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February 02

Groundhog Day is February 2.

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Groundhog Day is February 2.

Grades K – 5
Calendar Activity Type Holiday & School Celebration

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

Groundhog Day is observed each year on February 2. The famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is pulled from his simulated burrow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to make the most anticipated weather forecast of the year. The legend says that if the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner.

 

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Observe Groundhog Day in your classroom with your own shadow-watching activity.

Begin by bringing in a stuffed animal to stand in as the "groundhog." Have students select a name–something catchy–such as "Fairview Fred" or "Springfield Sal." Then plan a Groundhog Day celebration by choosing a location on school grounds and inviting other classes to attend the event.

Model your celebration after the annual event in Punxsutawney by including a variety of activities such as a scavenger hunt, storytelling, and games. Punxsutawney residents always include music in their celebration. Invite your school's band or chorus to provide live entertainment. At a predetermined time, have your "groundhog" look for his shadow, and then make the official announcement.

Later, have students watch or listen to news reports describing what happens in Punxsutawney on Groundhog Day and compare it with their predictions. Then, watch the calendar to see if your forecast is accurate!

 

WEBSITES

 

 
  • Groundhog Day

    This page from the Stormfax Weather Almanac offers information about the origins of Groundhog Day. There is also a record of past Groundhog Day predictions and information about the Groundhog Day film starring Bill Murray.

     

  • Groundhog Day: The Official Website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club

    Check out the area for Teachers to find activities, lesson plans, and games to share with students during your Groundhog Day festivities. Students can even submit poetry or video for inclusion on the site.

     

  • Weather Lore

    Students can read weather-related folktales and proverbs at this American Folklore website.

     

  • Groundhogs at HogHaven

    Students can meet real groundhogs from Lums Pond State Park in Delaware at this rich multimedia site. The site includes basic information about groundhogs, as well as audio, video, and images.

     

RELATED RESOURCES

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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Weather Detectives: Questioning the Fact and Folklore of Weather Sayings

Students adopt a skeptical stance and become weather detectives who ask “Why?” and “Why not?” as they investigate the history and validity of some common weather sayings.

 

Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Weather: A Journey in Nonfiction

Questions about weather clear up when students use what they learned from their books to create a presentation to share with the rest of the class.

 

Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Animal Study: From Fiction to Facts

Students listen to fiction and nonfiction read-alouds and explore selected Websites to identify factual information about animals. This lesson focuses on ants, but can be adapted to any animal.

 

Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

I Wonder: Writing Scientific Explanations With Students

Students choose a question to explore, research it using a variety of resources, organize their information on a TCF chart, and then collaboratively write a class scientific explanation.