Monday, January 27, 2014

No 'SHADOW' of a Doubt...My Kinders Are Going to LOVE reading this week!

The excitement of the groundhog is starting to build!  Our whole weeks' centers and read alouds are based on this furry little creature!  But I have one 'trick' up my sleeve that is bound to have them excited to READ!

I started making these a few years ago- I have perfected them over the years!

Here is this year's 'version' of...
Groundhog Burrow Reading Bags!

Aren't they darling!  Yes, they take some prep, but I promise it is worth it!  I took pictures of my 'assembly' of them this weekend JUST IN CASE anyone wanted to give them a try!   Start to finish for all 24 bags was about 40 min- so it wasn't TOO bad!!!

Cut green construction paper to match the size of the bag (approximately- don't get too technical!)
Give the one end a little curvy wave- that will be the 'grass'...

Fold the paper into 3
Fold down....

and then back up- you want the curvy 'up' part to be slightly smaller than the back portion.

When standing it  looks like this...

Grab a lunch bag.  This part is a tad tricky to show/explain, but when you do it, I promise it will be easy!
Put the green paper on the front bottom of the bag...

Pull just the front part to meet the green paper..

and staple...

repeat on the other side.

Now your 'burrow' and 'grass' are ready!

Distribute groundhog 'cards' and have students write CVC words, sight words, spelling words, etc on them.  OR you can write the words and photocopy a set for each kid- I like to have them write them for added practice, but depending on your time and student needs/abilities, the latter may be a better option for you!

Students then place the cards in the 'burrow' (bag).    I give each one of my kids a sheet that has 6 groundhogs on it.  I got these adorable pics from Ashley Hughes on TPT.  You can find it, and a TON of other groundhog goodies in my Groundhog Super Pack!

Reach in the 'burrow' and pull out a groundhog (so similar to what happens to poor Phil!!!)
Students read the word- if they get it correct, they put it in the grass...

If not, they put it back into the burrow.  

Continue reaching and reading until all the words are in the grass!

We practice with them for a bit- do partner activities (1 picks, 1 reads) and then I send them home with this little note:

By the time they go home the kids are so super excited about it and LOVE 'plucking' a groundhog to read that I can almost ensure they will want to show it off at home...aka...they are practicing without knowing it!!

You can also use these for addition/subtraction- write the facts on the groundhogs belly and they have to answer it to put the groundhog in the grass!  The possibilities are probably endless!! 

So what groundhog books are you reading this week?  Here are a few of my choices!


 (pictures from Amazon all the books shown above are available on their site as well)

Groundhog's Day at the Doctor was my FAVORITE as a kid- I still use my copy to read to the kids!

Groundhog at Evergreen Road has beautiful pictures and some non-fiction information!

Who Will See Their Shadow This Year? is full of Jerry Palotta humor- plus great for teaching about cause & effect and different types of weather!  I actually had my kids work on matching animal to weather with this book last year using this:

They are calling for cloudy on it would appear the groundhog is going to predict and early spring BUT considering they are forecasting a high of 18 degrees tomorrow, I am not too certain that will be the case!

Hope you and your students enjoy the groundhog reading bags!
Until next post,
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  1. Such a FUN idea! Thank you for sharing it! :)

  2. This is a great idea. Thank you!

  3. Adorable! I love it! I am definitely going to use this idea and share it, too!

  4. I LOVE this idea! I can't wait to get back into the classroom and share this idea with my kiddos and their parents. I am thinking that I will also add some emergent readers on their level into the bag also....such a CUTE idea! Thank you!

  5. What a fun idea!! I can't wait to use this with my kinders!

    Lovin’ Kindergarten


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