Cave Day!

I'm so excited to share CAVE DAY! I'm taking a page out of Hope King's playbook and if you haven't read or seen her blog then head over there now. I saw her Jurassic World day and knew it would be perfect for my students and I modified it since Missouri is "the Cave State" as well as the Show Me State.

I love LOVE how this encompassed every subject and fit in so many good standards - all in 1 day!  We did cover informational text in September but this would be a great review for ANY TIME of year!  I love how excited both the students and me were!!

*granted some of these I had taught before but touched on or reviewed today again but they got exposed to 13 standards today!

First up in cave day was making our headlights.  Every good spelunker has to have headlights right?!  I used headbands, hot glue and touch lights from Walmart.  No way around it - they were expensive, but I figured I could use them for a "surgery" day of some sort as well and for years to come.  The lights and headbands were not so much but each light took 3 batteries :(   I made enough for my class this year 14 and next year's group will have to switch off and share...gotta compromise somewhere.

We used this playlist  for some "Cave Tunes" while we were working all day. 

I found this headlight in hubby's truck so I get to be the official lead spelunker for the day.


Ok....the setup.....  I used extra desks to make a tunnel to come into our room and the students had to return their HW to get their ticket inside and a headlight.  This gave them some background knowledge of caves already and prepared them for the day ahead.  I used a Readworks Passage about caves for grade 4 and their comprehension questions (perfect!)

Once inside students were given their Caving Club card.  They had to participate in all activities (reading, writing, science, and social studies, +4 road blocks -grammar challenges)  to earn their spelunker license.)  I had stamps I used each time they completed part of their Caving Club challenge.  Each grammar "road block" they showed me had to be correct to get the stamp of approval!

Here is an example of a road block - they would have to fill it in correctly to move on and get back to their other work.


We started with reading.  I used a Reading A to Z book focusing on main idea and text features - two things we have already studied extensively.  We also used the comprehension questions just to check for understanding.

*I love all the options of Reading A to Z - the books, and accompaniments are great!* They are usually more high interest too than just a normal reading passage.

They took a final assessment based on an article about Missouri caves linking to many covered standards from this year so far.   This was an assessment I created on Google Forms and was excited to have them take it for the first time.  I tried using the split screen technique because our state assessments look like that just so they are used to it and see it more.

We did have to read the passage together and explain some wording of the questions but overall they did great - I graded it with Flubaroo - EASIEST thing ever! - 1 touch and my grading of my Google Form was complete with assessing weak questions!


We used the Caves Nearpod lesson (FREE) which was fantastic as we got to explore different caves. Nearpod is like an interactive Powerpoint where I have to advance their slides but this one they could explore different caves, answer polls and see our class results, type in answers, etc...

Nearpod has always been a great tool but the virtual field trips are even more exciting!! The students could literally turn the ipad 360 like they were in the room!! It was one of the most exciting things I have ever seen and the closest we could get without being in an actual cave.  I encourage you to try it out if you haven't!

looking at the ceiling of a cave
We also used the iPads and researched cave animals to make cave food webs.  It was awesome to build on our knowledge from last year about producers, consumers, etc.. and our last test on vertebrates and invertebrates!


Social Studies
We studied caves in Missouri and used this site - to plot large cities (a SS standard) use the Google Map to find caves using intermediate directions. 
We also had to infer about geography and use the map to see if caves were just located near rivers or water sources and if that made sense with what else we read today.

At multiple points we stopped for "tunnel time" = Go Noodle along with recording our learning on different parts of this cave poster (what we read, caves in missouri, and cave ecosystems)

All the printables - speluner license, caving club, presentations, animal cards, HW card all included!

If you like any of these  you can check them out here!!  These would make great addition to sub plans or just added in throughout the year to science or nonfiction content - so many ways to fit it in!
Favorite picture of the day!

There's actually some free writing prompts in there we didn't get to!  Make sure to head over now and at least check out if any of this would be helpful!


  1. Love Love Love your Cave Day. What a great way to get the children excited about their learning!!!

  2. Absolutely love this! How did you do the split screen

    1. Sorry I somehow missed this comment! It was a Google Site just a 2 column template then I inserted our article on one side and the Google Form test on the other!

    2. Sorry I somehow missed this comment! It was a Google Site just a 2 column template then I inserted our article on one side and the Google Form test on the other!


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