Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Great Groundhogs!

Many years ago, I was blessed to have am amazing classroom when I taught eighth grade language arts in a middle school.  It was a large classroom with floor to ceiling windows along one wall of the room.  The view was spectacular. From the windows, I could see a grassy area that bordered fields and forest. In the background loomed our small mountains (in MD we call them mountains;  others may call them "hills"- LOL). Every afternoon, the kids and I would catch a glimpse of our class mascot, an ordinary groundhog, that faithfully visited the grassy area to eat his lunch every day.

As I was working on my groundhog packet, this memory invaded my mind, and I just had to smile.  I hadn't thought of this cute little rodent in over ten years. I am not so fond of rodents... I like to read about them in picture books and in nonfiction texts, but I draw the line at having one in my house.  However, I became fascinated with groundhogs as I worked on my packet.

 As I continue to develop and create products, I am finding that my niche is not only designing materials appropriatete for reading intervention and small groups, but is also writing nonfiction texts and printables to accompany them. In high school, I desired to be a technical writer, but my desire to teach was stronger. Now, I can combine both interests.

Phil's Fabulous February Forecast includes (3) original informational reading texts about Groundhog Day and groundhogs.  One gives a short, simple overview of Groundhog's Day in a printable book form;  one is a bulleted list of "fun facts" about Groundhog Day; and the last is a three page article on groundhogs.  For the latter, I included actual photos of these cute rodents (they were in the public domain- yay!), illustrations, captions, think boxes to promote active reading, and a plethora of factual information.

Designed for small group intervention in grades 3 and above, it is also more than appropriate for advanced first graders and on-level 2nd graders.  My son who is reading on a second grade level (he's in 1st grade) read the article. I asked him if it had too many words on the page. He said, no, and that he thought it was interesting. If something I create gets his seal of approval, then I know it will "fly" with other kids the same age.

With the 41 page packet, there are plenty of activities for an entire week!  I included reading response sheets, an opinion writing prompt, graphic organizers, drawing activities, a compound word activity, and more!  Many of the activities are perfect for literacy centers.

Compound Word Cards

Have a terrific Tuesday... stay warm if you are affected by the arctic freeze


  1. HI Lauren, I bought your packet and am glad I did. It is just perfect for my curious first graders. I would be happy to do a review on my blog. We will most likely do the activities early next week. You have found a niche. I am always looking for good nonfiction material.
    First Grade Carousel

  2. Maria- You made my day! Thanks so much for your purchase, but more so for your kind words. I love what I do, creating materials for students and my own children. It makes my heart so happy to hear that you are happy with your purchase. I would be honored to have you write a review on your blog! Many Thanks! Lauren


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