Monday, January 23, 2017

Groundhog Day Ideas for your Techy Classroom!

One of my favorite holidays to "celebrate" with students is Groundhog Day. There are so many fun books to read, and I love how you can incorporate science, weather and making predictions into these lessons. One of my favorite "techy" ideas is to have students use the free app PicCollage Kids to create a prediction collage and then upload to Seesaw. Continue reading to see details, plus a list of other fun Groundhog Day activities for your classroom.
After reading Groundhog Day stories, watching videos, and having lots of discussions about the weather and making predictions, let your students create an image using the app PicCollage Kids. In the image, they should insert a photo of a groundhog, and an image of either a cloud or a sun. I have students use the web search tool to find an image of a groundhog, as well as a picture of a cloud or sun. 

When they search for the cloud or sun (write the words on the board for them to copy into the search bar), they should include "png" in their search (i.e. they should search "sun png" or "cloud png"). This will identify a cloud or sun image with a transparent background and look better in their completed collage. :)
They can then use the text tool to write a sentence; either "The groundhog will see his shadow." or "The groundhog will not see his shadow." In my kindergarten classroom, we did whole group interactive writing and predictions first, then students wrote their predictions into their writing journals, then we published them in our collages. It was a great time to focus on the sight words will, see and not.
Students love customizing their collages using the fun fonts, colors and backgrounds in PicCollage Kids. When they're complete, they can save the collage to their iPad and post to Seesaw. You can make this activity even more exciting by having them use the microphone in Seesaw to tell their prediction, or have them upload their collage to the app ChatterPix Kids and they could even make the groundhog talk and tell the prediction before posting to Seesaw. So much fun!!

Read on for a few more techy Groundhog Day ideas for your classroom ... 
  • Groundhog Day is a great nonfiction story about the holiday by Gail Gibbons. You can find it being read online here. (On
  • The website is a great resource for activities, videos and the official Punxsutawney Phil prediction on February 2nd!
  • Use Chatterpix Kids to have students take a picture of a groundhog art project they've done (or have them draw a groundhog using an app like Doodle Buddy and save it to the iPad camera roll).  Then have them make the image "talk" to share their Groundhog Day predictions or facts they've learned about groundhogs.
  • Let your students contribute to this collaborative Padlet, sharing their Groundhog Day predictions. You could contribute whole class, or have your students each scan the QR code (there's a QR reader embedded in the Padlet app!) and contribute their idea. They can add just text, or also upload a photo (consider having them upload their PicCollage creation, a photo of an art project, etc). QR code for this padlet
  • Use the backchannel Today's Meet to have students make their Groundhog Day predictions.  Sign up for a free account using your Google login, then set up a room and make a QR code for students to scan and easily enter the room from their iPads.
  • Use any drawing app to have students draw a Groundhog Day picture (emphasizing an understanding of cloudy sky = no shadow and sunny sky = shadow), then post to Seesaw and have students write and tell about their picture.
  • The app Draw & Tell (FREE) has stickers - there isn't a groundhog, but there is a beaver.  I pretend this is a groundhog and have my students make math story problems using the "groundhog" sticker.  They can draw equations and record their voices, then export the videos to Seesaw!

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