Team Groundhog 2004 ~ Highlights
This year our classroom is part of "Team Groundhog" - a group of 12 terrific teachers
and their classes from across our great country - from Hawaii to Maine!
We're sharing weather data and much more! Here are some of the highlights of our project...
The Kick-Off ~ February 2, 2004 ~ Groundhog Day!
The first order of business for the day was to name our groundhog. There were some terrific suggestions. All were written on the board and then everyone voted. As you can see from the graph below, "Brownie" was the winner.

See Create a Graph for easy graph creation.

Shadow or no shadow, that was the next question!
In preparation for the big day,
we had made groundhog stick puppets,
before we even left the classroom,
we knew the answer to the question!

Once outside the bad news was confirmed!
Six MORE weeks of winter!
The GOOD news was that the sun allowed us much shadow experimentation with our stick puppets. How could we make the thinnest, longest shadow? How about the fattest, shortest? Great scientific observations about placement and the angle of the sun were abundant!
To help cheer us after the bad news, we enjoyed delicious groundhog cookies at snack. (a BIG THANK YOU to Winston's mom!) ------>

The day ended by acting out groundhog poetry with our stick puppets and writing a 5 W's poem about the day.

saw his long, dark shadow
on February 2nd - Groundhog Day -
on the wall outside Peirce School
because it was a bright, sunny day
The Team's data for Week 1 of our project began to arrive.
Here is a picture graph of the shadow information.
Did your groundhog see its shadow?
Oh, No! This means SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER in many places!
Week 2 ~ Valentine's Week
This week was Valentine's Week and sweet messages were in order.
Here is the valentine we sent and some that we received:
Brownie's Valentine to the Team
from Tex in TX
from Shadow in WI
from Digger in ME
from Furball in OH
Puzzles from Furball
from Gowanda in NY
from Prickles in CO
from Lucky in NJ
from Sombra in WI
NEWSFLASH...Tex Gets Valentine's Day SNOW in Longview, Texas!

Week 3 ~ Vacation for Brownie
Week 4 ~ Let's Get Creative!
Week 4 was "Get Creative" week. Poetry, stories, and artwork were all welcomed. Winston helped us lead the way with a story he wrote at home. I used his great work to make a cloze (fill-in-the-blank) activity for our class and our team members. You can read it here.

Next we heard from Fluffy and our friends in Kula, Maui, Hawaii, with a great photo showing off their wonderful paper bag groundhog puppets in their beautiful tropical setting. They made us dream of warm breezes! We also enjoyed their Kidpix pictures of Fluffy romping about in HI!

Furball and our friends in Austinburg, Ohio, "took the cake" with all their creativity.
See their dioramas, mobiles, and sculptures!

More creativity from so many team members...
Digger and Pam Elliott's children in Windsor, Maine wrote stories and created TERRIFIC online jigsaw puzzles. Shadow and Mrs. Coats' kids in Berlin, WI drew beautiful pictures. You can view their masterpieces here, and here. And more great Kidpix drawings came from Sombra and our friends in Whitefish Bay, WI.

Lucky in New Jersey was the inspiration for Mrs. McGowan's students' wonderful version of Groundhog, Groundhog, based on the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Her children will read this to their Kindergarten buddies for Read Across America.

Out in Gowanda, New York, Ms. Harris' class wrote this fabulous poem:
Mr. G roundog
looked a
r his shadow
and fo
nd it!!!
That mea
49 more
ays of winter
we will

Week 5 ~ Groundhog Research
This week is a chance for all the teams to research facts about our furry friends. In our room, I will use this opportunity to teach the children how to write an expository paragraph. We will also discuss how to get information from resources such as the Internet and encyclopedias, take notes and rewrite the information in our own words.

I created a graphic organizer for our work and we will use two pages from Enchanted Learning -
a groundhog information print-out and a groundhog quiz.

Speaking of quizzes, Mrs. Elliott and her second graders from Maine created
a tricky battleship game for all at Quia. Click here to play.
Week 6 ~ How Do We Know When It's Spring?
"How do we know when it's Spring?" This will be this week's guiding question as we vote as to whether or not we think the groundhog is a good predictor of weather.

Helping us to begin thinking about Spring is Ms. Harris and her class
from Gowanda, New York with this wonderful poem:
Winter - Spring

Winter looks like a whirl of white.
Spring looks like green grass growing.

Winter smells like smokey air.
Spring smells like fresh air.

Winter tastes like vegetable soup.
Spring tastes like hot dogs on the grill.

Winter feels like slippery ice.
Spring feels like mud between our toes.

Winter sounds like crunchy frozen ice.
Spring sounds like birds chirping.

Although my students will continue to work on their groundhog research (which is turning more into a report than a paragraph - smile), we will also be discussing this week's guiding question.

To help them think about Spring, I will use a five petal flower graphic organizer. In the center we will write Spring, then on each petal will be one of the five senses. They will then be asked to think about what they see, smell, hear, touch, and taste in Spring. These ideas will then be turned into paragraphs or poems.

Week 7 ~ Final Voting
It's true...our friends are groundhogs, not weathermen, BUT they did do a GREAT job of predicting the weather!

The Team voted 10 to 2 that their groundhogs WERE good predictors of the weather!

We also all agreed that this was a fun, exciting and educational experience for all. Thanks Team, you were TERRIFIC, and we hope to see you next year! Happy Spring!

Back to Team Groundhog page
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