Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Groundhog Inferences

It’s nice to know that there are “little” holidays throughout the year.  Holidays that just make you smile and give you a small distraction from routine.  What are the “little holidays?”  Groundhogs Day… Valentine’s Day…St. Patrick’s Day… holidays like those. There’s not much (if anything) to buy, and still it’s fun to decorate, celebrate, and incorporate fun little “mini” holiday traditions.

So perhaps this is how I got caught up in creating my latest activity, “Groundhog Gets His Day.”  I came across some super cute little groundhog art, and just had to figure out a way to make it educational! J  A nonfiction passage, set of inference questions, and Smart notebook later, and groundhogs will officially be part of my reading centers next week!  I like this activity because it combines information text reading with critical thinking skills--all with a bit of "little holiday" fun!  

Students start by reading the included nonfiction passage on groundhogs, then answer inferential questions based on the text.  The printable student activity sheet includes 10 higher-level questions that get kids making inferences and drawing conclusions!   They’ll learn not just about the furry groundhog, but how the traditions of Groundhog Day began.            
My favorite twist, though, it the Smart notebook included.  After they’ve tried the questions on the activity sheet independently, kids regroup to confirm their answers on the Smartboard.  With fun “reveal” boxes, students can touch colorful boxes in the file to see the correct answers “magically” appear.  This makes the activity self-checking, and allows some time for discussion  about their work.  I’m planning on using this as a small-group station, but it could certainly be varied for whole group too!

I’ve posted this to my TPT store here and would welcome your feedback!  While it’s still winter, we might as well still celebrate even these little holidays, right?  :)  That’s what I tell myself! J  
Stay warm and be well! 


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