Thursday, February 6, 2014

Groundhogs, Hibernation, and Nonfiction Text Features

This week we talked about groundhogs and how animals get ready for winter. We continued with our focus on informational text and nonfiction text features. This week we looked closer at the features fun facts, diagrams, and questions. We used Kim's Hooray for Groundhog's Day unit as a springboard for our learning. I did not actually have time to focus on groundhog's day itself, but rather I used the unit for a study on hibernation, informational text, procedural text, weather, and nonfiction text features. 

We read several books about hibernation and the ways animals get ready for winter. Then we pretended to be geese and whales and migrate and then we acted like bears and hibernated. 

We pretended to be birds and we flew south for the winter. 
We pretended to be whales and we swam south for the winter. 
We hibernated like bears. 
Kim's unit includes a note for a hibernation day. My kids dressed in their pj's and brought blankets and stuffed animals for hibernating with. We pretended it was fall. We stored up food for winter. Then we found a cave, curled up, and went to sleep for the winter. 
These two hibernating kiddos were just too stinkin' cute! I considered keeping us in hibernation for the entire day. Lol. 
We read a nonfiction book about groundhogs. We also connected this lesson to the other books we read about animals in winter. Most of them had a page about the groundhog in them. We talked about how fun facts were interesting facts, not just basic facts, but something that was different or fun to learn about. We write fun facts about groundhogs. We also learned about diagrams. We drew diagrams of groundhogs to go with our fun facts. This paper is part of Kim's unit. 

I found this super cute groundhog craft on Pinterest. Unfortunately, the picture did not lead anywhere so I do not know its original source. Sorry :( I used the picture I found and several different heart templates I already had. We made the nose and eyes by clipping corners and rounding and we made the whiskers out of toothpicks. Here is the link to the pin on Pinterest. 

We  used this book to focus on the text feature - questions. The illustrations in this book are so funny! My kids loved it! We also used this book to make predictions using information we already knew about different animals. With each question we made some predictions about what animal we thought might hibernate that way. 

After we hibernated and read this book, we used this page from Kim's unit to write about something we learned. 

Since we recently finished up a study on weather, I thought we would revisit it briefly. We talked about things we could do in warm weather and in cold weather. We talked about how we needed to dress in each. Then we connected our discussion to what we had been learning about animals. We also talked about how animals knew it was time for them to hibernate and/or migrate. We made this weather graph from Kim's unit. 
Tomorrow we are going to wrap up our week by revisiting procedural text. We are going to use Kim's groundhog cupcakes rebus cards and how-to writing page to create a product and write about it. My kids have been waiting for this lesson all week! 


Katie Knight said...

What an amazing post!