A new thematic approach to teaching about Groundhog Day
I decided to take a new thematic approach to teaching about events like Groundhog Day. I have found that my young students really enjoy thematic method of teaching so I created some new resources that were fun and engaging for them. They also fit in with my active learning strategies.
“What is thematic unit approach to teaching?”
You may be asking, “What is thematic unit approach to teaching?” It is when your curriculum is all connected together by a certain theme, such as Groundhog Day. Your vocabulary ,reading and writing are centered around your theme. My themes come from our social studies and science units.
The results for children using the thematic approach to teaching (Inspirational Teaching Using Limited Resources)
will have fun,
will be more actively involved,
will develop learning skills more quickly, as each one is connected to and reinforced by the other,
will be more confident and better motivated,
will present fewer discipline problems.
I have also added fun math games for our Groundhog Day theme. My thematic teaching ideas help make the best connections for my students. They get so excited to learn the new theme for the week! I introduced the Groundhog Day theme during calendar time and continued it throughout the day.
I began teaching my students vocabulary about the groundhog using this calendar. I like to show my students the words for the week, and then discuss each word for the day at calendar time. I also use this time to clap syllables, discuss the meanings of the words and help students discover word parts that help them sound out words. I introduce and sing the song that goes with the theme. The song also includes the vocabulary words that I introduce for the week. Singing and clapping syllables are quick and simple ways to incorporate active learning strategies for kids. My students also highlight these words in their emergent readers.
I explain and review these words every day so my students can build and improve their understanding of this thematic vocabulary. Then they do a cut and paste worksheet at a center during guided reading to reinforce the word. You can read more HERE. Students will use these words to write a story at the end of the week. Their writing skills improve with each week. See writing samples HERE.
See more about this calendar HERE.
Groundhog Day Boom Reader
A great way I found that helped to increase my students’ reading comprehension and teach science was using this Groundhog Day Boom Reader. It has real photos that help children, especially my SPED and ESL students to make connections. They can listen to the audio by clicking on the speaker icon. They can also practice reading the cards if they don’t click on the speaker. I love using these Boom cards because I can teach with them on a smartboard or use them in centers for my students to read on their own. There are also questions, finding words and practicing phonics in this deck. I also love them because the kids love them! We have also just added a deck with just the reader and questions to the bundle to make it more differentiated for students.
Read more about why I love Boom Cards HERE.
Try out a few cards for free HERE
Sign up for your free Boom Reader all about Reading HERE! Your students will learn words like vowels, blends and digraphs in this fun Boom reader along with a song that helps students to learn how to read.
Groundhog Vocabulary Boom Cards
These groundhog vocabulary Boom cards are great for developing vocabulary! My students benefit from seeing the real photos of the words and hearing the definitions of the words. I like using these cards in centers as a followup to the Groundhog Reader. There are also cards that help them with syllables, phonics and finding the words in sentences. They love dragging the pointer to the correct answers. These digital cards are also great because they are self-checking.
The best thing about thematic method of teaching is the rich vocabulary my students are learning. Their writing skills increase the more we write using a thematic vocabulary list each week. These thematic words help them to stay on topic, and they provide a gain of confidence for children.
Try out a few cards for free HERE.
Groundhog Day Math Boom Game
My students love practicing number order least to greatest with these Groundhog Day Math Boom Cards! They get plenty of practice dragging the correct missing numbers before, middle and after the numbers. The kids love seeing the groundhog in this number order online game!
Try out a few cards for free HERE
We also have a Groundhog Day Bundle HERE that includes all of these resources as well as our printable Groundhog Day Emergent Reader that includes a teacher guide, the song and student books that your students can write in. We like to use them to teach phonics. There is also a fun Math Scoot Game. Get this thematic approach to teaching bundle with 5 products at a discount!
Do you use thematic approach to teaching in your classroom? We would love for you to leave a comment if you do and let us know how well it works for your students. If you haven’t tried it, please give it a try with one of our thematic units.
They also include word wall cards with real photos like the book. Students really benefit from seeing them displayed each week. Some teachers like to use them in writing centers. Email us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to make your teaching more dynamic.
Don’t forget to sign up for your FREE Boom Reader All About Reading! Students will read and sing their way to reading and have fun doing it!
Happy Groundhog Day,