These special visitors are usually an animal like Stretchy Snake or something seasonal like The Pumpkin Snatchers and Lucky the Leprechaun...and those are just a few of the visitors that have stopped by our room. There are tons more.
These special visitors are a great way to engage the kiddos and get them excited about the lesson. The visitors usually have us "hunting" and looking for things around the school. I usually just put the things we are hunting for down the hall/path we will take to go to Music/PE. This way we can quickly gather them without spending class and learning time hunting for them. Plus, this helps the kiddos be quiet in the line because I'll call on quiet friends to hold the things we find. :)
These lessons usually start with a letter.
After receiving this letter, we start hunting for paw prints. Before starting the hunt, we talk about and make predictions about who the paw prints might belong to. You always hear some interesting predictions. :)
When we are hunting for things in the hall, the kiddos know to stop the line and quietly point to what we are hunting for. There is LOTS of very enthusiastic pointing!
I always set the hunt up before school and then pretend when the kiddos see the things in the morning that I have no idea how they got there. :)
When the kiddos see the paw prints, most still don't make the connection that these are Pete the Cats paw prints...and I don't tell them. :)
Beside each paw print is a clue. The clues tell the students about a favorite treat of the author of the letter. Remember, the letter is signed as a Groovy Friend.
When we finish finding all 6 clues, we head back to the room. When we get back to the room (This will usually be AFTER PE/Music), there is a package and a cat food bowl full of letters on my table.
We talk about all 6 clues and read the letter on the bag that tells us we need to use our schema and infer what could be inside the bag. We practice using sentence stems to help us talk about our inference.
We open the package to check our inference. We find strawberries and our paw print letter hunt cards.
Along with the strawberries and word study activity, the Groovy Friend also left us one of his books.
The reason there were paw prints around the school was he lost his shoes because they were covered in strawberries! :)
My kiddos seriously loved this activity. I was able to use the cards in Word Work and in my reading/RtI groups. If you are interested in grabbing it, click on the link below.
Click on the picture to grab a *freebie*!
Have a groovy day!
From My Heart to Yours,