Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Groundhog Day

We read the silly story Go To Sleep, Groundhog today to help us think about the tradition of Groundhog Day.  In the story, the groundhog keeps waking up during the winter and is so tired by February that he runs back into his burrow after seeing his shadow and sleeps for another six weeks.

The story did make us think about shadows--just how did the groundhog see his shadow?  When do we see our shadows?    We took a look at the non-fiction book What Makes a Shadow?  

In the story, we learned that a cloudy day is really a "shadowy day," since the clouds effectively block the sun and create a gray shadow.  The story also gave us the idea that we could explore how shadows work with a flashlight and a flat surface.

The children discovered that the size of the shadow was related to how far the object was from the light.  They also played around with the placement of the light in relation to the object, seeing what made the most distinct shadows and what resulted in more vague shadows.

Many of the children were interested in making our shadowboxes at home.  To make one, use a tissue box or other medium size cardboard box.  Cut out both larger sides, leaving the box mostly intact. Tape over one side with somewhat translucent white paper.  Grab a flashlight and start a shadow show!

Keeping exploring, scientists!  We will see what the groundhog says about his shadow tomorrow!


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