Teaching Perspectives with “Grumpy Groundhog” - MindWing Concepts, Inc.

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Teaching Perspectives with “Grumpy Groundhog”

by Sheila Zagula January 22, 2019 3 min read

Groundhog imageLast year, we got a lot of great feedback on our Groundhog Day blog, “6 Books and Activity for Groundhog Day.”Grumpy Groundhog cover image Teachers seemed to especially like the last idea included in the blog, describing the groundhog’s burrow (from a List Map to a setting project, to sharing aloud). Check out last year’s blog if you haven’t seen it already!

Groundhog IconI came across another book presented in rhyme for Groundhog Day, Grumpy Groundhog written by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Amanda Haley. Below are a few ideas to use with this selection.

    1. Boy 1Use a Feelings Frame found in our “Featuring” Expression of Feelings Using Feeling-Frames” blog to make a grumpy face. Ask students to identify how they think you are feeling. Make a list with the students, possible responses may include angry, mad, grouchy, crabby…depending on the age/group. After eliciting responses, write the word grumpy on the board and define its meaning. Tell the students you will be reading a book, Grumpy Groundhog. Ask students to think about why the groundhog may be grumpy as you read the story for enjoyment.
    2. After reading the story to the children, put the SGM® Magnets or Mini Magnets in order on the whiteboard. You could take the story just from just the perspective of the townspeople (below left) or from both the groundhog’s point of view and that of the townspeople (below right).
      Whiteboard 1-2 image
      (Your mapping may vary a bit; this is how I mapped it with students participating). This is also ideal to demonstrate interaction among characters by showing that the Plan of the townspeople is to wake the groundhog to see if he sees his shadow…this is actually the Kick-Off for the groundhog whose Plan was to stay in his warm bed! Talk the students through the two perspectives using the arrows as shown below, making it as visual as you wish, depending on the students you are working with. This is such a powerful teaching tool!
      Whiteboard 3 image
      Whiteboard 4 image
    3. Model retelling the story from each perspective and invite students to partner up and retell the story with his/her partner using the Student Markers show marker, each taking one of the perspectives. This is always a great opportunity to circulate and listen to students, modeling with the SGM® Teacher Marker, as needed.
    4. Setting Frame imageStudents could use the Setting Frame found in our Braidy manual, page 135, to draw a picture of what the groundhog’s “room” looked like OR draw and describe the groundhog’s room using the Setting Drawing/Writing Map on page 149, depending on your goals.
    5. Action Draw Map imageDiscuss and make a list of how the townspeople tried to convince the groundhog to come out of his burrow (Planned Attempts)… referring to the story mapped out above as needed. Invite students to share with one another how they might try to convince the groundhog to come out of his burrow/bed. They could use the Actions/Attempts Map found in the Braidy manual on page 153 to draw and write about ideas.

Point out also that the groundhog himself said that he wouldn’t come out until he was fed (which led to the breakfast idea) and that he was staying in his cozy bed (which led to the slippers)! The townspeople used what that they knew/learned about the groundhog in his Setting to come up with some of the ideas. Check out Maryellen’s blog on “...Aesop’s Fables...” to read additional information about perspective taking and use of the SGM’s Critical Thinking Triangle®, which you could use with this groundhog selection.

Two Groundhog Day books imageTwo other selections you may be interested in are The Secret of the First One Up by Iris Hiskey Arno (great for predicting what the secret may be as well as a modeling a complete episode) and for an added nonfiction text, Groundhog Day by Clara Cella.

After the temperatures we have experienced here in New England the last few days, I certainly hope the groundhog does NOT see his shadow!!

Sheila Zagula
Sheila Zagula

Sheila Zagula works with MindWing Concepts in product development, drawing on her expertise and talents as well as many years of implementing the Story Grammar Marker® and related materials. Her teaching career spans thirty-eight years, most recently as literacy coach in the Westfield Massachusetts Public School System. Sheila has experience as an early childhood educator, a teacher of children with special needs, and a collaborative instructor within an inclusion framework serving children in grades K-5.

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