Tuesday was Groundhog day. Or as my students have gotten into their heads Hedgehog Day. We read several Jan Brett stories last week with hedgehogs in them and the students were adamant that groundhogs and hedgehogs were the same thing. We made a groundhogs can, have, and are chart and six students in a row told me that another name for groundhog was hedgehog.The name I was looking for was either woodchuck or whistle-pig (which I had never heard but apparently is another name for a groundhog). We ended up having to look at pictures of groundhogs and hedgehogs side by side so that they would see for themselves that they are not the same animal. The students eventually seemed like they understood.
The following day, when my classroom teacher returned from her absence, she asked the students during outside recess what makes shadows? Something we had talked about prior to groundhog day. One student proudly called out that the hedgehog went out and spring would come early, that is what caused shadows. Another student, thankfully, corrected him and stated that shadows were made by the sun.
The rest of the week we discussed penguins and listed many different types of penguins, emperor, rock-hopper, macaroni. When asked to name the different types of penguins several students were determined that whistle-pigs were a type of penguin. The whole week was really just that kind of week. I suppose they got what really mattered, information like penguins are fast swimmers and penguins eat fish and squid. Apparently, teaching kindergarteners about two kinds of animals in the same week is not the best idea.