Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Groundhog Day

Did you ever wonder what the heck is Groundhog Day? Have you ever tried to explain it to a 3-year-old?  Good luck!

I might not bother with Groundhog Day for pre-school storytime, except that I have such a good craft to go with it. But it is easier to explain shadows than it is groundhogs (who don't even live in our part of the country), so the emphasis today was on shadows.

We read Gregory's Shadow, by Don Freeman, the story of a groundhog who gets separated from his shadow. After some mild adventures they find each other just in time for Groundhog Day.

We also read My Shadow, a poem by Robert Lewis Stevenson, with illustrations by Ted Rand. The illustrations are big and clear, and show a variety of children from all around the world.

We also talked quite a bit about shadows.

I found a great little groundhog story at the Read It Again! blog. It's a very simple story, just right for the little guys, about a young groundhog who keeps popping up to see his shadow. Each time he comes up he sees the shadow (a black silhouette) of some other animal. I had a horse, a squirrel, a duck, a frog, and a butterfly. Although I made the groundhog and his shadow myself, I used the die cutter at the Glenn County Office of Education to cut the other animal shapes out of felt. That's the easy way to do it. The kids really enjoyed telling me what the shapes were and anticipating the next one.

Here is our easy-peasy craft:

Pop-Up Groundhog

Card stock groundhog cut-out
Sticker eyes
Craft stick
Paper cup

Pop-ups are always fun, and a big hit with the kids.

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