highly suggest you snag a copy to share with your students.


Animal Research: Templates to Guide Student Writing When Researching Any Animal is a 55 page packet that includes everything you need to have your students write an animal research report. It includes pages for brainstorming animals to research, task cards, graphic organizers, primary and intermediate-ruled draft pages and pages for publishing the final product. This is such a motivating assignment for students. I complete one with my class and then it quickly becomes a favorite choice activity for independent work.

Groundhog Day: A Writing Resource Differentiated for K-5 includes 15 printable pages of thematic materials to use in your K-5 classrooms. The packet is open-ended so that you can use it with any of the writing ideas that I listed above or your own ideas as well. There are 4 full-color printables to be used as class book covers or as titles on your bulletin boards when displaying the student writing. I carefully design each of my writing kits to include differentiated versions of my webs, draft paper and final copy pages to make it easy for you to modify within your current class and to be timeless enough to use if you change grade levels.

The Groundhog Day packet is also included in my money-saving February and March 6 Packet Writing Bundle along with writing packets for: President's Day, Teeth, Dr. Seuss, St. Patrick's Day and  Valentine's Day.


For additional Groundhog Day ideas and resources to use in your classroom, please check out my...

Groundhog Day Pinterest Board which features crafts, cooking and more 

Blog Posts about Shadows 

and my Groundhog Day Non-Fiction Book Blog Post {tomorrow}





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