On February 2 of each year, the town of Punxsutawney, PA celebrates their groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby. This day is known as Groundhog Day! During the celebration, Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his hole. According to tradition, If he sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. If he emerges and does not see his shadow, he has predicted an early spring!
Here are four fun activities to celebrate this fun holiday with your students!
- Shadow Tracing—If possible, go outside to the school playground with your students. Divide your students into pairs, and supply each student with chalk. Students take turns tracing their partner's shadow with the chalk. You can ask students to measure the shadows and create a graphic organizer with the data!
- Classroom Prediction—Print out copies of this groundhog and hand them out to your students. Have students color and decorate the printable. Create a bulletin board titled "Will Groundhog See His Shadow on February 2nd?" and split it into two columns (yes and no). Have students tape their groundhogs to the column they find appropriate. This is a fun way for the classroom to make a prediction of what will happen on Groundhog Day!
- Groundhog Day Puppets—Students can make their very own Groundhog Day puppet using paper bags, glue, crayons, markers, paint, buttons (for the eyes and nose) and pipe cleaners for the whiskers. Divide students into groups and have them enact a story using their groundhog puppets, or ask the students to write a short story based on their puppets.
- Groundhog Poetry—Read fun poems on shadows to your students. Have your students write a short poem from the groundhog's point of view. One poem you can use is "My Shadow" by Robert Louis Stevenson.